A quick flirtation with Florence
Even the atmospheric Ponte Vecchio over the river didn’t have the allure it once had for me.
Maybe I’m being too harsh (there are other sights and fantastic museums I know) but I much preferred Genoa and its lovely cathedral, San Lorenzo, having recently been there (see post).
Having not expected to be here, I had done zero research on where to eat or what to do. The restaurant below was recommended by the friendly receptionist (as opposed to the one that’s an asshole) at the Hotel First in Calenzano.
It was his second choice after his family’s favourite (Perseus, 10 Viale Don Giovanni Minzoni (off Piazza della Liberta), Tel. 055 588 226), was unfortunately closed on a Sunday.
Convivium (Advanced B), 4 Via di Santo Spirito, Tel. 055 265 8198, www.conviviumfirenze.it
A high-end restaurant located in an old palazzo away from the hubbub, which doubles as a deli. They are better known for their wine than their food, although you can also do olive oil tasting classes here.
The atmosphere feels a little cramped (60 covers in 4 smallish rooms) but the décor is attractive and the service is friendly, if a little overworked at times.
Apologies but I lost my notes so can’t remember how much I liked all these dishes and wines by the glass.
First off, a complimentary spoon of the Tuscan dry soup Pappa al Pomodoro (B).
This was followed by Ravioli di Burrata con Gamberi Freschi Sgusciati Profumati al Lime aka ravioli stuffed with mozzarella cream, with freshly shelled prawns and a lime flavoured sauce. Sadly this didn’t do it for me, the stiff unyielding pasta, mediocre prawns and the smear of squid ink seriously detracted from the dish (C+).
Next a glass of Pinodise from Contadi Castaldi, a vino licoroso or dessert wine fortified with brandy. I think I remember this being pretty special (A) but sadly hard to procure in the UK even via the internet.
Finally, a glass of Grappa Nonino Riserva which was a barrique (aged in barrels), no doubt an A.
In short, a flavoursome but pricey gastronomical experience. Rich tourists must love it. I enjoyed the wines but I’ll be eating elsewhere next time I’m here.