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Florence 2022 And Beyond


weinoo
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Significant Eater and I recently spent almost a week in the museum known as city of Florence; Firenze, as it's called in Italy. It's such a great city for walking everywhere that we did not get into a cab, Uber, or public transit even once. That includes our nightly meals, which were in different neighborhoods in the city, but still all within a good, healthy walk.

 

Arriving around midday on a Sunday was just right.  We were able to check into our apartment a few hours ahead of the standard check-in time, settle in, relax a bit, enjoy the view, etc. etc.  I may have even made a run to the small grocery a block or two away, to stock the fridge with waters, breakfasts and snacks. Think yogurts, fruit, bread for toasting, cheese, etc. I even diverted a bit to a favorite coffee shop, to bring back a bag of freshly ground beans for morning pour-over. The apartment was equipped with the standard Keurig, but I'm not a big fan, so I bring along one of these (eG-friendly Amazon.com link), and a stack of filters...light as a feather, and perfect for pour-overs for two.

 

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On our first night, we ate late to try to get a little time sync going, at a restaurant just up the street. But first we stopped at a little bar for our aperitivo, something that has become a bit of a tradition when we travel. 

 

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Negronis, of course, served as they most often are, with a light snack; classy, don't you think? A trend I wish would appear here, but unlikely to.

 

Cammillo Trattoria

 

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A funny thing happened on the way to that Castello Chianti - they were out of the first two wines I asked for, so we agreed on this one, and it was pretty good. The salumi however, were great.

 

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An excellent (shared) primi of tortellini in tomato sauce.

 

One of my favorites for secondi, along with a side of very well cooked greens...

 

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Agnello alla Scottadito - basically, burn your fingers lamb chops, which were delicious. 

 

Absolutely recommend this place - pretty darn classic.

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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The simplicity and honoring of ingredients always strikes me.  I jump between complex combinations like Asia and tasting the essence. Room for both of course when well executed.Thanks for sharing and looking forward to more.

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Someone whose name I won't mention once said, about Italian cooking (and I'm paraphrasing), use good ingredients, don't fuck them up while preparing them, serve them.  It's quite primal, and it's really some of my favorite food, both to prepare and to enjoy out, when cooked or prepared properly.  Those lamb chops above are a perfect example; I could make them at home (well, especially if I had a grill)...but can I get that same lamb?  (Actually, I can get pretty great salt-marsh lamb from Canada in late spring/early summer; the grill is the hard part).

 

Monday, our first full day in Florence, meant a lot of walking around - reacquainting ourselves with the city, visiting a couple of churches, snacking, etc.  We don't generally eat big lunches (but have a nice breakfast at a much later time than we might at home), preferring to make dinner the big restaurant meal of the day. There are still nice street markets in Florence...

 

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And any number of chestnut vendors, as chestnut season (Italian chestnuts are light years better than the stuff imported to the US from, say, China) is in full swing...

 

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La Cucina del Ghianda

 

This is a lovely place - we had dined here on a previous trip 5 or so years ago.  During the day, it functions as an alimentari, selling lots of takeout food and quick lunches; at night, it morphs into a restaurant.

 

Shared a bunch of appetizers...

 

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Smoked mackerel pate and bacala mantecato.

 

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The bread is absolutely not good, but works as a good carrier to the mouth.

 

And I'm pretty sure @Duvel and @rotuts have seen this cut, though possibly not from pigs raised in the hills of Tuscany...

 

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And this wine comes from basically the same place as the pigs...

 

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There was more (dessert, pasta, etc.); sadly, sans pictures. 

 

Recommended (I can actually not say anything bad about any of the places we ate), with absolutely lovely service.

Adagio, Il Ghianda_20221224_0001.pdf

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Looking forward to this.  Years ago, we spent some time in Florence and parts of Tuscany for a wine conference.  The conference lasted for 3 days or so, but we were there for a little over a week.  I had the best negroni of my life there - but it was expensive!  And timing wise, the trip sucked because the Euro was really strong at the time.

 

Any bistecca Fiorentina?

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21 minutes ago, KennethT said:

Looking forward to this.  Years ago, we spent some time in Florence and parts of Tuscany for a wine conference.  The conference lasted for 3 days or so, but we were there for a little over a week.  I had the best negroni of my life there - but it was expensive!  And timing wise, the trip sucked because the Euro was really strong at the time.

 

Any bistecca Fiorentina?

 

I think Negronis were running about €7 each, although one night for aperitivo we went to a fancy place and they were double!

 

While we did eat TUSCAN beef, we did not have a bistecca alla Fiorentina. It would basically have been impossible to get the beef cooked to Sig Eater's preferred temp, as they cook and serve it very rare. (I think if you ask for it any other way, they send the boys out to say NO)!

 

Adagio

 

Adagio is another restaurant where you'll be hard-pressed to find many tourists, especially in mid-December. Which means it's OK in my book.

 

Is there really any other way to start a meal, especially while still perusing the menu...

 

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Who can forget this...

 

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Where they actually try with a whole-grain bread, though it still lacks salt.

