A fish bar, a paranza wrap and a mayor

Sorry summer lovers out there, but I love autumn. The air gets crispier, the mind hosts a whole lot of new projects and so does my town. Via del Pratello was bright and colorful on tuesday evening, with a new place officially opening that simultaneously greeted the new season and looked back at the last, warmer season. L’amo (literally “The hook” but also sounding as “I love him/her/it”) is the latest in a little invasion of fish bars filling the principal hot spots of Bologna’s nightlife. What’s new about L’amo is a certain flair for sustainable food (as you can read on its manifesto), combined with a gourmet touch: the brainchild of Eurofishmarket, a little agency specializing on  information and teaching on the fish economy, and with a menu supervised by local star-chef Marcello Leoni, this little “cafe-à-poisson” aims to promote the less popular types of fish, those that are often neglected in favor of the most famous ones. And this both to honor the local product and to save money, with an eye on old traditions and forgotten recipes.

So what are we going to taste in the form of tapas and little street food plates at L’amo? Let’s say that “Tub gurnard” is the only entry whose english translation I found on wordreference.com. As for the others (moscardini, palamita, tracima, molo), you will have to come and found for yourself, and should you become really curious, you can cross the street and attend to one of the webminars on fish economy education that Eurofishmarket regularly organizes, in this curious blend of food and web-education.

I don’t know exactly what I was enjoying in my little paper wrap of fried little fish (we call it paranza down here), but it tasted delicious and everyone seemed rather pleased. By anyone, I mean even the mayor: I don’t know if he was intrigued by the project or attracted by the tempting smell (or rather, like the elderly barman on the neighboring “social bar” said, he just happens to always always pass by on his way home), but Virginio Merola spent a great deal of time at the opening, thus attracting a rather different, less “radical/post-student” bunch of people to the standard, relaxed crowd that animates Via del Pratello every night of the week. Oh dear… first step of gentrification?!

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