is balancing your personal life with business..."
"I hope for people to come into the restaurant for a nice long romantic experience." says Tommaso Vezzani, who loves Olive Oil. "After all the reason for the name of OLIO is for Olive Oil in all of its presentations." he says.While talking to Tommaso, a couple sat quietly enjoying the olive oil and gave me the card of the ownership of the business of the wine they own, http://www.poggiolanoce.com/en/philosophy. How cool to meet such people while chatting with my friend! "Yes they come to appreciate the quality." he says. "We worked with the architect Barthel. It is a blend of the new and the old tradition and look. Here you can sit and see the chef making gnocchis and preparing the plate, or walk browsing the gourment store and to the library room of wine, or to the tiny alcove of where a specialty old-fashioned bar is to sit and sip a glass of wine while selecting each olive oil to compliment the segment of dinner. A light olive oil to use with the flavor of the fish, yet a spicey olive oil that won't compete with the meat. Each one is special for its use. In November when the new ones come we have a special tastings to introduce the new crops, and I invite people to come. It is special in the entire world to try. Every year we choose the best ones." he says.Reservations: 055 2 65 8198
Still trying to find him? Call: 0039333 3695 002
Viale Spartaco Lavagnini 7/R 003 9055 384 1786
right next door to Hostel Florence Plus 57 meters!
"Besides ultimately it is my bar. I own it. If I want a free night I take a free night. The first couple of years I was here all the time anyway since even on my free night off, my friends would say, Hey let's go to the bar! and so we went to the bar!" says Simone.
"Yes, you know it is experience. What you know now...etc. Yet it was fun the first couple of years and now a different kind of fun. Now it is less stress in O MY GOD HOW DO I MAKE THAT COCKTAIL! Now I know how." says Simone!
Head chef Matteo, formerly of Le Cirque head chef New York
"Yes, when we designed the Bar and Kitchen, which Bar e Cucina literally translates to we wanted an international feel. It has 1920s lamps, it has 1950s art deco, it has its own style that can't really be defined and that is what we wanted. I add new little details everyday. Honestly the first 6 months since we have been open is a experiment of us and the guests. We are 100% intune to the needs of the guests in trying new plates, new presentations, new music, new cocktails-for instance when people come in at night and sit at the bar I want it to be a elegant place. No loud party bar since they are here to eat and I don't want them disturbing someone sitting intimately at the table.And it is important to say that at 22.50 if you come into my restaurant and you want to eat and the kitchen closes at 23.00pm, you can still order and we stay til you are finished. After 23.00 though we can have people here sipping cocktails all night, well at least til 2.00am." he says laughing.
"So, yes we have good cocktails. Yet it is a Bar e Cucina and at lunch we have items for around 10 to 15 euros, yet at night it is a 35.00 euro per person dinner and up. We've molded the ideas we have with the feedback of the guests and it seems to finally be merging. You know I am learning since it is my first restaurant that I have owned and while everybody told me you will work a lot, I didn't believe them! Now I do believe my friends! Yet it is fun, too. The first year is always a learning year and we seem to be busy all the time while others are slow at this time of year. I guess they like us! " he says as he hurries out to buy more fresh lobsters since they ran out earlier in the day! I would say that is a success!
BAR E CUCINAVIA DEI NERI 12 R
"As far as having any say in the choices my chef makes to bring to the table, I eat his food!" laughs Matteo Mechelli, when I ask if they collaborate. "We worked together initially in choosing the location, the international flair of the restaurant, the lighting for instance from ebay of famous designer Tom Dickson architectually renowned, and the 1920s era is both of our choices. Yet the bar we both wanted as a sit down to eat bar, which there is few in Italy, yet many in chic Manhattan, is custom made for us with lighting underneath that we turn on at night. The Barstools are a combination of three designers that custom made these for Bar e Cucina, the chairs all custom made, and the tables, and I even wanted a pure industrial look with plain concrete on the floor yet constructurally that seemed impossible to do." says Matteo walking me to each section of the 35 seat restaurant, including the bar seats.
reservations : +39 055 282634
The Restaurant Garga is famous for many things, most notably, from the Capo, Alessandro, is three items: the love of the art of Florence inherited from his Canadian artist and chef mother and famous Florentine artist and chef father, the combination of the culture of the international plates that Alessandro himself has since brought to the table(having worked 8 years in New York city), and the interaction of the guests with both his food and the ability and opportunity to become artists themselves!
