Follow by Email

Friday, August 31, 2012

THE WANDERER'S GUIDE TO LUCCA -- PART 4


THE BEST "STORY BEHIND THE BEAUTY 
AND HISTORY" GUIDEBOOK WE'VE SEEN

Churches dominate Lucca and the 200-plus pages about still standing and former churches dominate Lindquist's guidebook.

"Every Lucchese knows that at one time there were precisely one hundred churches in town," the author writes.

"It is a somewhat mythical number (in fact, the official website calls it "the city of ninety-nine churches") but in the Middle Ages it was not far from the truth, if we count every oratorio, chapel, and those churches which lay just outside the walls."

Lindquist goes on to chronicle the history, significance, art works and other details of 41 still existing churches, plus 37 that have been demolished or radically altered.

The author goes into great detail about the Cathedral of San Martino, founded in the 580s and greatly expanded in the 700s -- which was a boom time for wealthy Lucca.

Our favorite exterior decoration is the Labyrinth, which dates to the 1100s.

The inscription reads "Here is the labyrinth built by Daedalus of Crete, from which no one who entered could escape, except Theseus who was helped by the thread of Ariande."

Lindquist describes the famed equestrian statue of St. Martin giving his cloak to a pauper as "one of the earliest examples of Tuscan sculpture," which he dates back to about 1200.

San Martino has many treasures inside, but our favorite is Jacapo della Quercia's Sarcophagus of Ilaria del Carretto.
Ilaria, wife of mega-wealthy merchant Paolo Guinigi, died in childbrith at age 26.

Della Quercia's early 1400s artistic tomb features the young Ilaria with a dog at her feet, a symbol of conjugate fidelity.

Order the book at www.lindquistguides.com

The Wanderer's Guide to Lucca review 
continues tomorrow -- September 1

Thursday, August 30, 2012

THE WANDERER'S GUIDE TO LUCCA -- PART 3


THE BEST "STORY BEHIND THE BEAUTY 
AND HISTORY" GUIDEBOOK WE'VE SEEN


"Lucca has always been a border town, with a sense of independence and self-identity common to such places, perched as they are between two worlds," writes Lindquist, in the opening of his 30 pages of history about the fabled walled city.

"It lies on the northern edge of Tuscany, the first town you encounter when you descend the mountains from the north, the last when you leave for the Po valley and northern Europe."

Lindquist goes on to cite crucial dates, such as:

  • 218 BC when Hannibal invades the Po valley and drives the Roman army across the Apennines to Lucca, a military outpost.

  • 56 BC Julius Caesar meets in Lucca with Pompey and Crassus to patch up their Triumvirate.

  • 1002 First war between Lucca and Pisa. The dreaded rivals battled and sacked each other for centuries.
  • Philip, Marquis of Tuscany, renounces all claims to the title; Lucca becomes a republic.
  • 1308 New popular statutes enacted, banning noble families from office; exodus of important citizens ends Lucca's monopoly over the silk trade. 
  • 1348 The great plague kills off a huge chunk of Lucca's population.
  • 1796 Josephine, Napoleon's wife, is welcomed to Lucca. For the next 20-plus years, Lucca becomes a pawn between France and Austria.
  • 1847 Lucca absorbed into Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
  • 1865 Lucca joins Kingdom of Italy.

Order the book at www.lindquistguides.com
 
The Wanderer's Guide to Lucca review 
continues tomorrow -- August 31

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

THE WANDERER'S GUIDE TO LUCCA -- PART 2




THE BEST "STORY BEHIND THE BEAUTY 

AND HISTORY" GUIDEBOOK WE'VE SEEN


Author Lindquist has dug deep into Lucca's mysteries and divided his definitive guide into six sections:
·      
  •            The History: The two thousand years that made Lucca what it is today.

  •         The Churches: A comprehensive guide to the history, art and architecture of 78 churches, present and past, with 30 floor plans and 16 numbered walking tours.

  •         The Palazzi: An architectural and historical introduction to 85 Medieval and Renaissance mansions and palaces.

  •         The Families: The stories of 40 of Lucca's greatest families.

  •         The Streets: Their origins and curiosities.

  •        The Walls: The Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance fortifications.

Order the book at www.lindquistguides.com

The Wanderer's Guide to Lucca review 
continues tomorrow -- August 30

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

THE WANDERER'S GUIDE TO LUCCA -- PART 1


 
THE BEST "STORY BEHIND THE BEAUTY 
AND HISTORY" GUIDEBOOK WE'VE SEEN

We usually like guidebooks that are full of colorful photos and splashy graphics.
Brian Lindquist's The Wanderer's Guide to Lucca is neither and that's why we love it.

Less famous than its Tuscan cousins of Florence, Pisa and Chianti country, Lucca is one of Italy's most historic, intriguing, haunting and beautiful ancient cities.

Calling Lucca a city is in itself a slight.

Because long before Italy was unified in the mid 19th century, Lucca was for centuries its own nation.

Lucca was a Republic, so city-state is more accurate that simply calling it an old walled town about 20 kilometers from Pisa's leaning tower or Viareggio's vista of the Mediterranean.

"This is the book I wish I'd had the first time I went to Lucca," Lindquist says on the back jacket of his publication.

