Florence, IT-FI 50121 Italy 055.217.343
Warm in color and in welcome, excellent food at reasonable prices pulls in Florentine bankers, art professors, academics and other locals in this cozy spot across from St. Mark’s Church. Flaky mushroom strudel sprinkled lightly with poppy seeds has light Parmesan sauce on the side (€9), a heavenly combination. Lasagna noodles homemade from Saracen flour has its nutty flavor enhanced with toasted almonds in tomato-less lamb ragu (€11). Braised lamb on grilled polenta (€14), rabbit rolled with fragrant lardo di Colonata and artichokes (€13), and chicken involtini stuffed with sausage, apples, and greens (€13) show that chef Aldo ranges expertly from tradition to creative variations.
Gianni’s tempting wine list begins with whites and good local house red; Tuscans include Chianti (€12-38), Nobile di Montepulciano (€24-50), 25 Brunello (€55-90), medium-body reds like Morellino and Rosso di Montalcino (€18-20); plus other regions (noteworthy splurge is Valentini’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ’95 or ’97 or inexpensive but exotic Luchetti’s Lacrima di Morro D’Alba); plus France. Tasteful modern art on pumpkin-colored walls, tablecloths at dinnertime, nice lighting, and interesting clientele. Young but experienced staff is fluent in English. Mamma is probably in the back making pasta. Open daily.
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