Firenze // A Hidden Gem

I am back. I was really excited, but, like every human being, I make mistakes.

I booked an Airbnb during a hectic time and set myself up for disappointment. The place was not horrific; it was livable. But, not for someone who loves to cook and highly prefers a well lit space. I was trying to save a nickel and a dime here and there with my accommodations. Next time, aka right now, I am not afraid to spend some extra dollars to feel especially comfortable and at home.

So, here I am in a hotel for one night finding a new place to stay. These situations happen; it teaches you to listen attentively to your gut instinct and to respond rationally to unexpected scenarios. At least I have a nice shower and free breakfast to look forward to until my next Airbnb adventure. Is it too naïve to expect a comfy space, where I can write and experiment as an amateur cook for just a little while?

Let’s return to the positive. I need to share a little about this [hidden] gem of a restaurant in Firenze’s periphery neighborhood of Scandicci. It is definitely not walkable from the city center, but if you have a car or feel like taking a bus (or two,) it is worth it. I planned to go this evening because I needed some sort of remedy for my feelings after such unforeseen events. I was unmistakably eager towards finding out their specials tonight. They write it on a simple chalkboard that they bring over to your table along with the menus. The man who brings it over is the only waiter in the restaurant who manages the bar* up front as well. It is located in front of a tennis club and is unnoticeable from the parking area. I would guess the place is a two or three man show, since I never hear many voices coming from the kitchen.

The outstanding dish that needs to be ordered here is the coccoli, prosciutto crudo, e stracciatella di burrata. Coccoli are small fried bread balls (if we are translating literally) that are uniquely from the Tuscan region. In many places, this dish can be found on the menu, but I usually see it served with stracchino, a fresh mild cheese that possesses a similar texture to cream cheese. But, this place serves stracciatella di burrata, which is nothing short of heavenly. The worst part about my whole day, though, was that tonight they were OUT of it. My heart broke. I asked for a simple bruschetta al pomodoro instead, while my boyfriend ordered insalata di mare.

NONETHELESS, the specials were killer. Strozzaperti con gamberetti, tagliatelle agli scampi, tonno con cavolo piccante, peposo… I decided to order the tagliatelle agli scampi while my boyfriend went with what we both ordered last time: their signature tagliatelle with porcini and parmigiano shaved on top. The oddest thing is that this place has great seafood; everyone seems to be ordering it. I was tentative the first time I came because, first, the place is nowhere near the sea and, second, it was my first time there. But, after the scampi, my mind changed forever.

Now, I did not take a bunch of photos because I am very preoccupied with food and company while dining at this restaurant. Why obnoxiously attempt to photograph every trivial detail of the restaurant in one shot? It will spoil it; I can collect photos and experiences as I feel. The environment in which you eat is just as important as the quality of food on your plate! So, here is one photo of our primi (we took an antipasto and primo each.) Next time, I will share a glimpse at the glorious coccoli antipasto and whatever else I order. Maybe I will attempt to replicate that dish myself? You know, in case I go back and I run out of luck yet again. (Crossing my fingers so that it does not happen again.)


Top: pasta Vecchi Amici; Below: Tagliatelle agli scampi; Middle: Vino Rosso della Casa

You want the name of the restaurant? Not so fast, I will share soon enough. I want to get to know it a little more before I share my only secret in Firenze. I do promise more photos though, of food (duh.)

Now that I am full and happy (besides missing out on my favorite dish,) I think I am going to get ready for bed and watch La Grande Bellezza. Tomorrow is La Befana where an interesting adventure awaits in the morning. Cannot wait to share!

Goodnight! xx.

Note: This post concerns yesterday; fell asleep earlier than expected last night!

*Bar in Italy is a versatile word. It usually refers to a place where you can get coffee, buy cigarettes, or even have a drink. For example, usually, in the mornings, people go to the bar for a coffee and maybe a cornetto or brioche.

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