So, how do you go about deciding where to eat and where not to eat in a new location? You can take a stroll through the streets and just pick a bar, café or restaurant that appeals to you; you can rely on a bit of local intelligence, as I described in my article on Osteria del Tempo Perso or you can do some research before you set out. All of the above can produce memorable global eating experiences and don’t let yourself be put off if any or all of them occasionally result in disappointing food, a bill that takes your wallet to the edge of a coronary seizure, or just all round mediocrity. These can and do happen, but more often than not, they won’t.
Choice of a light lunch shortly after arrival on a recent short holiday in Ravenna was dictated by a web search on “10 Best Places to Eat Lunch In Ravenna”...or the like. You could equally get a good indication of the places likely to please by using a web app like Foursquare or Tripadvisor. And if you’re hungry and eager to see the sights in the afternoon, limit yourself to about three recommendations, preferably grouped quite close to each so that you don’t spend ten to fifteen minutes walking to choice #2, if you don’t like the look of #1.
Ravenna’s Ca’ de Vèn gets high ratings from lots of Tripadvisor diners with good reason. It’s a great lunch venue, housed in a building that dates at least to the 14th century. Perfect Emilia-Romagna region choice for lunch? A piadina: a filled, flat bread, not unlike the flat breads of the middle east, but a bit thicker and solider.
You can get piadine anywhere in Italy; they’re now a national, rather than a purely regional cuisine, but Emilia-Romagna gave them to the rest of Italy and the world. I chose spinach, but the Tall Guy was in raptures about his prosciutto and squaquerone cheese filling. Excitable fellow. He’d already taken a good-sized bite before I had time to take the accompanying photograph! Might have had something to do with the generously sized glasses of local sangiovese we’d ordered. Ca’de Vèn: highly recommended.
A drink before the main evening meal is an Italian tradition. A glass of red or white wine, a prosecco, an aperol spritz or just a mineral water will always come with a tempting little assortment of “light bites.” Not quite as substantial as Spanish tapas, but the same idea; alcohol should always be an accompaniment to food. And there’s no shortage of places to go anywhere in Italy for your aperitivi. Bar Fargo was directly across the road from the lovely B&B Casa Masoli, where we were staying in Ravenna. Bar Fargo? That doesn’t sound very Italian. Sounds more like the Cohen Brothers. Correct on both counts, but we liked the look of the place – see the opening paragraph; method #1.
Beer! That’s not very Italian! No, but it’s very Bar Fargo. TTG ordered his standard cold weather beer of choice, a birra rossa, an ambery, flavoursome brew and I chose my all-year-rounder, a bionda or a German style lager. I thought I was getting a regular medium pour, but what came to the table was a small glass bucket without a handle! “How do I drink this?” I may have said; TTG got one of those smiles on his face. “You don’t have to...”
Great little bar, if not strictly traditional Italian and terrific nibbles to accompany. Nice music, ambience and friendly service. Time for a second round before dinner ?
Address: Ca' de Vèn: Via Corrado Ricci 24; Bar Fargo: Via Girolamo Rossi 17
Zip/Post Code: 48121
Location Tips: Both in the centro storico of Ravenna
N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc