If you’re visiting Italy any time soon, why not make a pit stop in Modena to dine at Osteria Francescana? Famed Italian chef Massimo Bottura’s restaurant contains just 28 seats, but there are 25 cooks in the kitchen.
At the restaurant, Bottura serves traditional Italian cuisine reinvented for the modern age, with ingredients sourced from farmers, artisans and fisherman. Recipes are based on dishes that his nonna would make, and come paired with childhood tales of the Emilia-Romagna region he grew up in.
Bottura’s signature dish is called “five ages of Parmigiano Reggiano in different textures and temperatures” and features just that: parmesan cheese, aged 24 to 40 months of age, prepared in five different ways, as cream, foam, mousse, gelato and wafer, all at various temperatures.
It’s difficult to get a reservation at Osteria Francescana, but since it’s in a somewhat remote region, cancellations occur often. If you can’t snag a seat, experience Bottura’s cuisine at Francescana’s sister restaurant, Franceschetta 58. Here, Bottura serves more casual fare, including a burger, various types of pasta and main courses like branzino with lentils.