 

I don't mind beef very rare, but I also like it like this...

 

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Carpaccio, with raw artichokes and caper berries.  Can never go wrong with a side like this...

 

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Primi...

 

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Tortello di patate al ragù di cervo.  Was amazing.  Some more beef for Sig Eater...

 

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And I needed a little break from the meat and pork, so...

 

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Cacciucco alla Liovornese. 

 

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Torta for dessert. 

 

FWIW, we did go to the Mercato Centrale for "lunch."  It has been sadly renovated and now it looks like any other food court - basically perfect for those uninspired who need a burger or some fried chicken or pizza.  We had a couple of very boring panini for lunch (probably should have had the pizza).  Oh well, some things change and not necessarily for the better.

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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12 minutes ago, weinoo said:

How DARE them!!!!

 

Bastardanich is my favourite food hate. Aggressive, arrogant, misogynistic, egotistical, semi-literate in two languages. And I don’t like him. The only so-called Italian who says 'expresso' and every time he says 'unedible' I scream in pain. Now he thinks he is a rock star - literally. Have you heard him? Masochists can check out YouTube.

If he was really so proud of his Italian heritage, would he really be opening an American fast food joint in Italy? He would be nothing but for his mother.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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Another day meant another bunch of walking...but this time I did want to try a place I'd read about ...for lunch. Old school, outside the actual city walls of Florence, yet still walkable. So off we went.

 

Trattoria Sabatino

 

Located practically underneath the historic Porta San Frediano, Sabatino is a working people's trattoria.  Check out the prices on the website.  You wait on line to get a table at peak time - fortunately, it was only about a 20 minute wait, as I was starving. Plastic tablecloths abound.  The head chef, a woman of a certain age, comes out of the kitchen occasionally to bus some tables and give dirty looks to certain staff members. It's awesome.

 

People are here to eat - no bullshitting around.

 

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The salad that I am currently obsessed with at home.

 

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Great tortellini in brodo.

 

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Half a roast chicken - good enough, but not Paris. 

 

I think we had some fruit for dessert. And a half carafe of wine. You pay at the register on the way out. Like I said, old school. Perfect.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

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Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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16 minutes ago, weinoo said:

People are here to eat - no bullshitting around.

 

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Just checked their menu - that’s my kind of place 🤗

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20 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

Bastardanich is my favourite food hate. Aggressive, arrogant, misogynistic, egotistical, semi-literate in two languages. And I don’t like him. The only so-called Italian who says 'expresso' and every time he says 'unedible' I scream in pain. Now he thinks he is a rock star - literally. Have you heard him? Masochists can check out YouTube.

If he was really so proud of his Italian heritage, would he really be opening an American fast food joint in Italy? He would be nothing but for his mother.

You forgot foul-mouthed.

 

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On the same day we ate at Trattoria Sabatino for lunch, we went out for a lovely dinner as well, also on the Oltrarno side.  So while we didn't cross the river, we walked up the hill.

 

Osteria Antica Mescita San Niccolò

 

Osteria Antica Mescita San Niccolò is right next to, and was at one time part of, or belonged to, Chiesa di San Niccolò Soprarno.  The building is like 1,000 years old. Or something.

 

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Starting off, as we generally did, with a wee platter of assorted salumi.

 

These people were having a Christmas party, secret Santa gift giving, etc...

 

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Which we eventually became a part of, as they started pouring us wine and more. We were taking pictures with them, of them, for them - it was a great deal of fun.

 

We both had primi, though Significant Eater may have had hers as her main course. My memory is fogged up.

 

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Fantastic pici.

 

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Minestrone. I don't remember if there was a written menu (though there must've been), or if we were just told what was available.

 

Maialino forno for shared secondi.  Cheese cake for dessert. House wine by the carafe. Pours from our friends. Etc.  Fantastic place.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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There was another meal; I almost forgot about it. Probably because we hit up a bar, in Piazza Santa Spirito, pre dinner.  Pizza Santa Spirito, named as many piazza are, after the resident church; in this case the Basilica di Santa Spirito (designed by Brunelleschi). I love this piazza, and this church, which we explored intimately.  There was no one else there except guards and someone to take your money - specifically to see Michelangelo's crucifix, one of his earliest works. Pictures aren't allowed, but there are some on this web site!

 

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After exploring and aperitivo-ing, dinner.

 

Trattoria la Casalinga

 

Check out that menu, @Duvel - I think it's right in your wheelhouse!

 

Casalinga is old school, classic - the kind of place you really wish was in your neighborhood - but isn't, and never will be. Cause you don't live in Firenze. But if you did...

 

Another great time was had, but not a lot of pix taken.

 

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Lotsa beans.

 

They bring the olive oil and pepper grinder over to your table...season to your liking.

 

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In between the pepper and olive oil, our other app was raw artichoke and Parmigiano.

 

Primi were great...

 

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Pappardelle with wild boar sauce.

 

More of this...

 

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When in Tuscany.

 

We both had secondi, we both had dessert.  We flew off to Paris the next day - well sated.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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