dinner at Osteria al 15

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.

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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:

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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.

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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)

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For my primi, I had the tortelloni con burro e salvia, one of my all time favorite dishes.

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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.

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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.

15 thoughts on “dinner at Osteria al 15

  1. Oh, Girasoli, I”m so glad you posted this! The restaurant looks so good, and the owner sounds charming. And the food — your photos are making me drool! I think you posted somewhere on your blog once before, about the ricotta dish and I couldn’t quite picture it. Now I can see — it looks fantastic!
    I’m sure your hotel and mine (the PSM) will direct me to the right street so I can find this restaurant. It sounds so good and I’m always glad to find places that treat single diners well.
    I’ll be printing this out, so when I’m in Bologna I won’t even need the waiter to recite the menu, I’ll simply point to your photos. I can’t wait…..


  2. Hi Girasoli! Great review and those awesome photos! I could hop on a plane right now! Thanks so much for writing this and sharing your photos. I love how the owner pointed to his tan! :) My kind of guy!
    I think I’ll take my Italy guide book to work today and research where Bologna is located!
    Have a great day!


  3. I’m flattered by all of your comments. I have the most difficult time writing restaurant reviews. I have not written one restaurant review (at least that I can remember) for Slow Travel. I am just not a great writer. I had horrible teachers in school and always loved Math and Spanish class more. Too bad I don’t remember much Spanish now. I will submit this one though when I get the chance.
    Amy, that is too funny that we ate the same things.
    Sandra, that would be cool if you showed the owner my post. You can’t go wrong with the food there and the restaurant is easier to find than the historic center! It is one street over from the hotel. I will map it out for you on google.
    candi, my mouth is watering also dreaming of eating this meal once again :)
    Barb, you would love Bologna!
    Leslie, glad you enjoyed it.
    Kathy, I cracked up too (but tried not to show it) when he pointed to his tan and told me he was closed for lunch so he could go to the beach. Bologna is on a major train route halfway between Milan and Florence, and between Parma and Ravenna.
    dana, thanks! It was a very memorable evening. I would love to be there again right now! I am really missing good Italian food.
    Annie, the place was really fun. I loved the little owl sign also. I wished I took photos of the outside before it got dark. I guess I will just have to go back :)


  4. Wonderful review! I’m drooling over the ricotta. I love dishes that are sweet/salty. Tortelloni con burro e salvia is also one of my favorite dishes but I only eat it in Italy.


  5. María, it was a wonderful dinner! I have tried to reproduce the burro e salvia here and even though my friends in Italy have shown me how to cook it, I just can’t get it right. I think it has to do with the butter available here.


  6. Chiocciola, I think you will have a great time there. I did not need to make a reservation when I went. I think it is closed on Sundays or perhaps Mondays. I am so excited that you are going back to Bologna!! Can’t wait to read all about your trip.
    nancy, I know just what you mean. I am still drooling over the photos from this osteria.


  7. Girasoli just read this in prepartion for our meal with you there. I can’t wait–1.) to be with you and 2.) to have the ricotta antipasti. It looks heavenly. A presto


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