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“A magical night”

Osteria Francescana
Ranked #5 of 831 Restaurants in Modena
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: USD 71 - USD 212
Cuisines: Italian, Contemporary
Dining options: After-hours, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Modena is charming and la Osteria fits right in. Massimo is very friendly and the food is excellent. With one exception, the gazpacho, the dishes were superb. The highlight are the classics: parmesan, lasagna and the lemon tart. They are famous for a reason. Service was impecable. It is worth it if you can get the reservation. He is opening several new restaurants. We wonder whether things will change.

1  Thank dgdgdg1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

How to write a review for a place awarded best in the world. It’s such a lofty standard and I’m sure there’s so little between many near the top of that list. And so many little things on the day can change someone’s experience or feelings.

With that all said this was a wonderful experience for us and we highly recommend it to anyone. It starts with Massimo of course and his story (and that of Lara). Then comes the day of booking online. The wait and the anxiousness and then the elation when you get it.

Then of course, for most, the long journey to Modena. And finally, the night itself. The walk along the streets until there it is. Via Stella. The door and the brass nameplate.

We chose the classic menu but it is not an easy choice. We also took wine pairing.

We are foodies and appreciate good food and good service. We got both consistently all night. If we went again, and I hope we do, we would be more relaxed the second time around. The rooms are small with just a few tables each and so people were very quiet; not wanting to disturb anyone else.

I’ll describe just a few of the standout dishes for us but the most important point was that all were excellent. Only one we felt was below the rest, but still very good.

The three rices camouflaged was simply outstanding. The green was with apple and slightly acidic. The brown was with porcini mushroom and the black was cuttlefish a bit of ink. This dish was a masterpiece.

I also loved the leek with shallot foam and truffle. And I normally hate truffle. But this was sublime and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The very first pre-dinner snack was also outstanding.

The tribute to Normandy, the Mediterranean sole, etc were all fabulous.

Another interesting standout was the pre-dessert salad. A heart of lettuce stuffed with 25 edible flowers, sprinkled with a raspberry powder, and inside had two creams. One with an almond taste and the other minty.

Last was the popcorn. This was fantastic presentation, performance, fragrance, and taste. I won’t say too much and spoil the little surprise with this dish but the whole thing is amazing. Bravo Massimo.

Then my loving partner asked if we could add on the lemon tart from the everything menu. Of course! They said. And so we were thrilled to enjoy this signature dish as well. “Oops I dropped the lemon tart. It’s a disaster” said our waiter. It was anything but and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Lovely coffee and petit fours to finish. Plus some small Madelines.

Some dishes really stood out for us and especially with their wine pairing (the three rices was paired magnificently) but all were of the high standard expected.

The one dish we thought was below the rest was the suckling pig. Living in Asia this is a dish we know well and have eaten often at many fine restaurants. The meat was well cooked and the crackling was done more strongly, more smoky. But the sauces on the plate didn’t quite balance for us. Some were too acidic, others too sweet. To our palate, we couldn’t balance the dish well. A fine dish, but not quite the same standard as all others.

Finally, a tip of the hat for the grissini. Delicious and we enjoyed nibbling on it throughout the night.

Massimo coming out to chat and do photos with us was a lovely bonus.

Thank spacewalker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2018

Can't believe this is the #1 restaurant in the world and has 3 Michelin Stars, uberly disappointing. It was not worth the journey at all.

I was ecstatic when I was able to secure dinner reservations here after trying for 3 hours in the middle of the night. We traveled to Modena just for this. It was also the one thing I was looking forward to on my trip to Italy. And as a side note, I’ve tried quite a few Michelin star restaurants, and am very passionate about gastronomy as I grew up working in a family restaurant and love to cook.

We chose the “Everything Menu” which was 270 Euros. It featured new items and a few classics such as the 5 ages of parmigiano reggiano and oops! I dropped the lemon tart. To be honest the classic menu sounded better, but it didn’t include the classic dishes Massimo Bottura is known for. Now I’m wondering if the classic menu would have changed the whole experience entirely.

