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

Modena: Hosteria Giusti

Via Farini, n. 75 , Phone: 39 059 222 533
Closing day: Sun/Mon

Reviewed by: Barbara (and Art) from USA, review #3658

When: 2010

This is the best meal you will ever eat. Period.

Bocconcini di Gnocco Fritto e Salumi, photo by Barbara Skinner

Hosteria Giusti in Modena is open for lunch only Tuesday through Saturday. Advance reservations are a must since the restaurant hold a maximum of 24 people. The day we were there 4 table were set, and with a little maneuvering one or two additional tables could be added.

The hosteria is in the back of a salumeria, and I'd recommend coming to lunch a few minutes early just to look at the wonderful displays - and maybe even buy something for later.

The menu changes every day, using what's fresh and in season, just as you'd expect. According to what we've read this place has been around since the 17th century, and obviously they're doing something right! We originally read about Hosteria Giusti on Mario Batali's site. According to Mario, "If there is one stop on your trip to Italy, wherever in Italy, it must be here" and we agree 100%!

The offerings for the day we were there included some things we weren't really sure of. In Italy, where the same pasta can have a different name in every region, sometimes it's hard to know exactly what a dish is, but we decided to order half portions of several dishes and we weren't disappointed.

For our antipasti Art ordered baccala mantecato con polenta fritta and I had bocconcini di gnocco fritto e salumi. After years of living in Italy and seeing baccala (dried, salted cod) everywhere, I'd never been brave enough to try cooking it and honestly didn't think I'd like it. If the dish Art ordered is typical, all I can say it that I'm so sorry I never tried it before! His baccala was the consistency of mashed potatoes and was delicious! Wow! The fried polenta that accompanied it was delicious as well, but for me the revelation here was that you could make something so delicious from a dried, salted piece of fish! My antipasto consisted of several pieces of fried gnocchi, puffed up light as air and topped with a paper thin slice of meat - lardo, prosciutto, salami. I later learned that this dish is a very traditional dish for this area - and with good reason. The heat of the fried gnocchi made the meat just melt into it - and in your mouth.

For our pasta course Art had tagliolini ai funghi porcini freschi and I had the tortelloni di zucca con burro della Normandia. Both dishes were exquisite - perfect pasta, perfect flavors. We were both sorry we'd lonely ordered the half portions but didn't want to spoil our appetites for what was still to come!

Our secondi were even more amazing, if that's possible. Art had the stracotto di manzo con pure di patate and I had guanciola di vitello al vino bianco con caponatina di melanzane. The meat was so fork tender and delicious that we were oohing and aahing with every bite. Absolutely perfection!

I retropsect I wished we'd had dessert, but decided not too since the choices were rather basic: crostate, zuppa Inglese, and something called la tazzina al profumo di cannella e cocoa amaro. Although the choices DID seem rather basic, I'm sure that they would have been the best we'd ever eaten - next time for sure!

Wine was available by the glass and was very well priced. The selection was incredible but rather wasted on us, who know very little about wine. We asked our waiter for a recommendation and were more than pleased.

We both agree that this was the best restaurant meal we've ever had, and encourage anyone who's anywhere remotely close to Modena to plan for a wonderful lunch at Hosteria Giusti. For the two of us, three courses each, (half portions) and wine (2 glasses each) we paid a total of about 105 euros.

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

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