Sunday, May 31, 2015

Where To Eat in Florence (the Update)

OK, a long, long time ago I wrote a post about where to eat in Florence. And I'm more than happy to update it now.

Full disclosure, before we go any further: I'm talking about Florence, Italy. Not Florence, S.C. OK, OK, here we go.

I wasn't there very long so I only have a few places to recommend. But I think you will like them. And in an unusual move, they are all places I'd never been before.

Trattoria Cammillo

Don't trust me with recommendations? Va bene. Trust The New York Times, which has reviewed this spot on Borgo San Iacopo very favorably several times. Not enough? OK, Beyonce and Jay Z were there last week. Ci siamo?

It's really your classic old-school trattoria. White table cloths, a touch of fancy, the thought that an important Italian dignitary might be in a corner table. Walls covered with art, the industrial coffee maker in a corner, just inside the door. Waiters in classic service garb. And the food is lovely.

I ate one of the best pasta dishes I've had in a while: paccheri sul coniglio. Paccheri pasta in a stewed rabbit sauce.

Plus a lovely glass of Vino Nobile, which was the "degustazione" of the evening. That was a new one for me.

Alex, my very lovely dining companion, had bistecca alla fiorentina (which you can see above).

Cento Poveri

This is a good, tried and true Florentine trattoria not far from Piazza Santa Maria Novella. Feeling a bit gluttonous (which in Italian sounds much less sinful: golosa), I ordered a plate of pasta: pici al granchio (in photo above). Pici, a type of thick, long pasta with a large piece of crab settled on top and quite delicious, once I'd managed to extricate its essential goodness from its hard shell (like so many other things that come in hard shells).

I also had a really lovely cheese plate.

And I found the prices to be giusti, and despite the location (on Via Palazzuolo) -- really a stone's throw from Tourist Central.

Alle Murate

In some ways you could say this is an odd ball. A former prison that's now really a cultural space as much as it is a restaurant and bar.

I had a plate of prosciutto crudo (which, in Italy, can almost never fail) followed by a lovely salad, plus the company of an even lovelier former roommate, Irene.

Besides what I ate, what's more important is that this place be on your radar as a punto di referimento. There are gallery openings, concerts, lectures, all sorts of cultural activities going on here that merit your attention or really anyone's attention. This week alone, there will be dance performances by Italian, Korean and Japanese artists.

Also: Near my favorite part of Florence: Piazza Sant'Ambrogio.

So, buon appetito!

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