Marcello Leoni


via Stalingrado 37 - Porta Europa
Bologna (Bo)

A wild roar in the silence of the restaurant sector in Bologna, Marcello Leoni. Great name in the world of Bolognese restaurants, he can rely on past experience at Trigabolo in Argenta, then at the side of Gianfranco Vissani, “the greatest Italian chef of our time, a concentrate of creativity, gastronomic culture and great professionalism”, is how he describes the master of Baschi. The passage to the role of chef patron came in 1998 with the acquisition, together with his brother Gianluca, of Sole in Trebbo di Reno. Here the Leoni brothers develop their own personal form of cuisine, which they call “classic-atomic”: distinguished by the immense care and knowledge of the product, with a clear preference for organic food, but also for choral nature, extravagance and creative lunges, with sporadic excursions into molecular cooking.


The great turning point came in February 2012: the ambitious new restaurant in the city of Bologna, which floats on the city like the scent of something good. Under the platform of the whale, the Unipol headquarters, the traffic linking the nerve centres of Bolognese business rushes past, awaiting the arrival (another late-arriving Godot) of the much contested people mover. Porta Europa, thirteenth gate of Bologna, erected in this third millennium, is an imaginative structure made of iron and glass, above the tourbillon of the city. But inside Moby Dick’s stomach, silence reigns supreme. Curved structures like ribs to protect guests during their long crossings.

A treasure chest like this, the preparation of which kept Marcello and the supporting insurance company busy for over a year after the closure of the old Sole in Trebbo di Reno, makes the Petronian gourmets dream. And in these first tastes, they were able to delight their palates with a mature and personal cuisine, capable of reaping the dividends of the long experience alongside Vissani, revaluating them on the basis of contemporary rates. Succulence, dissolution, envelopments triggered by humble potatoes, rustic cabbages and silky cannellini emulate the decadent sensuality of the French noblesse, without forgoing the galvanising sprint of what is both Mediterranean and popular at the same time. While the generosity is not diminished by an up-to-date simplicity which sharpens contrasts and softens excesses, taking the direction of an unusual clarity.
Old, new and rethought dishes compose a mix that marks the extent of the change underway. The originality of the formula is contributed to by Marcello’s wife Valentina Tepedino, a great expert on fish, with Eurofishmarket, under whose management the whims of the past have given way to innovative uses of whiting and rock goby, raised to gastronomic glory by experimentation.


Has participated in

Identità Milano


Alessandra Meldolesi

Umbra di Perugia con residenza a Bologna, è giornalista e scrittrice di cucina. Tra i numeri volumi tradotti e curati, spicca "6, autoritratto della Cucina Italiana d’Avanguardia" per Cucina & Vini