February 3, 2022

A last minute reservation at this 2 Michelin star restaurant located in a ritzy hotel delivered. It was just a fantastic experience with tremendous food.

The restaurant is small. The photo above is about the entire place. Every review commended the service - and they were right! Staff was super formal but laced with humor and a quick wink. "Are you talking about me?" one waiter asked, as he heard us reference something as "gorgeous". Introducing the bread, another waiter apologized. "Our chef is from southern Italy, where they put far too much salt in the bread. It's blasphemy here, but I am forced to introduce it to you anyway." 

But they were on top of everything. The tablecloth was combed after every course. They also genuinely asked after each course what we thought of it, earnestly awaiting a full answer before clearing the dishes. When Teresa left some of her mullet (she didn't like the mid-rare cook on it), they inquired what she didn't enjoy and asked if they could bring something else in its place. This restaurant cares, and boy does it show.

The food was truly outstanding. The menu arc was phenomenal and made perfect sense, which each dish was inventive, while still playing inside the lines. You never wondered what was in front of you, but it was prepared/paired in a way that was unique and smart. The cooking, flavors, temperatures, knife skills, plating - all were without blemish. There were even a few bites that made you sit up and take notice - notably the 5 welcome canapes and the spaghetti with seaweed butter. The mullet too was brilliant and unique in its presentation.

This place is doing it right and very worth a visit if you are in Florence. So glad we stumbled upon it.

The meal began with 5 bites. "Cigar", honoring the regional tuscanello cigar. Black olive wrap, goat cheese, yuzu.
Saffron wrap, marscapone, fig cream. Super delicious.
"Gin and tonic". Green apple gel. Sugar. Wow! I want WAY more of these!
Tartelleta. Scallops, mango, mango gel, lemon curd. Really soft mango and lemon allowing scallop to come through. Very delicate and well done!
"Fake cherry". Cherry, chicken liver inside. Best liver I've ever had. Super rich and very meaty. Delicious.
A beautiful array of bread...
Including lardo on warm bread. (One of my favs!)
Prawns, salt, olive oil. Panzandlla salad...
Adding green olive sauce...
Really refreshing dish. The salad was bright and the olive sauce was delicate so as not to bury the prawns.
Amberjack, cured with salt and sugar, smoked and burned on the outside, fennel, The creams were bearnaise (on top) and celery essence (on the side). The creams were very citrusy - a really nice accent. Not overpowering.
Eel, yakitori sauce, tosatsu gel (smoky), chestnut and pine nut creams. Paired with...
Lapsang souchong tea, which is smoky. Great dish - the eel was amazing. Terrific pairing. Provided a beautiful sake (on its own) as a palette cleaner after this dish.
Duck breast on coals, duck liver mousse, bitter orange gel, broccoli, bitter orange sauce. Strong wine pairing from Slovenia which I didn't like straight away but was perfect when enjoyed with the dish.
Spaghetti with seaweed butter - kombu, nori and one that's local. Bottarga, sea urchin, bread powder. Super creamy from the butter, perfect spaghetti, paired with a brighter wine made similar to sherry, which cut perfectly through the creaminess and paired amazingly with an incredible finish.
Cananoli stuffed with oxtail veal tongue, chimichurri ,mushroom broth. Very nice, but Aimo and Nadia's oxtail blew this out of the water.
Red crispy mullet, saffron, red mullet sauce, aglione (garlic) sauce, red onion gel, pesto (raisin and pine nuts). Served with...
Traditional spinach bread (called poppa? Coppa?) This didn't add much to the mullet, which was cooked very mid-rare, but was extraordinary.
Lamb cooked on coals, baby carrots...
Adding lamb jus...
Nice dish. The lamb was small and therefore overpowered by the other ingredients, especially the sauces on top of it. The carrots were also too small and therefore too subtle.
"Pre-dessert" (or "fake dessert", as we joked with the waiter). Sumac crumble,red fruit sauce, meringue with spirulina seaweed, yogurt seaweed sorbet, Sumac powder. I *love* sumac and have never considered it used in a dessert. This was absolutely fantastic!
"Symphony of autumn". Tangerine sorbet, roasted chestnut, "fake chestnut" filled with hazelnut cream. Serious yum.


What do you think? I'd love to hear from you.

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