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LA BAITA - FAENZA
Escapes | Near Bologna | Restaurants | Food & Wine
This little gem of a shop/restaurant finds itself in little Faenza, a place that recently has come to light for its delicious traditional cooking and the many delightful places within it that have mastered the classics of the region.
You realise you are in a special place as soon as you walk inside this beautiful little shop: you are met by an L-shaped counter, one side containing 80 different types of cured meats, from the traditional Prosciutto to the prized cut of Emilia-Romagna - Culatello, and the other side of the counter is dominated by a mountain of cheese with over 270 different varieties, and even with these outstanding numbers the most incredible thing is that 90 percent of these products come from within the region.
This is very impressive but owner Roberto Olmeti hasn't shown me his wines yet.
An enormous selection of over 1800 different wines, of which 95% are of Italian origin, and around 60 bottles come from the region of Emilia-Romagna.
A true testament to the variety and quality of products available in the region and Italy.
The shop is run by a charming lady who we can immediately recognise as being of crucial importance by the enormous self-portrait hung on one the shop walls.
The entire establishment is in fact run by the family of Roberto Olmeti and his wife (the lady in the self-portrait) Rosanna Crudeli.
Robertone, as he likes to be called, runs the restaurant side of the business with enviable passion and drive.
He researches all the products, demands to know the entire history of any meat that enters his kitchen from birth to slaughterhouse and is willing to show anyone the paperwork documenting all this information.
He personally tours the markets searching for the freshest products and changes his menu every week depending on the products he finds.
This enormous effort pays of with both new costumers and returning costumers.
The freshness and quality of the food turns the new customers into returning customers and the returning customers are delighted to find new dishes to try.
Some of the dishes on offer the week I went there were the delicious Tagliatelle with "Mora Romagnola" ragout (a breed of pig native to Emilia-Romagna) and free-range rabbit baked with tomato sauce served with potatoes baked in the rabbit's fat.
La Baita (Faenza) is around 1 hour away from Bologna by train
Closed on Sunday and Monday
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Article extracted from the Autumn Issue of Bologna For Connoisseurs 2012 to celebrate the hotel's centenary year.