I have been meaning to write about my memorable dinner at Osteria al 15 for quite a while now. This osteria can easly be missed since it is located on a quiet side street. Outside this osteria, you will find the only written menu.
I was shown to a table in a little room up a few stairs. I think I remember there being five tables in this little area. A group of four American college girls studying in Bologna sat at one table and an Italian couple sat at another table. View of the entrance area from my table:
After being seated, my waiter, who I am pretty sure was also the owner, started rattling off the menu items rapidly in Italian. Because I am always confused between the tortelloni or tortellini, I stopped him when he mentioned one asking him if it had meat. He asked me if I was a vegetarian. I said yes since I did not see fish or chicken on the menu outside (both of which I do eat). He recommended a few dishes to me that did not include meat.
I hesitantly chose the ricotta all’ aceto balsamico caramellato not knowing what to expect. OMG, it was incredible!!! Delicious ricotta cheese topped with a homemade combination of Modena’s expensive balsamic vinegar, honey, and caramel.
I was also given a basket of some type of fried bread which I dipped in the balsamic sauce. Heavenly!! (this photo unfortunately came out a little blurry)
For my primi, I had the tortelloni con burro e salvia, one of my all time favorite dishes.
When the waiter returned, I asked him about the newspapers on the ceiling. He was very proud of the ceiling and told me a story about how the newspapers ended up on the ceiling. He and a few others (I forget exactly who now) saved all of the old newspapers and put them on the ceiling themselves.
After telling me about the newspapers and the ceiling, he took me on a tour of the rest of the restaurant showing me some of the older pots and pans on a wall near the back of the restaurant, all of which he found at different outdoor markets.
When I returned to my table, he asked me if I was ready for dessert. Sadly, I had no room. I asked him if the osteria was open for lunch, hoping to stop by again so that I could enjoy another meal at this osteria and try some dessert. He told while pointing to his dark tan, that he was only open for dinner because he goes to the beach during the day,
I highly recommend Osteria al 15. Not only is fabulous food served at this osteria, but it is also a fun place to have dinner. The bonus for me was that Osteria al 15 was only one street away from Hotel Porta San Mamalo where I was staying. I highly recommend this osteria for the food, the atmosphere, and for the kindness shown to the customers. I think about the times I have felt unwelcome as a single diner and have even been turned away because I was a single diner and then think about my wonderful experience at this restaurant. This is how customers should be treated everywhere. It will be tops on my list of places to return to the next time I am in Bologna. Thank you Amy for reminding me of this fabulous little osteria in Bologna.