Mon - Fri: 10AM - 3PM
Sat & Sun: 11AM - 3PM
Mon - Sat: 6PM - 10PM
Mon - Th: 5PM - 12AM
Fri & Sat: 5pm - bar close
Emilia-Romagna is one of the 7 regions of Italy. It's in the center of Italy and includes some of Italy's most food-centric cities such as Bologna, Parma, and Modena and produces some of Italy's most famous products including Parmigiano-Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma, Mortadella, and Balsamic Vinegar. When I went to Italy I was lucky enough to get to stay with a family in Bologna for two of the three months I was there. I stayed with a woman named Serena, her husband Roberto, and their kids Sofia and Luca. When I was in culinary school about 9 years ago I met my friend Simone, she's from Brazil but her partner Gio is from a small town in Emilia-Romagna called Cesena. Gio is Serena's brother and when I was looking for an apartment so that I could stay longer, I called him and asked if he knew somewhere I could find one to rent, he told me he would make a phone call and call me back. He called me back a few minutes later and told me to go to Bologna to meet up with his sister Serena and she would help me. Not only did she help me, she took me in like I was one of her kids, she gave me the keys to an apartment they owned next door to theirs, she cooked for me and made me a coffee every day when I woke up, she took me to meet her entire family in Cesena one Sunday, she even did my laundry, despite my insistence that I could do it myself, she wouldn't take no for an answer. She did all of that while working as an English teacher at a local school. That is what the name Emilia comes from, that kind of hospitality and care that is so important and central to their way of life that it doesn't even take a second thought, they just do it. To me, the restaurant is named after Serena just as much as it's named after Emilia-Romagna and she is a perfect spokesperson for that philosophy, hopefully someday she'll be able to visit.
In Italy, it's common to see storefronts with a sign above the door or in the window that simply says "BAR". There, a bar isn't necessarily a typical bar you would find in America, in fact, they're often not. A bar in Italy is usually a place to get a quick espresso or caffe latte before work. Also typical of Italy, they usually order and drink their coffee at a standing-only counter or bar, hence the name. They sometimes have seats, but you usually have to pay more to sit down, and you have to pay even more to sit outside. Some bars also have panini and gelato.
At Emilia we want to take that concept of a simple espresso bar and apply it to our street level space during the day. We will have seats, and will charge the same no matter where you sit, but we will have counter service only with a small espresso menu, pastries and a selection of meats and cheeses for panini as well as piadina, which is a delicious flatbread sandwich that is found in the Romagna historical region that I ate my fair share of when I lived in Bologna. At night, that space will take on a more traditional bar setup. We will have an Italian-minded beer, wine and cocktail menu as well as some bar snacks including things like salumi and formaggi and fritto misto.
In Italy, a restaurante would be a full service restaurant, usually more on the fine-dining end of the spectrum with higher quality service and prices and an osteria would be more casual, with wine and simple food, a trattoria is somewhere in the middle. We want to give the quality of service you get in any restaurant, but we want to keep that feeling of a neighborhood spot that you get in a trattoria.
We want to be the kind of restaurant where locals and newcomers alike can enjoy a glass of wine with their tagiatelle al ragu or bring the whole family in for an Italian feast and share most of the menu. Our menu will be centered around our house-made pastas. Many of our pastas will be made by hand, though some shapes you can't make by hand will be made with an extruder, but they will all be made at the restaurant. While our pastas will be important, we will also have a number of risottos, meat dishes and vegetable dishes as well as some aperitivi and desserts. All of our menus will be very seasonal and will focus on using as many local ingredients as we can.