An Italian restaurant with a feel for food – Il Bolognese also boasts an atmosphere that is relaxed and friendly
by Christopher Scott Dixon
Take a large, two-level renovated house set in a lovely garden, located in a leafy soi just off the main Sathorn Road. Throw in an enthusiastic manager and an extensive menu, and you have Il Bolognese. Formerly named Sambucca, the restaurant combines attentive customer service with a superb range of food.
When we went along on a Sunday afternoon the outside dining area with a beautiful water feature was busy, as was the interior area. The centerpiece is the wood oven where the pizzas — regarded as the best in the city — are cooked. The color and décor give the place a rustic feel: creams, maroons and greens, terracotta tiles, and dark wooden furniture.
Replicating the hospitality and laidback style of the city of Bologna from where the restaurant gets its name is crucial, manager Andrea Bernardi explains. “It doesn’t matter how much people spend,” Andrea says. “We care about them and the fact that they come to the restaurant. We put our soul into our food and it’s the same in the way we treat our guests. We want them to enjoy their experiences with us.”
The mix of customers greeted by Andrea certainly confirms that many are regulars. They arrive almost as if it’s their second home. The atmosphere is always relaxed and friendly.
A moreish Polpette Di Melanze (eggplant balls with tomato sauce and stracciatella) was scoffed within moments of the plate arriving at our table. Equally worthy of praise was the Caramelle Croccanti homemade pasta filled with blue cheese and speck in a delicious white truffle cream parmesan sauce. Just writing these words makes me hungry for it again!
Strozzapreti Alle Canocchie, which means “strangle the priest” — traditional homemade pasta with crayfish in a creamy tomato sauce — was enjoyed next. You must let Andrea tell you the story about the name when you go.
The pizza passion is evidenced by the fact that there are two dedicated pizza menus: a standard and a special. “Artisanal dough slow-matured up to 72 hours, thick on the edges, and thin inside,” says the quote from the menu. We sampled an aromatic, taste-packed Parma E Stracciatella pizza bread with rosemary, parma ham, burrata, and oregano. We were not without liquid refreshment as we drank a gentle–on-the-palate Poggio Del Sasso 2014 white wine. The second pizza was as delicious as the first; this time a standard but impressive Partenopea with imported buffalo mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, basil, and oregano in a rich Italian tomato sauce.
The energetic Andrea appeared again to provide us with a new dessert called Zabaione E Gelato made with warm Italian custard from an old recipe with egg, sugar, and marsala topped with vanilla ice cream — in a word it is yummy.
Il Bolognese: Premium ingredients, quality food, and good service in a cozy environment.
Il Bolognese Trattoria e Pizzeria
139/3 Sathorn Soi 7, Bangkok