> SlowTrav > Italy > Restaurants > Reviews > Emilia-Romagna

Bologna: Da Cesarina

via Santo Stefano, 19/b , Phone: 051.232037


Reviewed by: Paul from Boston from MA, review #2113

When: 2006

Still a big disappointment

We ate here in October, 2006. I agree with Steve's review from 2004; this restaurant is a major disappointment. The only thing we really liked was the lasagna verde al forno. The rest was just OK. There's just too much good food in Bologna to waste time at this place.


Reviewed by: Steve from PA from PA, review #1027

When: 2004

A big disappointment.

Directions: In Piazza Santo Stefano

We decided to try this restaurant in Bologna, based on Internet reviews and a Michelin guide listing, which generally has proved fairly reliable. We had a fabulous meal at Battibecco the night before, so we were generally up for another great meal. We ate in the outdoor area of Cesarina for dinner.

The handling of our reservation, which we made in person, was not very friendly or professional. A woman (who later served some plates to us at dinner), was leaning against a food case inside the restaurant with a cigarette dangling from her mouth, and she wrote down our reservation. A man, who appeared later to be the head waiter, seemed to be uncomfortable with the woman making the reservation, and was very gruff in acknowledging us and confirming the reservation.

When we came for dinner, we were seated promptly but had to wait sometime before anyone waited on us, and the service was neither warm nor even friendly. It was as if the three of us were imposing on the waiters' valuable time. The only time we got a smile was when the woman who made the reservation presented the bill, apparently hoping we would add something to the service as a tip.

The food - we ordered several different dishes from the menu - was reasonably good, but nothing special. The bread was stale. I had the scampi, which appeared to be a bit overcooked. The pasta dishes were good, but not up to the level one would expect based on the reputation and pricing of this restaurant.

To make this experience even worse, four or five tables in the outdoor area had people chain smoking cigarettes while we ate, and the smoke was fairly strong in the area. The smoking, altho annoying, was bearable until a man at the table next to us pulled out a pipe and created a large cloud of pipe smoke that drifted directly into our faces. To his credit, he overheard my wife complaining about the smoke and smell going directly into her face, and he moved to the other side of the table, but the smoke and smell were still awful.

We got out of the restaurant as quickly as we could - a definite downer experience. I have seen other decent reviews of this restaurant, so perhaps, because they had just opened after their vacation closing period, we hit a bad night.


Reviewed by: ira from GA, review #641

When: 2003

An excellent restaurant, highly recommended.

Lunch was on the terrace of Da Cesarina, across the piazza from San Stefano. This was a lucky find. We shared a mixed antipasto - cantaloupe with prosciutto, bruschetta with another kind of prosciutto, mortadella. The intense flavor of the cantaloupe with prosciutto still lingers in memory.

My wife had the seafood salad: calamari, shrimp, prawns, octopus, and cured salmon over tomatoes and onions with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and I had the tagliatelli Bolognese. The ragu had that almost burnt flavor that comes from long, long browning of the meat. Dessert was a generous cup of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and ribes, a kind of currant.

Wine was from the family vineyards. About 50E with wine.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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