Italy Trip Report Part 3 - Florence (Long)
We both enjoyed Florence, but mainly for the art. We had great food while we were there, but overall the city was just kind of blah. Rome seemed much more historic and it did not have trinket vendors everywhere. We were really looking forward to Florence and I am glad that I was there, but not sure that I would visit again.
Osteria Pepo: www.pepo.it – After trying to get into Sostanza and Marione, we were finally able to get a seat at Pepo. We started off with an antipasti sample plate, then finished with the ravioli and beef filet with green pepper sauce over a bed of arugula. At first I thought my steak was underdone. It was very raw in the middle. But once I started to eat it, it just melted in my mouth. The ravioli were also outstanding.
Tratorria Antico Fattore: Via Lambertesca 1/3r – This was a good meal, but not great. Based on other reviews we had the gnocchi in black truffle sauce. We have to agree with someone on tripadvisor who stated based on the price (8 euro) and flavor, the truffles used in this dish are not the premier fungi you would expect. However, the pasta in white truffle sauce was fantastic. We also had the veal slices wrapped around sage leaves with bacon wrapped around the veal. This was good, but would have been excellent had the veal not been a bit dry.
La Posta: Via dei Lamberti 20 – this looked like a tourist trap, near the Ufizzi and market square, but it was close to our hotel. Plus, we were having trouble getting reservations. Most places were either closed or booked. The food was excellent and we both had very good meals here. We were getting a bit fooded out at this point so just had a main meal. I had the bisteca – very good. She had the saltimbocca, also very good. We split a salad and zucchini flowers. The salad was just a salad, but the flowers were excellent. Service was a bit rushed, even though it was not packed and there were seats available.
For lunch we ate in the central market. One day we had pizza from an unknown vendor. The next day:
Nerbone Central Market – The second day we could not resist the long line that had formed in front of this stall and had to see what was up. Originally we thought Nerbone only served tripe, as this is what it is most famous for. But we soon realized they had other dishes. I wanted to have the famous sandwich which is a a big roll dipped in savory broth, piled high with either tender boiled beef or tripe, and then garnished with their spicy red sauce. However they ran out. So I had what looked like a stew with large tender cubes of beef in a spicy sauce – excellent. My fiancée had the parpardelle with ragu which also lived up to its reputation. Of course there is no ambiance and we ate sitting on overturned vegetable crates.
McDonalds – Yes, that one. Mickey D’s. Every time I travel I always make sure I go to McDonalds at least once. Sometimes it is because we are pressed for time, tired, cranky and don’t feel like searching for someplace else to eat. Other times it is just that I am getting a bit tired of the local cuisine and just want a taste of home. And sometimes it’s because I just like McDonalds. Usually it is a bit of all three.
Grom – I think I had gelato from here at least once every day. It did not help that it seemed to be on the way to/from our hotel and to/from wherever we were coming/going*.
(* Disclosure: Please note that I was in charge of the map, therefore responsible for how we got to/from places.)
Below are the other reports from our trip:
Thanks for writing and most of all, congratulations! I've enjoyed reading your comments and was also puzzled about Montepulciano being deserted. We were there for a few days in January and I will never again travel to an Italian hill town in that month---we could almost see the tumbleweeds. But September???
Just to set the record straight, Nerbone is not so famous for tripe; they are more famous for bolito, boiled beef, served on bread. They may have tripe, but the more famous tripe vendor is the one with a cart is outside the market.