When DL suggested going to Via Emilia I was happy to say yes. I'd enjoyed the meal I'd had there last time, and since the place is tasty, inexpensive, and close to her office, meeting up there for lunch was an easy decision.
As before, they started us off with a basket of sliced focaccia and a dish of fruity olive oil for dipping.
As a starter we went for one of the day's specials, mozzarella in carroza. I have a feeling this is one of those recipes that has a lot of variations, but the basic concept seems to involve slipping mozzarella cheese between two slices of bread, and then dipping the whole thing in batter and pan-frying it until the bread crisps and the cheese gets gooey. Like the love child of french toast and grilled cheese, maybe. Via Emila's version added thin slices of proscuitto to the mix, as well as a weird green puree on the side that tasted vaguely of spinach. I don't know what that puree was supposed to accomplish, but it neither added or detracted from the dish.
During my last meal at Via Emilia I'd eyed my friend's tagliatelle al ragu with envy, and I seized the opportunity to order it for myself this time. I have a feeling I've found my go-to dish at this restaurant—the tender ribbons of fresh pasta were coated in a rich, beefy sauce that made each bite pure pleasure. DL ordered the farfalle al salmon I had liked, but after the tagliatelle al ragu I wasn't even interested in taking a bite.
I think I crave that fresh pasta even now…I might have to start looking into how to make my own.