It would be difficult to single out the most praise-worthy aspect of dining at I Carracci Restaurant. The dome of its lovely ceiling is adorned with 15th century grotesque-style frescoes attributed to the school of the renowned Bolognese Carracci brothers, who are responsible for the frescoed ceiling in the hotel’s Camerino d’Europa. The sage-green brocaded walls with oil paintings and gilded mirrors and the elegant tables are set to please and prepare diners for a leisurely, flavorful journey at the hands of master Chef Giacomo Galeazzi.
Our departure begins with a sformato di parmigiano topped with tiny wild strawberries and aged balsamic vinegar, accompanied by a gem-like white wine from the very local Umberto Cesari vineyards. A plate of thinly sliced culatello, the most prized part of Parma prosciutto, arranged like a flower, follows and whets our appetites for the Cucina Bolognese that is about to begin in earnest with none other than tagliatelle al ragù and baked green lasagne alla Bolognese, served in a creamy bath of parmesan sauce. The courses, paired with select wines from the region, continue and we do not let guilt slip into any opening between the chef’s specialties. This is food that impresses our taste buds, but satisfies the soul. One can taste the passion.
For wine lovers and those who love the enchantment of an old wine cellar, the hotel’s Morandi Wine Cellar dates back to the 15th century, but is dedicated to Bologna’s 20th century artist, Giorgio Morandi. The cellar can seat up to 24 diners for a more intimate dinner party arranged at long tables set beneath vaulted stone ceilings and surrounded by an impressive collection of Italian and International wines.