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Bologna: Trattoria Mariposa

via Bertiera 12 , Phone: 051.225656

Reviewed by: Jeff Whiteaker from CA, review #2489

When: 2007

It's always a gamble going in "blind" to a city you've never been to before and for which you know next to nothing about. But we lucked out with this find.

After spending the afternoon wandering through the historical center, making a point to scan menus of all trattorie and ristoranti along the way, we still hadn't found a place that felt "right." That is, until not even a block away from our hotel, we stumbled on the unassuming hole-in-the-wall that is Trattoria Mariposa.

I knew this had to be the place before I even read the menu. Tucked away on a quiet, slightly dingy, and unattractively modern, dead-end sreet (in the area right smack in-between Piazza Maggiore and the train station), Mariposa just had the small, quaint, non-fussy look of a place that puts all the attention on the food. Upon entering, we noticed there actually was a bit of decorative flair with stylized butterfly motifs on the walls and placemats. We also noticed "reserved" notes on nearly every table in the tiny trattoria. We were greeted by an extremely friendly, casually dressed waiter, and immediately noticed the archetypal "mamma" in the kitchen, busily cooking up the goods.

For primi, I ordered gnocchi with pesto. I had been craving this combination the entire trip and couldn't find it. Not only was the gnocchi melt-in-your mouth fresh, but the pesto was dead perfect. My girlfriend ordered the lasagne Bolognese, which again, was absolutely perfect; simple, non-fussy, and the freshness of the ingredients really helped propel the rich flavors.

For secondi, we spit a large insalata mista and the coniglio, which was perfectly tender and moist, yet not served in any thick sauces (which seemed to be typical in Tuscany). I could've used something to take the flavor of this a bit further, but it was still inarguably cooked to perfection. Also, the house red was extremely smooth and more than simply drinkable.

So, yes, I recommend Mariposa without hesitation, and we were both elated to have found such a good place on our unexpected last night in Italia.

Reviewed by: Monica Pileggi from MD, review #1922

When: 2006

Wonderful small trattoria with great food.

Directions: Just across the street from Hotel Paradise

At Trattoria Mariposa, Bologna, photo by Monica J. Pileggi

May 2006: I dined with two couples (Colleen, Jim and Pam, Gary) who I met via Slow Talk. We had a great time that night. The Trattoria serves very good food. The place is very small, maybe with 10 tables, so reservations are a must.

I had the mortadella and Parmesan cheese as my starter, followed by the lasagna Bolognese, which was the best I have ever had! It was made with green lasagna, which I understand is the proper pasta for lasagna Bolognese. We ordered a carafe of red wine and white wine that we shared, as well as bottled water. Total: 18 per person. For the quality of the food, wine, and service, this was a great price for dinner.

We also had fun with the owner, who was patient in taking photos of us with our three cameras.

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

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