"My little daughter is named Aurora!" says Zeno, and of course he has a beer for her too!
"You know here it is about the beers! We don't have a kitchen and honestly there is so many aperitivos around us that once your done snacking and ready to get serious about drinking walk straight to us!" says Zeno.
ALL THE locals come here for lunch. "At night it is a fancy trattoria, in the day for locals. People come for dinner and are amazed at the presentation of the food and we add pizza at night yet in the day we are too busy!" says the son Alessandro who first studied Jewelry, next 7 years at Footlocker Europe, next Animation Public Relations around Italy til finally at 31 deciding to join his family's 24 year old famous Trattoria. "I was young and wanted to party and be wild. I am glad I have experienced the world. Now I am happy and we have a great time here. I am very proud of my family and I hope you come at night to experience the wonders of our cooking and presentation. In the day it is about authentic real fresh everyday homemade food, at night it is about presenting that traditional mom and dad food in a modern way." Alright cool. 055 241237
https://www.facebook.com/laghiottafirenze/ Okay here pretty much sums it up about La Ghiotta, casual, and food steaming from the kitchen...in huge casserole pans in the windows for lunch where you point and for $6.00 euros have a huge portion of Grandmas kitchen or at night, " You have to come here tonight, at night we have waiter only service with the pizza ovens fired up. At lunch it is huge plates since a lot of people from Florence come to eat here." says Alessandro. I tell him that my friend in December told me sitting at a table on Via Nicolodi that his favorite place to eat is La Ghiotta. I found it in one hour and asked for the rabbit on a plate!
Via dei Bardi 20
328 96 74 550
SABOR CUBANO...REAL LIVE DANCING CUBAN STYLE...
THE COOLEST VINTAGE BAR OUTSIDE MERCATO
italy with us tours. https://italywithus.com/florence-tours
Okay for these of us who know our child is venus...check
out the birth of Venus, Botticelli, Uffizi Gallery Florence
"Yes, since each culture is different, it is important to let everybody have different tastes and when they ask questions to acknowledge their wants." says Ahmed. "Actually in Russia, the kids are encouraged to eat tons of food since the fatter you are the more esteemed and weatlhy you are regarded."! says Ahmed. Nancy his assistant and I laugh. "That is the way with my Italian Grandmother, too, " she says laughing, "as a matter of fact when I call her and say I want to visit she never asks what time I arrive, instead she asks what do I want to eat! She assumes I will arrive it is just a matter of how much food she has prepared for me to eat." she says.
"Alright, I want you to add every tour we have here and Rome, "says Nancy when I first meet her. She is funny and delightful and most of all trustful and honest. "You have to meet my director, Ahmed." she says. And I finally meet him. He is very serious and very knowledgeable about his tours. They have a great private tour of Ufizzi for only $125.00 per person and if you bring more than 2, the 3rd on is only $40.00 per person in your group! (hint you can share like a fraternity group!).Such innocence and fragility in his face! Hmm...he reminds me of someone, I can't put my finger! on it!
How about Florence in one day, David and the Accademia, Florence the Essential (for those history buffs you know it all), or since they are based in Florence and Rome, if you are physically in the eternal city of Rome for $169.00 you can take the highspeed train to Florence, see the city and back to Rome! They are very knowledgeable and the tour guides are years spent in school for their degrees(a must in Italy to be a tour guide) and here they must learn scripts and pass many tests before actually meeting "real" people! Ciao and have fun!
"Since the tours officially start in December, my tour guides are on vacation the next 2 weeks, if you dare to have me, the Director, take you on the tours, go ahead and make reservations, it is my pleasure." says Ahmed, who has been a tour guide the last 20years in Bali, Florence, Egypt, you name it. HINT: WORTH IT: Ahmed tells you many secrets of life I CAN NOT PRINT HERE!
I think based on the mystery of "God" of Micheangelo's pieces I would of married him! Wow!
