Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Modena, Italy: Tagliatelle al Forno + Spritz Lunch at Piazza Grande

Let me say this first: I am not a pasta person.

I will eat pasta, mostly at home because I cook this on a weekly basis for the Dutchman (it is his favourite!) but I will never order this for myself in a restaurant. I do not hanker for pasta. I can live without pasta.

Tagliatelli al Forno + Spritz + heavenly bread lunch.

But just like everything in life, there are BUTS. There are exceptions. One can never say never.

Because I am visiting the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy, the proud maker of famous pasta (stuffed and not) such as tortellini, tortelloni, tagliatelli, cappellacci, strichetti, maltagliati, anolini, garganelli, passatelli, ravioli, cappelletti, gramigna, strozzapreti… well, I just have to try it! I have to go local, even for just a few days.

Now I challenge you, people, to look up in google the images of the pasta. You might have eaten and know some of them already via a different name =)

Having said this, I decided to eat pasta for my lunch in Modena. After my walking survey of the city, I leant on lunching at the lovely Piazza Grande. There is a corner bar cafe beside the old town hall called Caffetteria La Piazza. The bar-cafe has a nice viewing point of the square and the Duomo. They also have ‘Tagliatelli al Forno’ on the blackboard menu as their pasta of the day.

I first ordered my drink. A glass of Spritz (in a Havana Cuba glass???), which is a local concoction of Prosecco and Aperol. I will not be surprised if this is the national drink during summer especially for lunch. You can quickly identify Spritz through its orange colour. There are red versions of aperol as well which I have here at home. Some aperols are also non-alcoholic. Lidl sells them for example during their Italy week specials, but a different brand.

To accompany the Tagliatelli al Forno was some warm, soft and creamy bread with some bits of bacon in it. This was the best bread I have eaten so far in Italy! The pasta was quite good and I was in awe of myself for finishing up the plate, haha. The modest serving did helped a bit, but I must confess that it was nicely cooked and was not heavy in the stomach at all. However, to be honest, the delicious warm bread was the unexpected icing on the cake for this lunch.

Un delizioso pranzo!

Around high noon the bar cafe was so full that I decided to come back after an hour.

The view from the table and the popular local drink in northern Italy, Spritz which is a mixture of prosecco and aperol. Great to drink chilled or with ice cubes when it is hot weather but I simply did not understand why this is served in a Havana Club glass.

Lunch of the day in Modena and with a lovely view of Piazza Grande.

This soft, chewy and creamy bread had bacon bits in it. This was excellent, and they served this freshly hot which made it even more delicious. Surely, the highlight of the lunch.

I am glad they served me a small portion but I was surprised that this was quite light!

Caffetteria La Piazza serves ready-to-eat mini salami/ham buns and sandwiches which are going at just 1.50 Euros.

The view of the outdoor terrace from the first floor of the cafe restaurant. I took this shot when I went to the ladies room.

This massive ancient slab of stone has seen gruesome days. I overheard a tour guide telling his group that many centuries ago people were placed on top of it for public shaming and execution. But the stone has also seen glorious days when celebrated officials stand on it to give their speech.

Travel Period: May 2016
Destination: Bologna (Emilia-Romagna), Italy

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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