The main dining hall of the restaurant
I like to think that a sign of a good restaurant (especially outside France) is its daring to put pan-fried duck liver in its menu. And thus far I've rarely been wrong about that.
I discovered that there was a restaurant in the castle in Formigine a few Sundays ago when I visited the ISM's stand there. The school had a stand to market itself to the public and it was just opposite the castle. When I saw that the castle was open, I decided to go in to take a look.
And then JA told me that she has already dined in the restaurant and would even recommend it, so I knew that I would have to give it a try.
Just inside the entrance of the castle
Mentioned it to JW and she immediately said that she would like to join me. I am really fortunate in my group of friends here in Modena, for while most women would be dieting and/or not want to spend too much money dining out, I could almost always count on a few of them partaking my tasting adventures.
Castello di Formigine
So we found ourselves sashaying into Ristorante Il Calcagnino on a Friday afternoon with no reservation for 3. LS joined us as well, though she was in quite a hurry - as usual. We were lucky to get a table as there was some lunch function that afternoon, with a looong table set for a group of mostly men (and 1 woman).
The restaurant's outdoor bar service
The service was quite attentive, with our waitress being quite fluent in English (though we could have spoken Italian, of course). The Chef himself (I think) took our orders and the menu was basically Modenese with a different touch here and there. Setting was lovely, with high ceilings in a restored medieval stone building, very charming.
Scaloppa di foie gras su misticanza con aceto balsamico tradizionale
I had Scaloppa di Foie Gras with Balsamic Vinegar to start followed by Filetto di Manzo ai porcini. JW had Zucchini Flowers and Tagliatelle con culatello e piselli while LS had rabbit ragu with pasta.
Tagliatelle "tonde" con Piselli freschi e Culatello
We were all happy with our orders. The duck liver was nicely cooked with no trace of the nerves, though the toasted brioche could be sliced thinner. The porcini that came with my beef were generous if a little too salty, and the meat was tender and tasty.
Filetto di Manzo ai Porcini
We all agreed that it would be worth coming back with the husbands.
Ristorante Il Calcagnino
Castello di Formigine
Tel : 329 2352830