210. Bologna Via Cucina – November 30, 2016 – Rochester, MI

Happy Sunday, all! Did you get a chance to explore this weekend? Blessedly, I did; I got to try three new-to-me places this weekend, which I’m excited to post about on the blog next week! But today, it’s all about Bologna Via Cucina in Rochester.

Downtown Rochester is a treat to visit right now, with the Main Street buildings all brightly aglow come nightfall, decked out in holiday lights. The exterior of Italian restaurant Bologna Via Cucina is adorned with a shower of rainbow-colored lights.

Inside, the immediate storefront and bar area are tiny. There’s additional seating down a small hallway that snakes past the kitchen and bathroom. The interior has a cozy, sophisticated vibe. I found myself musing over that Billy Joel song, “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant.” Remember that one? “Bottle of red, bottle of white . . ..” OK, getting tangential here – focus, Jackie! In a nutshell, the restaurant gets high marks for style.

It also gets high marks for food! The Italian wedding soup was excellent. It had little cheese raviolis in the soup in addition to the meatballs and the spinach and all of that jazz. And my fettucine alfredo, despite its simplicity, was pretty great. It had a very rich, garlicky bechamel cheese sauce and thick, doughy pappardelle noodles.

Sometimes, simple is all you need. Although admittedly, ordering fettucine alfredo at an Italian restaurant is out of character for me – because in general, my stance is why choose an entree that I can easily prepare at home? Consequently, I usually steer toward novel or complex dishes. But when ordering at Bologna, I was annoyingly indecisive and craving cream sauce; hence, this impulse choice.

Later, I was regretful, as there were so many excellent-sounding and atypical choices on Bologna’s menu, such as the Maddie pizza topped with peaches, burrata cheese, basil, speck (a type of Italian cured pork), and a balsamic glaze; and the Traverse City Chicken, described on the menu as “almond crusted chicken, dried cherries, button mushrooms, cherry brandy béchamel” (and which my mom got and loved). For God’s sake, there is even a create-your-own pasta option where you can pick your noodle variety and sauce and add various meats and veggies! What can I say, I got an uncharacteristic bout of decision paralysis. Maybe I subconsciously wanted an excuse to come back and enjoy that cozy dining area fronting postcard-perfect Main Street.

334 S. Main St.

Rochester, MI 48307

www.joebologna.com

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