"And here in I'Tuscani 3 we started the see in the window chef as he prepares the two pastas for street food takeaway and sit down service. Everybody loves to see him make the pasta and you eat it as he makes it!" 055 2853 36 Located at Via Dante Alighieri 18red
"You know if you want some great cheeses of the region, some great Tuscany wine, and you want to try the real Florentine steak, which is about our speciality, come and try. We have family oriented and cozy Florentine rooms where you can get to know each other and have a great evening. Albeto is very proud of his products and showcasing that quality to his guests." says Barbara."And Tuscani 4 is coming in a couple of days. I am happy that we are starting to think about bringing a Tuscani restaurant to America."
reservations: 055 906 5507
Here the lampredotto of Tuscanino
Via de Federighi 37 red.
located down the hidden alleys of Via Ghibellinia only steps from Santa Croce, where you shall find it full every night of locals from Florence and the lucky tourists who called ahead with reservations.Why? "When you come in at 19.00 or 20.00 or whenever and order dinner and a bottle of wine, you can sit til Midnight!" says the friendly, very knowledgeable and caring Capo, Domenico. "My cook is away 5 days and now I am redecorating and doing my new wine list. It is 16 pages long, features 300 wines and each one has a description , however, every guest that reads Trip Advisor knows that I personally take the order from each individual and give wine recommendations to each. They always point at me and laugh, especially the Americans, "I know you!" they say and wait with enthusiasm for me to suggest a wine."
Via dei Leoni, 8-red, 50122 Firenze • Tel: 055 239 8013
Later, Bettina, one of the two owners, says, "Yes it is true. Last night they came and ate the linguini and the wild boar and stayed and chatted with me over wine. And today at lunch I come in and see the same two people and they are sitting at the same table! They ordered different food, yet they said they loved the cooking. That is the way with Buzzino which has been here since 1848. In that time it is opposite the Medici palace which used to have real lions caged in the walls to show the prestige. That is why the street is named Via Dei Leoni" says Bettina.
Via Porto Rossa 12 R and Via S. Antonino 60 R 0039 055 212 833 http://www.fratellinisnc.com/
Elias kept showing me the classic and traditional luxurious ones and his brother kept showing me the multi-colored snakeskin and patterns which I love!
the family restaurant, at Via Castellani 4r, 003 9 055 2188 22
The Trattoria is very beautiful and totally hidden, you probably won't just wander down a alley to find it, therefore let me help you, it is located at: Via dell'Orto, 35/ A Telephone/reservations 055. 224 148
Anybody else love truffles?
TRE MERLI via de Fossi 12...
The elegance of Tre Merli has never been in question, and with the new renovations happening as we speak til December of 2017, it still isn't in question. "Every 5 years I redo the restaurant. We, 5 of us, started the restaurant in 2001. Now, in 2017 it is only mine. It had been a famous pizzeria since 1944 in the same place before that and when we bought the restaurant there were so many famous people on the walls, Sophia Loren, Frank Sinatra, all of em, since that was the golden age of theater and the restoration of Italy plus the fact that Florence was a great theater city. We didn't keep any of the photos, although now I wish we had to compliment the elegance of the place. I want it to have that 1970s sophisticated look that it has always had, yet at the same time we're totally changing the theme of the restaurant. It is going to be a big difference in the front of the place where we plan on adding a wooden bar and 6 types of German beers. Plus sports television and in the dining room on the big wall a Big Screen television. I thought it nice to bring the younger generation in and they love to see sports games. The menu here has always been a mediterranean one. We have the typical wild boar and Florentine steak, yet now since the kitchen is huge and has a, big grill, we can do hamburgers and fried chicken. I know that is important to people to drink the beer, watch the game and eat the chicken. That is a American style." says the funny Capo that has too many ideas.
055 287 062
14 Largo Bargellini, 1, /055 244 074
Florence is renowned in the world for the leathers, people come from American, China, Indonesia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Cape Town, London, you name it and they fly especially to Florence. It is the one place in the world where you can have a guarantee that the leather you buy is hand tanned and sewn by artisans and craftsmen with hundreds of years of experience. I have met a couple people in my 5 years doing leather interviews that I totally trusted and loved. Luminoso and his team, along with his adorable children, and lovely wife, are amoung the nicest. They love the leathers that they show to you and they are of the highest quality. Mine is a patchwork lightly colored bag that I treasure, yet you can choose from so many sizes, shapes and bags, and of course the coats, depending on your taste.
"Yes that is my jr. capo, " says Luminoso as his 5 year old comes sauntering out of the leather store with a real cool jacket on. "We have sizes that fit around 5 year olds and up. My wife? She has about 100 leathers!" he says laughing and I immediately trust the store. Whenever people say they don't wear leathers, yet they own a gorgeous Florentine leather store I am suspect! Here at last, a lady that loves her leather! The little girl says, "I already bought mine!" although she looks about 3! The mom shrugs as if to say, we own a leather store, what do you expect!
