Christopher and his charming director, a little Italian gorgeous girl, chatted quietly and professionally offering me a glass of Chianti with my cheese and honey starter and Wild Boar entree. The quietness and soft laughter of the two of these lovely people complimented my fantastic night at Il Paiolo perfectly. The restaurants of Gulian are always the top class. A understatement of luxury and elegance and top service. I hope you love Il Paiolo as much as I do.
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!
Piazza del Carmine 24 Florence
Outside is a beautiful terrace perfect for nice weather with huge umbrellas and a fun team.
As you enter the Palazzo of the Vecchio family, now owned by Francisco, who is a gracious and fun host, you notice the beauty of the works of art, the antique furniture, the sculptures and gilded mirrors that adorn every inch of the solid stone building. The Palazzo Ristorante has rooms, and each one is unique and different. Gorgeous. Stunningly beautiful and I seriously didn't even care about the food for the first 2 interviews! I kept asking where does that come from? O my gosh where does that sculpture come from? O my gosh is that real? O my gosh is that a beautiful fireplace! https://www.instagram.com/trattorianapoleone/
"I saw it and said yes, yes and yes," Francisco says, "I loved the restaurant and I bought it all!"
I have the great pleasure to meet Francisco's wife, Rosey, who has bouncing curls and perfect skin, and is totally loved with her entire team. She promises to give me pictures of her to add to the site, and I am waiting!
Piazza del Carmine 24 Florence
RESERVATIONS recommended: Telefono / Phone: 0039 055 2 608414 0039 055 28 10 15
The lady of 26 years, Melina, in Florence, that is a record, with a Italian award winning chef, who is Raffeale, funny, too, and the team is too kind. You can sit outside or inside and have warm only italian speaking real old-school capos telling you their funny stories and truly caring about you as a person. LOVE THAT PLACE. The pizza? The best in Florence.
https://www.facebook.com/collins.firenze/ Actually everybody is welcome here. The students need a little help with the pricing, yet our beers are 6.50 euros a pint, the most expensive and 5.00 euros a pint the less, so tell everybody if they want to have fun, speak english if they are homesick and just want to meet cool people around the world to come to us," says Jimmy, the Irish kid in Florence!
SABOR CUBANO...REAL LIVE DANCING CUBAN STYLE...
THE COOLEST VINTAGE BAR OUTSIDE MERCATO
love the real Cuban owners and staff with the best Mojitos around... and if you happen to need a pair of authentic 1920s cubanwear, Pasquale Lopez has the real deal upstairs in his vintage bar of hand sewn Cuban dresses and Men formal wear.
"Dining at my restaurant is one of elegance and ease and for every table. I want to remember the 100 years of Sabatini culture and respect it and bring the modern presentation of the food to the present. It is a Unesco Heritage Site restaurant and the ONLY ONE in Europe that is allowed to do real flambe cooking at the table, and has the expertise." the new proud owner, Julian, of Sabatini Florence.
S WIDE SHUT and ALICE IN WONDERLAND together!https://www.facebook.com/simbiosiorganic/
They work around the world for a good heart and soul to help charities." 0039 055 269 2 968
Me? I love the food and the music and the great funny company. Luigi is ALWAYS HONEST and Normal, you know a real person who loves to chat with you. You will love that restaurant trust me.
I love the photo here since it reminds me of my little baby, Matti at the age of 8, playing the piano!
How about Tagliolina al tartufo, which is fettucine with heavy cream, Tagliata Di Manzo Al Tartufo Con Fonduta, which is sliced steak of beef with truffle and fondue, Antipasto del Cacciatore(Salsiccia Di Cinghiale, Pecorino, Sott'Oli) which is served per 4 people or one and it is a Hunter's Appetizer with wild-boar sausage and sheep cheese, all of these traditional and respected recipes of the Tuscany region, not to mention the GREAT WINE selection that Luigi carries!
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!
And here proves the fact that many love to eat the boar which the restaurant is famous of, yet the Florentine Steak will get you a photo so I guess if you want a picture on the facebook hall of fame, dress up, put on that makeup and ask to eat the Florentine Steak.
"You know Martini sponsors me and gives us signs and brochures and especially cool DJ events, and it is a great collaboration. I know that when people see the name Martini it signifies respect and good quality and that is my place. Highest quality. I of course want my guests to have a fun night with the best possible food and drink. And music and yes itis true, sometimes we do dance on the tables.!"
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!
It is as if I expect Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti to walk in the door! "When I am 8 years old I took the picture of my hero Georges Pretre, the famous French Conductor and I went to his concerts since the Teatro House of Florence at that time is only 200 meters from the restaurant." says Alessandra.
"The bag is great for the airlines, it is the perfect size, yet it is a little expensive, here let me show you all the compartments," says Stefano as he throws the stuffing out and shows me the soft leather. I LOVE THAT BAG. "Here beautiful Kenya woman," he says as a couple from Kenya walk in and the woman, although a little sophisticated starts to giggle. You will laugh with them, trust me. They are fun. And after all isn't that why you come to Florence and on vacation? To have fun? "We both worked many years, at least 20 in the Florence leather market, and we worked with Jimmys, who I see on the site. Yet here is our baby. It is brand new. We have to bargain with people. There is too many leather places and we have the highest quality leather, yet we have fun with people. We don't want to rob you and we want you to tell your friends and tell your friends and tell your friends, and that is the way you grow a new business. You work real hard and long hours, you're honest and you bargain. When you are more established in a couple of years you can be a little more choosy, yet we know people have to buy from us and we work with you. We want to grow the business, not get rich overnight." says Stefano.
"I live in the most famous section of the world for leather, and that is Santa Croce, not the square, yet the city where the finest leather is produced." says Marcus. "We choose the finest leather and work with designers. We custom make the coats for you and ship these to you. We are trying to do our best with the highest quality and right now we are concentrating on showing off our baby store.!"
O hey, at least they are honest!
"I love the ones with the hoods, and they are detachable and they are reversible, which is why they are a little more expensive, yet most people can do pretty good with us!" We do custom colors and custom made and only if you come into the store since we don't want to take your measurements over the internet." they laugh. Marcus and Stefano in their "baby" store. "Wait, wait, we need to dressup!" shouts Marcus, yet he lets me take the photo anyway. They are very fun and everybody stays and laughs and talks to them. "The Americans are the nicest. They always say, O I have to think about it, then they buy it and say, O what the hey." he says. (0039) 347 27 85550
The waiter, Valerio, brings me the wine of his choice and it is Vermentino. Everybody around the world knows that is MY FAVORITE one! How do they know !
Via S. Pier Maggiore, 8 0039055 214424
via Folco Portinari 7 red.
The plates of pasta are HUGE and they look scrumptious! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Osteria-Zio-Gigi/1131906573617423
However his fun and friendly team speaks a little Engish and I am allowed to interiew Raluca, "I am the waitress for 10 years and I guess let me see the reason that people come here? It is real simple. The Capo is funny and he sings sometimes as he greets the guests he all of a sudden starts to sing a wonderful opera!" And when I say hi to Gigi he starts to immediately sing!
"And it is because of the fact that we are cheap!" says Raluca laughing. "I want to be honest, too," she adds, "we have the house wine that is very lovely and it is only 10euros and the food pasta ranges from 5.00euros to 10.00euros. The Italian food traditionally and locally is not very expensive to make. We continue that tradition, of seriously, the typical real food of the Italian people and give it to the guests. Of course the Florentine steak is a little more expensive, yet why do we have to make the prices really high if it only costs us a little?"
Via dei Michelozzi 9red www.trattorialacasalinga.it
and the team!
and do we have Tartar, the Classica at 100/200grams, Tartare con capperi di Salina e filetto, Tartare con pesto di pistacchi, (my favorite), Tartare in camicia e olio al tartufo, Tartare pomodori, crema di olive, A Plateau of 3 tartares each 100grams, you have the idea! 1/2 the menu is tartare! http://www.cucinaintorre.it/
"Hmm why do I love it? I love the people and the team we have is very funny and very young and we have great days with each other. Yet take their pictures, I don't like people taking my picture!" he says. As is my view too.
Still trying to find him? Call: 0039333 3695 002
"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.
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
"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
"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.
has been in Florence since 1978 and the idea is to give alternative cuisine to the guests, Italian of course, yet with presentation of fantasy from the chef and composed of delicate dishes to choose from. At the year it opened the menu is a immediate success and has continued these many years to present the guests the culture and food of the fantasy.
reservations: +39 055 28 41 70
Friday at 11:45 PM - 4 AM
SABOR CUBANO...REAL LIVE DANCING CUBAN STYLE...
THE COOLEST VINTAGE BAR OUTSIDE MERCATO
"And here in '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
reservations: 055 906 5557
You can find the smaller intimate Tuscani at
Via de Federighi 37 red.
Here the lampredotto of Tuscanino
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."
reservations suggested or come early... at 055 22 60010
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.