Travel: Florence (Part 1)

We recently returned from a week-long stint in Florence visiting two good friends (Jess and Julia) who are living there.  We ate in, had some meals out, and drank a lot of caffe macchiati (oh, and saw some of the world's most famous art).  Details after the jump...

Homemade Pizza - For New Year's Eve, we decided to stay in and make some pizzas.  We used a store-bought crust (1.99 euros), topped with mozzarella, olive oil, and shredded parm (and no tomato sauce - the way they do it in Florence and the way I like my pizza).  One pizza had zucchini sauteed with salt, pepper, and garlic and the other had fried eggplant (coat w/ salt, wait 5 mins, rub salt and bitter juices off eggplant, dip in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, fry in a small layer of olive oil) .  Absolutely delicious.  Add some 4 euro prosecco, and it was a party!

Mozzarella's creamier cousin (literally.  It's mozzarella filled with a mozzarella/cream mixture).  We had this one at Il Santo Bevitore.  So smooth and delicious.

Caffe Macchiato - J and I can now say one thing in Italian: "Salve, due caffe macchiati."  For less than 1 euro, you get delicious espresso marked with a touch of foamed milk (yes, it is the Italian version of the cafe cortado that we loved so much in Spain).  The one pictured is from Caffe degli Artigiani, around the corner from Jess and Julia's place, which we went to at least 2 times a day.

Caffe degli Artigiani

Spritz - This combination of prosecco (or white wine and club soda) and either aperol, campari, or cynar, garnished with oranges and olives is a great happy hour drink (which is aperitivo hour in Florence, and involves free snacks).

Gelato - Gelato is like ice cream, but has a lower butterfat content and generally has less air.  We (by we I mean Jess) had heard great things about the famous Vivoli il Gelato.  I ordered the stracciatella (chocolate chip) and caffe; J got chocolate and vanilla.  All were tasty.

Tuscan flatbread with lots of olive oil and salt.  Like focaccia, but better.  We had this along with some tasty pizza at a place called Pugi near the Accademia.  Delicious!  The closest you can find in NYC is the pizza bianca at Grandaisy or Sullivan St bakeries.

Stay tuned for part 2...............

Angry cat in the Boboli Gardens

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow,welcome back!
Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Italian food has to be enjoyed in Italy, otherwise no one knows what you are talking about. There are very few places here in the States that do it well.I definitely want to hear more about the food, the angry cat at the Boboli Gardens and the art.xxxxxxxxxx

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