I met Scaccomatto when Rick Stein was in Bologna.
The British chef was looking for cuisine with ideas, quality ingredients and passion for great food (especially fish).
Mario Ferrara's restaurant in Via Broccaindosso is not only one of my best fish restaurants in Bologna, but from late spring to fall, on some lucky nights, it becomes something special.
Orti di Via Orfeo vegetables garden
Gli Orti di Via Orfeo
A small door at Via della Braina 7 unveils a place out of time.
Closed for more than 10 years, this VII century's vegetable garden, where in the past a monastic community cultivated land and gave asylum and education to deaf kids, is now back to bolognesi thanks to Mario Ferrara.
Gli Orti is an unexpected oasis of peace between the red walls of the city centre where you can spend an amazing dinner near an old well and an almond shaped fish basin.
Marinated sardines and burrata
Scaccomatto became worldwide famous for the "plin" ravioli with Parmigiano Reggiano and sweet onion made for Rick Stein, but Ferrara's cuisine is much more than that.
The chef traveled from Brazil to Japan and in its cuisine he combines his roots from the South of Italy with bolognese tradition.
At gli Orti you find a fixed menu that changes every night, mostly based on fish and seasonal ingredients.
The shrimps with cauliflower mayonnaise and vanilla oil are a must.
I was lucky to have a perfectly cooked tub gurnard with grilled onion and turnip.
A bavarese dessert with strawberries and passion fruit and an infused coffee by Leonardo Lelli closed the game.
Menu written on the blackboard changes every night
Why go there
It's probably the most romantic and intimate place to spend a dinner in Bologna.
A few tables, the silence of the vegetable gardens, soft lights create a special atmosphere you can immediately feel at the entrance.
It's also still a secret place that a lot of bolognese don't know, but it will be surely on everyone's lips in a few time.
Why not to go
It's hard to give reasons not to go.
But if you are in a low-budget trip, 50€ can be too much for a dinner.
Also if you have a just a long weekend in town, maybe you prefer to discover everything about bolognese cuisine.
Mario Ferrara's hands prepare tub gurnard with grilled onion and turnip
Scaccomatto agli Orti
Via della Braina 7, Bologna
Tel. 051 263404
Open: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday