Following a fantastic food and Ferrari tour of Emilia-Romagna, I turned my attention to dinner at I Portici Restaurant in Bologna.
I Portici is a Michelin star restaurant and a part of the luxury I Portici Hotel Bologna.
It's in the Eden Theater, a former cafe chantant (French-style cafe where live music is performed), near Montagnola Park, a short walk from the train station and Piazza Maggiore.
The old theater, complete with Art Nouveau ceiling frescoes, has been fully renovated. The dining room feels spacious, elegant, and bright.
The stage features a piano and harp, though neither was played during my visit.
In the kitchen, I Portici Restaurant is in the capable hands of the talented chef Gianluca Renzi.
He has continued to uphold the one Michelin star rating of his predecessors.
I Portici Restaurant offers an a la carte menu plus three tasting menus:
- Wandering through Emilia, five courses, $97 (€85)
- Into the Blue (seafood focus), five courses, $105 (€92)
- 2019, seven courses, $128 (€112)
While I only ordered still water, The Michelin Guide 2019 states the restaurant has an "excellent wine list."
These photos are from the 5-course Wandering through Emilia tasting menu I had on October 23, 2018. Not pictured: the freshly baked tomato and black olive bread.
This was my favorite course of the meal. Beautiful presentation, colorful, inventive, and fun to eat.
Everything on the plate was edible, even though some of it looked like it could be made of plastic.
As I was wrapping up dinner a little after 10 pm, I didn't want to finish with espresso, as Italians like to do.
The Japanese green tea I ordered was a subtler way to end the meal, and the offering of black licorice was a nice touch.
My dinner cost $116 (€102), including bread, a tasting menu, bottled water, and tea.
Beyond the theater-style ambiance and delicious food, the service was top-notch, making it easy for me to recommend I Portici Restaurant to anyone visiting or living in Bologna.
Related: La Leggenda dei Frati in Florence