Trattoria Sant' Agostino is located at via Sant' Agostino 23R, Florence, Italy 50125 Tel 055 281 995
Via Sant'Antonino, 80r, 50123 Firenze FI
Piazza San Lorenzo 2
Piazza San Pier Maggiore 3 red. 0039. 371 3 96 6388
via S Gallo 22 / Call 328 90 39 289
Ristorante Il Paiolo
I loved watching the tourists walk into the restaurant. Usually tourists will check out the menu, check out the prices and maybe wander in. Here it is such a real beautiful restaurant that every tourist sees it, looks inside and comes in to sit down, take off their sun hats, lay down the sunglasses and relax with a glass of wine..taking time to find a perfect choice on the menu...Loved it.
And for all the Americans that love Wild Boar you can find the speciality here where Vincenzo with friends rides horses and does real Wild Boar hunts...and the specialty of the beautiful restaurant that is right near the Piazza with the bronze statue of the Wild Boar is of course...Wild Boar!
Via Val di Lamona, 7r - Firenze Italia - Telefono: +39.055.264148
You can use Arturo's online site, or just browse as you fly to the gorgeous city of Florence and choose your styles! IT is best to call though to make sure that they styles they have!
I personally love the Frescobaldi wines and family.
"We have many more than 22 tours, though. We have tours to the wine country and tours on horsebacking and we're working on more tours. I love the city. It has so much history and stories to tell. For instance did you know that in the most beautiful church in the world, Santa Croce, is the body of Michealangelo buried? Yes. Most people think that the body is buried in the Vatican, yet it is actually buried in the Medici chapel since Michealangelo was a artist of the Medici family." she says.
Reservations: 055 045 3121
at Via del Trebbio/ 8r
+39 055 210916
Via dei Palchetti, 6,
Above, Emilia's mother, Sonya, and father, Torello. "For me I am very shy and the first days that I had to come to the tables I was like, O sorry for intruding can I help with anything. Most of the times people are nice and when they're not I just say sorry. I am becoming better about talking to people." Below, Emilia.
One is Torello Latini's Il Latini of which Johnny, the cook, is at the helm serving great
Wild Boar Stew while the team eats and to which I am finally after bugging the staff the last 3 hours allowed in the kitchen and to film the other "Godfather Scene" at the table. I ask if it is okay to film the lunch and they all say yes and ask if it is a good film! The 25 seconds of the real italian team sitting down before they give you that great italian service!
"Upstairs is a real Trattoria which is more of a family setting," says Emilia, "and downstairs is a more intimate ristorante setting." Speaking of families...? "Yes it is more difficult working with my family yet at the same time easy too since we instantly can understand each other's problems."
| for reservations please 055 212427|
Above a young protege attends to the
learning the art of Cammillo Tradition!
"Yes it is a beautiful view and in the summer with the fountain and the people it is always funny. Always. There is so many tourists that come and they are always surprises to watch. Yet I remember that the restaurant's food is special too. The Florentine Steak is unique in Florence in that we give 1/2 a kilo where everybody else is one kilo. That way a little person, such as me, since I eat the Florentine steak a couple times a month, can manage the 1/2 kilo!" she laughs when I ask if she always eats the Florentine steak. "We have pasta and old dishes from traditional Tuscany too..." she adds.
"We have about 20 bikes, 40 Segways, and 8 Vespas, and in addition with have 3 Wheel Carts with 3 people with 1 driver and 2 of these on private tours. They do all around Florence tours to Vineyards in Chianti to lunch in Chianti on the Segways or Bikes or following the 3Wheelers on Vespas.
We Always make it educational and fun. An Experience. When you come here we only have professional licensed guides that make it a fun experience. The best guides make it the best tours." says Sonny laughing. "At the Segway Chianti tour you drink Chianti of course, and eat a Italian lunch in the vineyards, which is fun and pratical all at once!
Sonny, who owns Segway Point in Florence, is great.
