Giorgia Zabbini, who knows everyone in Bologna, introduced us to Filippo Russo who set up and runs Olivo. ‘Sometimes you need a change from the trattoria bolognesa with its tortellini and all the classic dishes’, he explained. ‘We take the classic approach and ingredients but give them a modern twist more linked to the Mediterranean.’ An engineer by trade, Filippo also runs an upmarket seafood restaurant in Rimini. ‘At lunchtime we want to offer something affordable, with more elaborate food in the evening.’ A two course lunch with wine, dessert and coffee costs 20 euro.
My tagliolini with baby plum tomatoes and basil was that exemplary Italian dish – perfect ingredients, simply combined with under-stated skill. Ruth is still raving about the seafood pasta she ate there, rigatoni with clams and mussels. The menu changes daily, according to what is in the market.
As well as food, Olivo offers live music in the evening. Right in the heart of the commercial and the university districts, Filippo says it’s like a party at night, with a younger set.
We lunched with Filippo, Giorgia and with Federico Aicardi, song-writer and guitar player. Federico’s day job is running a pharmacy, the Aicardi pharmacy with its gorgeous art nouveau facade, just across the road from Olivo. But he’s probably best known in Bologna as a singer as you can hear at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osvo7nteq9c&feature=related
Piazza Aldrovandi 21b
+39 051 08 788 72