Updated: Sep 29, 2019
My sister and I visited Florence for her birthday this year. I thought that it was a stunning city with great transport links, eye-catching architecture and of course, review-worthy food. I will only be discussing one of these features here, but if you want a copy of my itinerary, feel free to email me.
La Pasta Fresca | Gnocchi in Salsa Pomodoro
We found this stall in Il Mercato Centrale, a must-see food market. This was my first time trying gnocchi and I loved it! The gnocchi was soft but had a bit of bite to it. The tartness that comes with undercooked tomato sauce wasn’t present at all. Such a simple dish but so hearty and satisfying. I could have done with a bigger portion, were it not for the inclusion of cheese in the dish. I knew it was too good to be true. The chef was kind enough to rustle up a quick cheese-free pasta dish for me which was also delicious. I was really about to order another portion of the gnocchi but I guess it wasn’t meant to be.
Unknown Restaurant | Truffles on Toasted Bread
‘Toasted bread’ sounds so much more fancy than toast. Don’t you agree? One of my friends saw the photo of this starter and told me that I was given entirely too much truffle, which may justify what I am about to tell you. The smell of the truffles was quite overpowering. This is going to sound very strange but the smell was familiar – it was the kind of smell that I could expect a human being to have, but not one I can really say that I remember from before. Perhaps I would have preferred it if they were slathered onto the toasted bread with a lighter hand, and if the portion was a lot smaller. Saying all of that, I could appreciate the nutty, earthy taste the smooth truffle offered, and I would actually try truffles again – just not the way I had it this time around.
Unknown Restaurant | Courgette Flowers
I ate these at the same restaurant I ate the truffles at. Laurence, the teacher of the cooking class my sister and I attended (a review of that is pending) recommended that we try courgette flowers if we got the chance. They had a very subtle taste; a contrast to its predecessor. I would have liked to be able to dip them in something – perhaps a yoghurt based sauce? Either way, I enjoyed them – it was a bit like eating courgette fritters/fries but the texture was different.
Le Vespe Cafè | Collection of side dishes
My sister had been craving a fry up and because I am magic, I managed to find the cutest restaurant that we could get one from. The great thing about this restaurant is that you can pick numerous sides and create a whole meal with them for a very affordable price. I had potatoes, mushrooms, spinach, tempeh steak, fried eggs and French toast. Then I tasted some of the pancake my sister ordered and I ordered one of those too. Yes, I finished everything. My favourite components of the meal were definitely the pancake and the potatoes. The portion sizes were excellent too!
Il Vegano | Vegan Lasagne
I left the review for this restaurant’s food until last because it was actually my favourite dish out of everything I have mentioned here. This lasagne. Okay. I just cannot. This is something I wish a non-vegan friend would try just so I can say “I told you so”. The creamy sauce was to die for. The pasta – as we found was always the case in Florence – was al dente and the tomato sauce was perfect. I’m not sure what pasta does to me, but I was ready to buy another portion after my first bite. There was no meat substitute in the lasagne and let me tell you – I didn’t miss it at all. Fantastic dish. I wish I had tried the cakes too, but next time.
I was so happy to experience the variety and high quality of food in Florence. I would definitely put it on my 'To Return To' list, and maybe this time I will try the famous Florentine steak. Have you been to Florence? What were your favourite Florentine dishes?