"I started the Segway with 10 in 2010 and everyday from 2010 and 2011 and 2012 the people loved Segways and I had to buy more Segways. One day in 2014, the Grandson of Salvatore Ferragamo called me and said that he had his own private polo Segway Team and asked if I wanted to form a team to play together. I said yes and we started the Florence Segway Polo Team. Now I have Segway Polo Team classes where groups can come from 2 people just to learn or 6 and more to play with our team. It is 80.00euros per person with 4 hours of Learning and playing with the team on Segway Polo. And yes it is real fun." says Sonny when I ask if he has a great job!
Luigi's passion is "playing the piano..." says the affable owner of Vecchio Mercato...you guessed it right across from the famous Central Mercato in Florence. "Here let me play for you..." and he plays "happy birthday." I start giggling. "Wait, I can play two songs..." and he plays a second beautiful ballad. Why only these two songs? "Because I love the piano and I love these songs and I wanted a piano in here and I wanted to say that I can play two songs." Alright... however the 6 nights during the week that you can hear jazz music on the soft speakers you can come on Monday night and a real live pianist plays music for you while you dine. Located at Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 12/13 it has a beautiful intimate dining area inside and the lively mercato and merchant carts outside. Now 2 years later, I come to say hi to the capo again! "What is new? I learned to play another song on the piano!" he says and plays the song, Calypso, which along with the song, Summertime and Happy birthday, he says is his only songs. He asks if the other guests are alright with him playing and they say yes.
Lunedi Jazz al Vecchio Mercato Florency Italy...
for reservations call 055 211978
Here is the elegance of the entrance to the Mercato restaurant. Is it expensive? "It is normal say between 15E to up to 300Euros if you include a expensive bottle of wine." He says. The atmosphere is romantic and intimate and I ask if he has any other interests besides the restaurant and the piano! "Yes I love to ski and see the cinema and I have two daughters...one 6 and one 16. The 16 doesn't listen to me at all...o she pretends to and I talk on and on and then she says NO! at the end of the conversation!" he laughingly says. And the 6 year old? He smiles. "That one loves me. Daddy Daddy Daddy. All the time." "Maybe in the summer my 16 will say I want to work with the restaurant and I will be happy!" he says. A new Generation.
055 293376 Via Porta Rossa 58/R
"Here is one of the places where all of the famous people used to come. The entire restaurant used to have pictures on all of the walls and I kept a small wall here to show people." Stefano says. I oo and aa when I see Steve Martin and Ms. Williams the tennis player. "There was a lot of famous Italian movie stars and singers back then who always came here. The place has a lot of history and I try to carry on that traditon." he says."We of course are famous with the fish and Tuscany food and the pizza. " he says. "Downstairs I used to have a disco but now that I am married and settled down the disco is gone! Now it is a family restaurant including my brother Michele who has a day off today." he laughs.
The pizza ovens in Florence are some of the most beautiful ever as you see here in the background. Stefano says, "My father and a architect made the entire length of the bar entirely marble and underneath is black granite. It is amazing... the amount of marble that they put into the place. And the walls are all outlined with marble in addition to the are where my mother stands." It is so incredibly beautiful to see.
The owner and his team who says, "We have improved the menu with always trying to find the best ingredients, you know the item on the menu is the same yet we add little touches when we find something better...such as a more delicate cheese or meat or fish. We never stop improving to find the best." says Stefano. His team loves their boss.
The Virgin Rock Pub is open from 3pm to 3am everyday and the most important aspect is coming in here and having a nice pint and chat with Mateo and Virginia, and of course listening to the music. Virginia's favorite band is Guns and Roses and we're both kind of digging Aerosmith!
Via Dell'Agnolo, 78/r Call 342 516 1096
When I ask Virginia to ask Mateo his favorite band since he speaks basically only Italian, he says, "The Doors!" Okay! It shows that we're in the early to late 30s age range here!
Most Importantly is COME HAVE FUN
AND DRINK A COUPLE OF PINTS.
my favorite pint of Guinness and buffet for only 4.50 euros !
Borgo degli Albizi, 17/r - 50122 Firenze -
is a amazing 20+ year Tuscany kitchen that is homey and classic. The owner sometimes in the busy season has the help of the cuoco, yet in the little section as you enter is a computer on a small table and his handwritten checks for tables. It is amazing that on some days he is the cuoco and the waiter! How does he do all of it? "I am passionate about my life and my restaurant, young I think!, and you say I look shy yet I am not shy. I only look shy. I love to have guests to my home everyday for dinner. When you come here you are a guest in my house and of course when you come to my house, I cook the food!" he says. Yes however 30 to 50 people as guests everyday for 20 years that is a lot of people.