We also ordered a 150 Euro bottle of Brunello, it was absolutely amazing. Shortly after, a rather large fruit fly flew into my significant other’s glass. It was swimming in the wine for a while and one of the servers noticed and informed the head waiter. The head waiter came and said “Let’s not let a good glass of wine go to waste.” What happens next was extremely shocking!

My in-laws watched our head water take it to the small table behind us and filter the wine through a cloth into a new glass. We were stunned! My significant other didn’t even want to drink it and left it on the table. He later told the head waiter that he was not comfortable drinking the wine as all he did was filter it. The head waiter assured us that it was safe to drink and that wine has a lot of sediment in it. Excuse me, this is not sediment it’s an “insect”. There were a few fruit flies flying around near our table, I’m surprised they don’t have some fly light traps to avoid this. After all his reasoning, he then asked if we would like a new glass of wine. The wine he replaced it with was disgusting. It tasted exactly like Welch’s prune juice and had a ton of sediment all over the glass when we swirled it. I can’t believe they even serve this wine in a 3 Michelin star restaurant, let alone the “#1 restaurant in the world”. Any plain old restaurant in North America would replace it no questions asked and with something either the same or better.

The first few courses were amazing, such as the seafood salad, complimentary starters, escargot, and the veal. Then it gradually got worse.

Burnt - sardine, squid, chili lemon broth. Presentation of this dish wasn’t appealing. The broth was very salty, and too fishy for our liking.

5 ages of Parmigiano Reggiano - I actually don’t understand why this dish is outstanding. I am not a huge cheese eater but the texture of the main part of the dish was like warm curdled ricotta.

Wagyu no Wagyu - prosciutto that mimics the look of wagyu, but unfortunately ruined by the amount of “ponzu” sauce they poured all over it. Completely overpowering the taste of the pork and made it really salty.

Eggplant between Noto and Istanbul - Lambroussco wine rose, ricotta, pistachio, eggplant, almond sorbet. This was tasty, however they forgot to pour the sauce for my significant other. By the time we saw our head waiter to inform him, his almond sorbet was already half melted. Did they offer to replace it? Nope!

Rum soaked napoli, strawberry marinated tomatoes, grated burnt orange and lemongrass ice cream - None of us finished the dish! None of the elements in this dish worked together.

Croccantino of foie gras (lollipop) - It was the first time I ever wanted to spit something out. The flavours did not go well together and the texture was extremely thick and hard to swallow. I had to wash it down with a ton of wine and water.

Camouflage - artichoke, mushroom and vanilla truffle. Another unpalatable dish, it was awful!

Oops! I dropped the lemon tart - without a doubt this was a superb dessert. Perfectly balanced in every way.

All four of us agreed that the food was subpar. Overhyped and overrated, trust me, don’t waste your time or efforts. Next year we will be going to El Cellar de can Roca, I pray it isn’t the same experience.

    • Value
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3  Thank Cindy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2018

Celebrated our daughter’s 16 th birthday in Italy! My husband wrote to chef Mossimo Bottura and they squeezed us in December 23 rd. They made it a wonderful experience for us with all the courses lasting over 3-4 hours . The chef personally came and met with us and took pictures as well. We dine in Michelin starred restaurants all over the world including our local Alinea and Grace in Chicago to fabulous ones in Paris and Tokyo and Barcelona and all over the US! But Chef Bottura’s dishes were beyond magnificent not just hype. Each dish was unique and incredibly delicious and well sourced. Loved his paintings too. We also got into La Pergola the only Michelin 3 star restaurant in Rome on her actual birthday December 25 th itself and it was more opulent in ambiance being in the Waldorf Astoria! But Osteria Francescana will always be a wonderful memory for us forever!

Thank weekendertravel_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2018 via mobile

The ambiance is superior it is beautiful yet inviting
The food and menu is superior my taste buds were activated as never before
The wine pairings were superior matching and bringing more flavours to the food and wine
The price list is definitely superior but worth it when you consider the above

Thank Alandesmond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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