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Marco Fadiga Bistrot, Bologna

23c Via Rialto
Italy 40124
Tel: 39 051 220 118's insider take:

Tucked away in a courtyard, this in-crowd diner weds the informality of a Parisian bistro with the culinary intensity of serious Italian chef Marco Fadiga—a young protégé of Milanese super-chef Gualtiero Marchesi. So the walls are painted in raunchy hues, Piaf is playing on the stereo, and the menu is chalked on a portable blackboard—but the dishes themselves are ambitious creations like sea bass tartar with a salad of apricots, mango, chervil, and almonds, or stracchino-filled ravioli served in a sauce of cime di rapa (turnip tops) and anchovies. Some of the combos, like the salmon marinated in coffee, are a little too daring for their own good, but most of Fadiga's intuitions work, and with the strong emphasis here on seafood (including oysters delivered daily), fruit, and vegetables, the late-closing Bistrot offers light relief from Bologna's meaty, calorific traditional cuisine.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 7:30 pm to 12:30 am and Sundays for lunch.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.