The new Bartolini: Cinque + 2

A visit to Fico in Bologna and the restaurant of the Tuscan chef. «I’m opening two bistros in Milan as well», he says

11-12-2017

Enrico Bartolini in front of his new restaurant Cinque (it is the fifth in Italy) inside Fico Eataly World in Bologna. The chef announces that he’s soon to open two bistros in Milan too. Plus...

Photogallery

Our lunch at Cinque in the photos by Tanio Liotta. We start with Cream of pumpkin from Mantua, almond milk, cream of anchovies and puntarelle with lemon. Aside from the bread basket and the salted butter with porcini (every restaurant of Bartolini’s has butter aromatised in a different way)
Manita: puffed rice with aromatic herbs, tuna sauce
Potato mousse, parsley sauce, bottarga, powdered capers: a dish that recalls the famous Patata soffice, uovo e uova. Delicious
Risotto "Tricolore" – sun dried tomatoes, Grana Padano 24 months, herbs (chives, basil). The San Marzano is both as sauce and chopped, the rice thickened with butter. Delicious, of course

We have already presented Enrico Bartolini’s tips (Enrico Bartolini: here are my favourite things at Fico) for a visit and tasting of the best Fico Eataly World has to offer in Bologna, at Oscar Farinetti’s new gourmet Disneyland of which so much has been said over the past few weeks. The five-star Tuscan chef – two at Mudec, one each at Andana in Castiglione della Pescaia, Casual in Bergamo and Glam in Venice – opened here his fifth Italian restaurant, to which one should also add the restaurants in Hong Kong, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. So the restaurant is called Cinque, and has resident chef Salvatore Amato, born in Taranto in 1989 and taken from country resort Borgo Valle Rita in Ginosa Marina (Ta), with experience as Angelo Sabatelli’s sous chef when he was in Putignano and a prior internship with Bartolini, in the days of Devero.

Below, you’ll read about our very satisfying meal. As a reporter, I must first speak of the further news affecting Bartolini’s universe, which is in fact a constantly growing galaxy: «I’m about to open two bistros, both in Milan, with my friends from Pandenus. The first will be in Brera, in Via Mercato 24, where once was Resentin. It should be ready soon. It will be beautiful. The other will be in Piazza Gae Aulenti, in the “nuova Milano”, and we hope to open after February».

Bartolini at Identità Milano

Bartolini at Identità Milano

It’s not the first time that Bartolini embraces the world of bistronomy, «even though I kept a distance for a long time, and I didn’t think I would be good at it. My first approach was at Devero, where clients needed an alternative to the gourmet restaurant, so we opened Bistrot Dodici 24. But it’s only with the bistro on the ground floor at Mudec, that I started refining this potential. I recently started to see the right accomplishment of my ideas, and I now believe I can present there at least 5 fantastic dishes. So, with this experience, this model, I decided to hesitate no longer and accept the proposal that came from the guys at Pandenus, with whom I’ve been working for some time. They were pressing, I have been prudent for a long time: no more».

What will Bartolini’s new bistros be like? «We want to find the right harmony with those who don’t necessarily want fine dining, and with the characterful clients at Mudec, who love both eating on the third floor and enjoying the bistro offer». There will be high quality coffee machines (with Gianni Frasi of Giamaica Caffè, «we will give the highest freedom to his creativity»), short menus for lunch and dinner. «We’ll also have gourmet pizza, and nice tableware, a good selection of “laid-back” wines, in very nice places, seating some 50 people, all at the right price». Dishes will cost between 10 and 25 euros, «I also have two very good chefs currently training». A rather intriguing news, and Bartolini continues: «I also have two more restaurants in mind [not bistros, but restaurants] but I will say no more for now, we’re still not totally ready».

Tables at Cinque

Tables at Cinque

It would be nice to discover the secret behind Bartolini’s growth, which seems unstoppable. The memory goes back to 2016, when – says the chef himself - «many thought I was crazy because I opened 7 of the 8 restaurants I now run in the space of four months». The eighth is Cinque, and we ask Enrico why this choice. He says: «It was a bit by chance. Association Le Soste, of which I am a member, wanted to create a point of reference inside Fico. They said: “Enrico, given you’re opening so many restaurants, why don’t you go there too?”. I said that for this same reason it was better if someone else did it. Then I gave a look at the project and realised we could start here too, and run a high quality restaurant: the idea was feasible». Said and done.

