Osteria Francescana – Modena

Osteria Francescana

 Online Reservations
Via Stella, 22, 41121 Modena MO, Italy
0039 059 223912

Sunday & Monday Closed

Chef: Massimo Bottura

Massimo Bottura is one of the biggest monuments in culinary Italy. When visiting Modena as part of our holiday it was obvious we had to do our utmost to get a table in the renowned Osteria Francescana. Not an easy job but the persistence wins!

Osteria Francescana is ranked amongst the top restaurants in the world: third place on the International restaurant list Wbpstars.com and even a second place on the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best.

S.Pellegrino 50 Best

S.Pellegrino 50 Best

Chef Massimo Bottura opened his first restaurant, a roadside trattoria named Campazzo, in 1986 in Modena. Later on he travelled around the kitchens of chef Georges Cogny at restaurant Antica Osteria del Teatro in Piacenza. Afterwards Massimo worked at Ducasse’s Louis XV in Monaco and in 1995 Massimo Bottura opened Osteria Francescana. In 1999 the chef went for a summer apprenticeship at elBulli in Spain.

Dining at Osteria Francescana is like exploring the dreams and visions of a creative chef. He creates dishes with references to his childhood, to travels and events of his live. His innovative cooking techniques are being counter balanced with some more classic Italian dishes.

The restaurant is located in Modena’s quiet back streets and houses a series of special modern artworks across the two dining spaces.Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura

Restaurant Osteria Francescana offers an a la carte menu with a lot of choices, a 12-course tasting menu ‘Sensations’ for €195 and a 9-course ‘Traditions in evolution’ menu for €170. Bottura is renowned for his modern twist on Italian cooking but his menu also includes signature classics such as tagliatelle with hand-chopped ragu, the five ages of Parmesan and risotto cooked with veal jus. For our dinner we asked the maître to serve us a tasting menu with a mixture of contemporary dishes and all time classics.

Arriving at Osteria Francescana means a big traditional welcome with several waiters lined up. Our first impression was entering a very classical restaurant with modern art, which misses a bit of vibrant atmosphere. As an appetizer we enjoyed an outstanding glass of Ca’ del Bosco, Franciacorta DOCG.

We started our tasting menu with Fish & Chips: a crisp, deep-fried sandwich with an Aula fish filling. The quenelle on top of the sandwich was made from Carpione ice cream with fresh herbs.Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura

Crunchy bread filled with tomato & olives.Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura

Macaroon filled with rabbit stew.Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura

Several varieties of bread were served  – grissini and soft and crusty baked sour dough bread.Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura

Oyster came with verbena, green apple and a lemon ball.Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura

The war of Greece: a Mediterranean open ravioli made of cucumber, filled with eel and finished with tzatziki. The ravioli was served in a broth with mint.Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura

The chef continued to serve dishes with a story in a creative way. A traditional fish soup was deconstructed. Mussel and clam puree was made with the soup ingredients. The puree was topped with a nicely cooked variety of fish and shellfish while the seaweed crackers gave texture to the dish. A delicious and intense soup came aside.Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura

While the restaurant music excelled in dullness we were served a simple dish that did not totally impress. A memory to a Mortadella sandwich was given by serving Mortadella foam with pistachio crumble and traditional Modenese bread. A cracker with lardo, black truffle and Parmesan was added.Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura

Osteria Francescana - Massimo BotturaFoie gras served in a ice cream version as a bar showed the geniality of this chef. Nicely balanced flavours, perfect structures and refined richness made this combination of foie gras, balsamic vinegar from Modena, hazelnuts and almonds outstanding.Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura

To make a special dish with only one ingredient is ingenious. Parmesan was the key to this success. The Five Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano was delicate in its presentation but rich, intense and overwhelming. In his book Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef  Massimo says it is no longer made with one ingredient, but two: Parmigiano Reggiano and time.Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura

Lasagne time! A superb ragout with cream of béchamel and topped with crunchy parts from the pasta.Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura

Spin-painted veal. Eye catcher of the evening was the main course inspired on a painting of Damien Hirst whose art is also present in the restaurant. The meat was so tender and sous vide prepared after being folded in ashes. The color scheme reminded me to the Italian flag and was made of the sauces and vegetables to complement the dish. A bit of texture would have given more body.Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura

Finishing the main course with a fresh salad is a nice tradition. Today this was a version of the Caesar salad, which was finished with almonds, and a selection of flowers.Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura

The first dessert got its inspiration from the Mont Blanc. Green Meringue served in the shape of a mountain with cream of raspberries, ice cream and almond foam in the middle.Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura

The final course was Osteria Francescana’s world-famous dessert called ‘Oops! I dropped the lemon tart’. A kind of constructed dish was made to look like someone dropped the lemon tart. Nicely presented on a designed plate. On the plate are small cubes of spicy apple, lemon, a bergamot jelly and some drops of chilli and lemon oil and honeyed capers. The tart consisted of a lemon and limoncello zabaglione splashed on the plate with a lemongrass sorbet and a broken biscuit.Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura

The show of reconstructions continued with a cherry made of chocolates, which was followed by tasteful homemade mignardises.Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura Osteria Francescana - Massimo Bottura

Overall, the experience at Osteria Francescana is one of a kind. In a roller-coaster of creativity, dishes are served with a vision and a story. One of my favourite dishes of the dinner was the fantastic play on Parmigiano Reggiano, one of Emilia-Romagna’s most famous products. The cheese is transformed into a mousse, a foam, a cream, a soufflé and a crisp using Parmigiano cheeses that have been aged between 25 to 50 months. Not all dishes reach the same top-level but I am not there to judge the lists. Chef Bottura personally greeted all the guests and for sure is one of the biggest culinary artists of the World.


Be-Gusto score:                         18,5/20

Be-Gusto price/quality score: 18/20


Osteria Francescana


Via Stella, 22

41121 Modena MO, Italy

Tel: +39 059 223912


Sunday & Monday Closed


4 Responses to “Osteria Francescana – Modena”
  1. Celea Benjamin says:

    Ik ga in september naar Italië en ben van plan een reservatie te bemachtigen bij Osteria Francescana. Heb je eventueel tips? Hoe verloopt de reservatieprocedure? Op voorhand bedankt.
    celea Benjamin

  2. begusto says:

    Beste Benjamin,
    Het best is hen te mailen met de dagen dat je in de buurt bent en er kan eten en te vragen wanneer ze beschikbaarheid hebben. Zo is het bij ons gelukt;)

  3. Celea Benjamin says:

    Bedankt voor de tip. Hoe lang op voorhand doe ik dat het best, want hun reservaties starten 3 maanden voor datum?



  4. begusto says:

    Inderdaad bij ons was het rond de 3 maanden denk ik.