Friday, September 18, 2015

Dining in Bolzano

We eat really well during our 4-night stay in Bolzano.  The first night, we are sitting in the main square, Piazza Walther Platz, sipping a glass of prosecco and looking at the restaurants around the square.  They look ok, but we think there must be a dining street/district somewhere nearby and we start to wander out of the main square on Mustergasse (via Della Mostra).  We only have to go two blocks to Via Goethe Strasse and we find it – restaurant after restaurant with happy people enjoying their dinners.

One of the first restaurants we come across appeals to us.  Wirtshaus Voegele has tables outside that are packed, but one two-seat table is sitting empty by a column and calls to us.  We sit and have an incredible meal.  We first share speck, which comes thin sliced with a dab of horseradish in the middle, and bruschetta.  For our main course, Laura has tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms and I have cavatelli and octopus.  Both are fabulous.  Our server recommends a bottle of local red wine, and together with a bottle of sparkling water, our bill for the meal is 69.2 euros ($78.85).

Speck for the appetizer

The second night, we wander down a side street from Via Goethe Strasse, onto Via Portici and spot the Paulender Stuben, bearing the brand of the famous Munich brewery.  We sit outside again and have two pizzas, Diavolo, with spicy salami, tomato, mozzarella, and sweet peppers, and 4 Stagioni, with tomato, mozzarella, cooked ham, mushrooms, artichokes, and olives.  They are both excellent and combined with a liter of house Merlot, this dinner costs us 28.2 euros ($32.08)

We go back to Paulender Stuben for lunch a few days later and share a Diavolo pizza and some wine.  Perfect for lunch.

We have another great lunch at the Fischbanke restaurant, down a different side street from Via Goethe Strasse.  Fischbanke uses old fish cleaning benches as tables for great atmosphere.  We each have a Spritz (Prosecco, Aperol, and sparkling mineral water), quite refreshing, and then share a tomato mozzarella bruschetta.

 Fischbanke restaurant

The third night, we join in the festivities at the every-other-year city festival, Altstadtefest 2015, and share a plate of calamari and fries from a stand for 8 euros ($9.11) and a bottle of wine from another stand for 13 euros ($14.78).

Plate of Calamari with fries at Altstadefest 2015

The festival has many food stands and tents where one can sit, enjoy the music, and order from the menu that is thumbtacked to the table.

Menu in one of the food tents at Altstadtfest 2015

The fourth and last night, we go back to Wirtshaus Voegele.  It is Saturday night, but we can get a seat as the festival is still going on and attracting many of the people in town.  We share the speck again to start (no bruschetta this time) and Laura has the same entrée as before, tagliatelle with porcini.  I stick with the octopus theme, going for octopus ravioli this time.  What a great combination of tastes and one that we would never dream of - octopus in ravioli.  Wow.  With a different bottle of local red wine and a liter of sparkling water, the bill comes to 59.3 euros ($67.58).

As we walk through the city during the day, we pass through the local market in the street and sample the cheeses and meats that are featured.  Everything looks fresh and good.

 Street food market in Bolzano

 Vegetable stand at the market

 Meat and cheese stand at the market

But, if you're not into fresh food, there is always the universal alternative.

Pizza delivery

We could come back to Bolzano for the food alone!

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