For Reservations click on the link
below or call: 055.627.109
Piazza della Signoria 2/R 055 215372
de' Magalotti 11/r - Firenze
+39 055 216589
Borgo De Greci 39 red, 003 905 527 4 1590
(a French Provincial style from the Capo's French wife
with real authentic Tuscany food...charming...)
"Aldo is the waiter and he and I am always with the people. My husband helps his cousin in the kitchen and they are the big cooks. Me and Aldo have real fun with the guests who are almost always tourists and it keeps us busy talking to that many people of different languages. I speak Italian and French and English and my husband speaks Italian and English and Albanian." She says. When I ask if they always ask for the Wild Boar?"The special is the Florentine Steak and honestly people come here since it is only 1 kilo for 35.00euros for two people. That is why they come and we of course have the pasta with wild boar. The Americans love that. No I do not have Trippe since we do not eat Trippe why should the people that come here try it." she says. Um....YUM
"It is funny the name is meaning Chaos and the first year we opened it is nothing but chaos with my chef of 6 months breaking his arm and leaving me, untrained, to cook alone in the kitchen. The menu got real short since I could only cook a couple of things. My mother is a wonderful cook, but she isn't a "cook", and I found a Japanese chef that could cook great Italian and he has been with us 20 years now." says Francesco. I say that the name jinxed him! They should of named it Tranquility and they would of had smooth sailing from day one!
It is a 25 year old restaurant that has that real "old-school" feel to it. Lovely, homey and charming, and the family talks...a lot!
Via Santo Spirito 46Red 055 0469048
Honestly, again, I couldn't call my dad and say, "Can you come here and fix things?" You know, I had to figure it all out myself and I am very proud of all that I have done, from the colors to the physical transformation of the place. I am 1/2 German and 1/2 Lebanon. I have lived in Florence 5 years. My father has worked for a Italian company the last 20 years and we came to Florence all the time. I love the Italian people and I love the Italian people and I would only go back to Lebanon to visit since now Italy is my home.
I am 24 and my partner is 20. He is my brother, Matteo. I am very humble, trust me when I say that. The first day I didn't know how to make a cafe espresso yet I learned very quick." He says 1/2 joking and yet at the same time totally honest! Okay, we have to talk about the flamingos, which by the way are everywhere in the cafe. "In Lebanon it is sophisticated and elegant and the people spend millions of euros on the kitchens and the decor of the restaurants. I love the flamingos and I love that style. It is very personal to me. And the name Gosh came from one of me and my brother, Matteo's, favorite songs. That is why we named it Gosh. The lawyer kept calling for months and finally he said " okay today I don't care what name you are naming it yet you have to name it something." And I said okay as I am looking at my MP3 play list...let's name it GOSH! And we named it Gosh and now everybody comes in here, especially the Americans and the Chinese and the Americans say, " O My Gosh!" and start laughing and making inside jokes with each other, and the Chinese say quietly," o my gosh!".
That Saturday night about 250 people came since they promoted it on social media and the internet and they were standing outside and inside and at about midnight we ran out of all of our alcohol! People were yelling at me "WHERE'S THE FOOD!" And I kept saying that we thought only about 60 people would show up! Seriously. Yet 1/2 of the people didn't even pay since it is only me and my brother behind the bar and a girl helping and we just couldn't make it to everyone. And I was just learning how to make drinks. IT WAS INSANE! Trust me. Fun yes yet at the time JUST INSANE! Next time, I shall hire more people to help out with all the guests that come!"
The gorgeous cobblestoned Via Santo Spirito...
"When I go to the table I am very honest with the guests. I say that I am still learning. Trust me you can't fake my inexperience, yet at the same time in the last 2 months I have become quite a good bartender!" says Alexander. "I come from a family that sets very high standards and I expect to set the same high standards. I didn't drink alcohol til now. Okay now I must taste the drinks to make sure that I am making the drinks right!" he says laughing. "Hmm...am I happy? Let's say that I am never satisfied. I am always trying to make better, yet I believe that I have a high quality place where friends can come and chill and spend a couple of hours drinking and socializing and having a good time. They come here and drink one drink and go to dinner and come back. In one week we shall have a entire new menu. Right now it is food from Beirut Lebanon, and France and Italy...let's say International. Yet now the last 4 days I have learned to cook since I just hired a new cook. I am learning new skills everyday!" he says laughing. "Mostly and honestly since I went back to Lebanon after 1 month and asked my friend who is one of the most sophisticated and experienced bartenders in the Beirut culture to teach me. And he had to teach me everything about bartending. And I learned silly things such as how to shake a shaker! Seriously. I had to learn it all. I jumped right in. I had to. I didn't have a choice. And now I am successful. I am happy and proud of what I have created." says the charming Alexander!
