When I watched the second season of “Master of None” on Netflix, I wanted to hop on a plane and go to Italy. The way they depicted the small town of Modena was everything I imagined Italy to be. It was right then and there that my husband and I added Modena to our itinerary.
It wouldn’t be right visiting Modena without dining at one of their many well-established restaurants. Although it was difficult to choose, we decided to book a reservation at the #1 rated restaurant on Trip Advisor, Antica Moka. With one Michelin star, this restaurant offered tasting menus starting at only 60 euros. We were sold.
Antica Moka is a family run restaurant with the mother, Anna Maria running the kitchen and her son running the front of the house. Anna Maria comes from a family of cheesemakers while her husband, Giuseppe is the founder of Giuseppe balsamic vinegar, one of the traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena. If that doesn’t impress you, Antica Moka has one of the most extensive wine cellars boasting over 900 wines.
There are two tasting menus available, the “Our Tradition” and the “All at Sea.” I was torn between the two but decided to try the seafood menu.
We started dinner with tuttocrudo. Call me Asian, but I like to think of this as Italian sushi. Finished with extra virgin olive oil, the course was fresh and light.The second course was my favorite of the night, lobster burrata. Creamy burrata paired with fresh tomatoes, steamed lobster and basil is the perfect combination. Next, we had squid ink pasta with scallops, mullet roe, and cream of shellfish. The pasta was perfectly cooked and the although it was paired with a creamy sauce, the dish did not feel heavy. After looking at reviews of Antica Moca, I came to understand that the tortellini in brodo was the dish to order. Since we ordered the seafood tasting menu, we did not have that meal, however, we did have the opportunity to taste the fish tortellini. I will say, I am still curious to try the tortellini in brodo if we return.Following the tortellini was mackerel with kalamata olives, lemon, and cabbage. The last course before the desserts was grilled tuna in pistachio crust with venus rice and bergamot mayonnaise. A bonus dessert of chocolate macaron with chocolate and lemon sauce. And we come to the final course, a semifreddo with lime and ginger yogurt and rhubarb soup.
The highlight of the night was when the chef, Anna Maria came to greet all of the guests. Although she did not speak English, the server was able to translate for us. She was incredibly sweet, stating that she hoped we enjoyed the meal and that everything was up to our expectations. You can tell that her passion for food has not dulled even after many years.
And that concludes our experience at Antica Moka. Stay tuned for the next adventure, Venice in 1 Day.
Next up: Venice in 1 Day.