According to the agreement with Le Soste, as of January Cinque will host chefs who are members of the association six times a year, for two weeks. This way it will be possible to present a menu designed by two minds, Bartolini’s and the guest’s: «At Le Soste there are great professionals, real veterans. Creating this connection is very important for me».

Salvatore Amato

Salvatore Amato

Salvatore Amato will manage all the work, with a brigade including Fortunato Ranieri, Daniele Pecoraro, Moroccan Saad Rami from Tangeri, all previously at Mudec, and in the dining room maître Roberto Redolfi, born in 1984 in Valbrembo, previously at Casual. «Salvatore is putting himself to the test, with us. He feels a strong responsibility. He’s a big guy, but his generosity is even greater. He’s completely independent in this first real experience with me; I took him with me to Asia for a few months, because now he’ll be a stuck here all the time».

At Cinque you won’t find Bartolini’s classics, «we decided we’ll no longer serve the same dish in different restaurants. Each one must have a completely different offer». And what if a client asks, for instance, for his famous Risotto with beetroot and gorgonzola sauce? «We’ll make it, but off the menu, of course. And it will be interpreted differently. Same style, perhaps, same technique, same intensity, but the recipe will not be the same. We will change it based on the territory and the biodiversity. I’m not a fanatic of standardization: that’s not what I want. This is why I always need to have real chefs as my collaborators: in terms of quality, Cinque must be worth as much as Mudec. Plus this place is born with the idea of using only Italian ingredients».

The entrance to Cinque

The entrance to Cinque

Still, in what appears to be a titanic work of differentiation, something is constant: «When we decide to open a new place we do it based on shared criteria, like a list of guidelines, that must be applied everywhere. The goal is to guarantee the client’s comfort always. Clients must be looked after even in terms of emotions, by creating an agreeable atmosphere, without ever being set apart». And then, «I will never accept doing a bad job for the sake of larger numbers. We could add more tables here and lower the bill, and I won’t do it. I’m not worried. Economic sustainability is possible. When present, I immediately perceive any sign of low appreciation. In Italy it happens often. There’s a common rigid approach to new things, almost everywhere even if not in Milan. Creating a new place in Italy is hard, expensive: but I like to try. My restaurants abroad are going very well but I’m distant, even emotionally. Distance makes you weak».

So he prefers to focus on Italy, with all the difficulties it implies: «When we started here in Bologna, we didn’t even have the pans to make some of the dishes. We fixed that. Am I happy? Perhaps happy is too much: let’s say I’m satisfied». (Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso)

In the photo gallery by Tanio Liotta, our lunch at Enrico Bartolini’s Cinque.
 

Cinque - Enrico Bartolini & Le Soste
at Fico - Eataly World
Via Paolo Canali 8, Bologna
Tel. +39 051 0029246
Average prices: starters 23 euros, first courses 27, main courses 31, desserts 15
Tasting menu at 90 euros
Open every day, for lunch and dinner 


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Carlo Mangio

An outdoor trip or a journey to the other side of the planet?
One thing is for sure: the destination is delicious, by Carlo Passera


Photogallery

Our lunch at Cinque in the photos by Tanio Liotta. We start with Cream of pumpkin from Mantua, almond milk, cream of anchovies and puntarelle with lemon. Aside from the bread basket and the salted butter with porcini (every restaurant of Bartolini’s has butter aromatised in a different way)
Manita: puffed rice with aromatic herbs, tuna sauce
Potato mousse, parsley sauce, bottarga, powdered capers: a dish that recalls the famous Patata soffice, uovo e uova. Delicious
Risotto "Tricolore" – sun dried tomatoes, Grana Padano 24 months, herbs (chives, basil). The San Marzano is both as sauce and chopped, the rice thickened with butter. Delicious, of course
Spaghetti garlic and oil with a soup of sea urchins. Unexpectedly delicate
Sturgeon with parsley sauce, anise and mushrooms. The sturgeon is from Ticino, from Ars Italica, plus turnip tops, peperoni cruschi, bread sauce
Pork cheek with horseradish and amatriciana sauce. The cheek is cooked for 16 hours and served with potatoes and gnocchi with amatriciana sauce, Bartolini imagined this recipe for the "7 chef per Amatrice" event, see 7 chefs for Amatrice, the great cuisine is twice as good
Mandarin sorbet, citrus crumble, fresh mandarin
Rose gelato, raspberry, yogurt and liquorice. Raspberries are both fresh and as a frozen sauce, forming a sort of wafer