by Ed Hahn
Hong Kong, China
August 25, 2005
It is family owned, and while the wife watches the cash register, her husband tends bar and acts as social director. The staff members are friendly and knowledgeable, not only about food and wine, but also about Florence generally. The chef, who is a woman in her 50’s, spends time in the dining room, too, when she isn’t working in the semi-open kitchen.
When Tom and I arrive, I am shocked to find that the restaurant staff remembers me from December. They are just around the corner from the Westin Excelsior, so I imagine they draw lots of tourists. They ask after Pam and show only a little disappointment that I’ve shown up with Tom rather than Pam.
We order the house wine, which is bottled specifically for this restaurant and is the best wine bargain in Florence at 7€ a bottle. After an outstanding mussel appetizer, we order a "Tuscany T-bone," a kilo-plus piece of beefsteak grilled over an open wood fire, accompanied by two kinds of pasta and another bottle of wine. I’ve also tried their pizza, which is totally up to Italian standards. They provide baskets of fresh Tuscany-style bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The salads are crisp and fresh. The menu, while not huge, has enough variety to satisfy anyone. The prices are reasonable, especially when compared with the two five-star neighboring hotels.
As you might imagine, we eat too much and love doing it. We decide to walk the 3km back to our hotel to aid our digestion.
FYI: They have a "family-style" dining room in the rear for large groups. This is not a "great" restaurant, but it is a great place to have a delightful dinner.
From journal Fabulous, Fantastic Florence