Saturday was a lovely day with a crisp blue sky, temps were incredibly mild for mid January and only a few cotton ball clouds floating along. All in all, it was just right for slipping on all my holiday wardrobe (a new handbag, a beautiful jacket and some boots with a heel to die for) climbing on the back of my handsome Hubby’s motorbike and going into town.
There doesn’t need to be a “reason” to go into town – especially in Italy. Going out is sometimes just all about getting dressed to go out and then strolling the streets in your finery…which I happened to do extremely well this Saturday. (My Hubby was looking quite charming as well.) Of course there was the added plus that everyone has a sale going on (even if after the hoildays who has money to spend on more stuff!!), but in any case the window shopping was well worth the effort AND since Uomo Pitti just finished up here in Florence there were lots of trendy “vetrine” showing off Spring 2012 New collections. Of course all of this ohhing and ahhing in the windows will work up an appetite, and I am not one to shrink at the thought of a plate piled high with pasta! Around 1 PM we could resist no longer it was either go home and cook (and who wants to do that when you are all dressed up and looking good) or find ourselves a little hole in the wall.
We opted for exploring some new culinary delights in Florence and it was well worth the effort. Hubby started walking with a purpose when we agreed that we were eating in town. We found this place via word of mouth, apparently when the “guys” are playing soccer on Thursday night they talk about more than just the game and girls. The menu on the outside looked rather typical, with all the traditional dishes: crostini, pasta, bistecca Fiorentina, cantucci – but there were a few chef specials of the day that caught our eye. Prices appeared to be within the norm and it was just far away enough from the “city center” not to be horribly touristy.
As we walked in we were immediately struck by the cosy environment, the walls were in gray stone giving a hint of history and the tables were close – but not too close. We choose a table for two and began to serious look over the menu. The waiter and waitress were attentive, friendly but not pressing – water, wine and then they left us to devour the menu. My attention had be caught by the chef special of burrata with trufles and Hubby had his eye on the wild boar cold cuts. We opted for a special platter of mixed antipasti for two (24.-Euro) and I for one was pleasantly surprised. The cold cuts were fresh and quality – the crostini were good (even if I would have preferred they used Tuscan bread instead of the frusta … but that’s a personal gripe and by no means indicates the quality was disappointing) and the burrata …. well, in a word perfect!
The wine was also a pleasant surprise, though it is hard to get bad wine in Tuscany. We were told it was a a Chianti red with 2 years of aging (1 liter 12.-Euro). In fact, I always suggest that people choose the house wine for this reason – but as in every case there are grades of good. This wine was an excellent house wine – and we drank it easily …. OK and willingly (Ha Ha) Nothing like window shopping to get you in the mood for a glass of wine. As for the pasta dish the portions were abundant – though not exaggeratedly so. I had a little more luck than Hubby, I ordered pici with capriolo (11.-Euro). The waiter assured me that they make the flour and water pici (like a super think spaghetti) there in the restaurant – and the plate was truly worth exploring. No need to add cheese because the flavour of the meat (capriolo is venison) with the pasta was a perfect match. Hubby choose paperdelle with cinghiale (10.-Euro) – a wide noodle with wild boar sauce. It was good but perhaps the pasta needed to be drained a bit more because the plate had a bit of a diluted taste to it – not so much that it stopped us from licking everything clean but enough to note.
We didn’t opt for a main course – however those that did all leaned towards the Bistecca Fiorentina, and if the smell and look were anything to go by it looked as if the restaurant could be proud of their offering.
If you are roaming the streets and need to rest your feet – I can enthusiastically suggest : Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco, Borgo S. Jacopo 43 r. (the r after the number means when you are looking for this address you need to look for the numbers written in RED).