You must come to chill and check out the fun and natural ambience of GOSH!
"The Americans always come in and they try new things when I sneak in the intestines one time to see if they would love it or the Trippe or the Oxtail into the menu I always wait to see if they say yes. They say, "O I love that food, what is it." They admit that they would be a little hesitant to try it if they knew what it was. Yet when they do they love it. The Asians try it all. Now I have more American friends than the Italians! When I travel I rarely stay in hotels always with friends. " says Michele the 33 year old capo of the Pinocchio named Il Gatto le Volpe. https://www.facebook.com/ilovegatto/ Via Ghibellina 151\r
It is as if I expect Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti to walk in the door!
http://www.trattoria-armando.com/trattoria.htm the elegance of the hidden restaurant is a safe landing place for the international stars of Teatro...
Although Alessandra's mother, Giovanna, speaks only Italian, as does the entire kitchen team, she and I had a funny non-verbal and verbal conversation. She said that when the famous ballet dancer came to the restaurant that he wanted to marry her. And I believe her...at least that is what I think she said! She is such a beautiful lady inside and outside as is her daughter. It is a elegant restaurant where you have a hidden sanctuary to enjoy a relaxed and private lunch and a intimate romantic dinner, unseen from passerbys. Or if you like to people-watch there is still two tables in the front reminiscent of the early days where you can do just that!
That is right APERITIVOS at 6:00pm to 9:00pm only 7EUROS!
Cristina tells me that the 4 colors of the teams that play on June 24, which is a totally lovely day, are green, San Giovanni Piazza, blue, Sante Croce, white is Santo Spirito and Red is Santa Maria Novella!
Me personally I shall do a little bit of the tamer things such as eating the food and maybe watching the people row the little boats in the yachting club in the river, eat some aperitivos and drink some wine.
"Yes I own Baldovino since 1996 and il Francescano trattoria since 2015; however, Francescano is a famous historical restaurant that is steeped in culture and has been around since 1956...the famous stars such as Roberto Begnini and Giorgio Armani came here and many stars on the wall," says Massimo the young cool one who owns both.
"You must tell people to come and try the Antipasto Baldomare which is a mixture of the freshest seafood of cold and hot on the plate." he says. "We have octopus on the fire. Which is Octopus on the Grill which makes it a little bit crispy. We have a new way to serve the seafood and we are happy to serve it Salmon Tartar, Tuna Tartar, Steak Tartar and that is the specialty that only we can do. I must emphasize that mine is a high quality fish and meat restaurant at night. Baldovino is becoming famous for that." says Massimo.
Um Yum Yum Yum my favorite!
Have you ever entered a restaurant and instantly adjusted the bow tie and stood up straight? It is a formal authentic Italian restaurant in Florence that gives attentive special service in a formal atmosphere yet the people are happy and talking and normal. "The quality of service is the best and it is a formal nice dining restaurant yet at the same time we have to live good and be happy." says Massimo
Marcos invites me to sit and try the little tapas and we perform a rehearsal of a real dinner with Roberta and team waiting on us. Let's see what to try? Okay I ask to try the wild boar Italian style tapa(as they're all in the traditional Spanish style, yet all Italian recipes) and the asparagus. Why the asparagus? Funny you should ask. "Try that it is in season. All of the food we serve is always in season. Okay, we've only been open 2 weeks, yet that is the plan. We took one month and invited people to dinner to try the recipes and we would all sit and judge the food after. Each one is prepared when you order the food and each one is fresh. Since December is Asparagus season that is the speciality here. We have TONS of Asparagus available." They all say. The Italians love to show off the fresh seasonal delicacies that they're famous for. Okay we try the Asparagus. Yum. And fresh vegatables tapas with wild green apple sauce. Pretty darn good to. Marcos and the team tell me how they hired a architect who converted these great heavy wooden chairs into tables into benches into chairs. They're super modern super efficient and super cool looking.