Order the book at www.lindquistguides.com

The Wanderer's Guide to Lucca review 
continues tomorrow -- August 29

Monday, August 27, 2012

ENOTECA ITALIANA -- SIENA, ITALY -- PART 5


A MUSEUM OF ITALIAN WINES WHERE YOU 
CAN WALK AWAY WITH THE DRINKABLE ART

Enoteca Italiana has hundreds of bottles of fine Italian wine for sale.
Unless you have your heart set on some estate winery's vintage from decades ago, the prices are stunningly affordable.
It's also worth noting that the Enoteca features outstanding wheelchair access to its entrance, bar and terrace dining area.
The restrooms are within ancient walls, but they have been remodeled and feature some of the best barrier-free access we've ever experienced.
IF YOU GO
www.enoteca-italiana.it
0577-228843
Fortezza Medicea, Piazza Libertà 1

Sunday, August 26, 2012

ENOTECA ITALIANA -- SIENA, ITALY -- PART 4


A MUSEUM OF ITALIAN WINES WHERE YOU 
CAN WALK AWAY WITH THE DRINKABLE ART

It really is all about the wine at Enoteca Italiana.

"The wines exhibited at the Enoteca are a representative selection of Italy's finest wines: DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita - Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin), DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata - Controlled Denomination of Origin), IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica - Typical Geographical Provenance), and especially fine table wines, including sparkling and special wines, distillates and typical liqueurs," the Enoteca's literature explains.

"The Enoteca also organizes courses, meetings, conferences, seminars and cultural events (wine and music, wine and art, wine and poetry, and the like) and, in June, its traditional `Wine Week,' plus the more recent `National [Olive] Oil Week' held in February."

"It exhibits at events and fairs in Italy and abroad and is also publisher of prestige works such as `Il Paese del Vino' - Wine Country."

ENOTECA ITALIANA REVIEW CONTINUES
TOMORROW -- AUGUST 27

Saturday, August 25, 2012

ENOTECA ITALIANA -- SIENA, ITALY -- PART 3


A MUSEUM OF ITALIAN WINES WHERE YOU 
CAN WALK AWAY WITH THE DRINKABLE ART

We started at the bar area, tasting an excellent Orcia DOC "Atrium" 2007, by the winery Mencarelli Sonia.
Next came glasses of Chianti Classico DOCG and Rosso di Montalcino DOC.

A sparkling fresh white wine accompanied our lunch on the gorgeous terrace dining area for Mille Vine, the restaurant at Enoteca Italiana.

Chef Alberto Degortes created a special menu for us, opening with a vegetable souffle.

This crispy, tart-like appetizer was like a comforting baby pot pie with a more dense texture inside the crust.

Our main dish the ubiquitous Tuscan treat of porchetta -- slices of baby pig with just the right amount of herb seasoning and served warm the perfect balance of fat inside and crispy skin outside.

A simple side dish of roasted roast potatoes rounded out the savory portion of our wine luncheon.

We capped it off with a Apsic di fragole al Moscato d'Asti -- strawberries in a cold gelatin of moscato.

A strong double espresso helped take the edge off all the wine sampling (we were traveling by taxi within Sienna and taking a train home to Florence, so we were not going to be irresponsible drivers.)

ENOTECA ITALIANA REVIEW CONTINUES
TOMORROW -- AUGUST 26

Friday, August 24, 2012

ENOTECA ITALIANA -- SIENA, ITALY -- PART 2


A MUSEUM OF ITALIAN WINES WHERE YOU 
CAN WALK AWAY WITH THE DRINKABLE ART

In the words of its press material:

"The Enoteca Italiana, a public institution unique of its kind in Italy, was founded in 1960 as a tool for the Ente Mostra Mercato Nazionale dei Vini a DOC e di Pregio (National Fair/Market Board for DOC and Premium Wines), instituted earlier in 1933 and recognized by Presidential Decree in 1950."

"Its purpose is to inform people about Italy's great wines and wineries, and valorize and promote them."

"It is headquartered in Siena, in the northwestern bastions of the Medici Fortress an imposing yet harmonious testimonial to 16th-century military architecture, designed by Baldassare Lanci for Cosimo de' Medici I."

"More than 1,500 wines are on permanent display after having been carefully selected by a judging committee.
"They were chosen from among more than 600 wineries that now, thanks to a computerized system unique of its kind, 'dialogue' with visitors, providing a meaningful look at the Italian wine world."

"Wines can be tasted here inside the Enoteca or on its splendid terraces and bought or ordered for delivery in Italy and abroad; information and documentation are provided about these wines and the wineries."

ENOTECA ITALIANA REVIEW CONTINUES
TOMORROW -- AUGUST 25


Thursday, August 23, 2012

ENOTECA ITALIANA -- SIENA, ITALY -- PART 1



A MUSEUM OF ITALIAN WINES WHERE YOU 
CAN WALK AWAY WITH THE DRINKABLE ART

Siena is a beautiful and ancient Tuscan hill town famed for its Duomo (cathedral), Palazzo Pubblico, (town hall), Torre del Mangia (nearly 300-foot tall tower) and Piazza del Campo (public plaza) lined with medieval buildings.

When preparing for a visit, one does not instantly think of wine -- other than the fact that every osteria, trattoria, ristorante and pizzeria worth its salt has plenty of Tuscan and reds and whites on hand.

But near the top of very steep and hilly Siena there is a veritable museum of wine nestled into a wing of a 16th century fortress.

The fort was built by the Medici family of Florence, which sacked its rival Sienna then built a fort not to protect the people of Siena, but to keep them from regaining their city from Medici forces.

The Enoteca Italiana stores more than 1,500 bottles of wine, contributed from every region in Italy.

ENOTECA ITALIANA REVIEW CONTINUES
TOMORROW -- AUGUST 24



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

FATTORIA DI POGGIOPIANO/GALARDI WINERY -- FIESOLE, ITALY -- PART 6


TUSCAN WINES TO DIE FOR -- WITHOUT EVEN 
HAVING TO JOURNEY TO THE CHIANTI REGION

IF YOU GO

http://www.poggiopiano.it/index.php?lang=eng&pag=home

Via dei Bassi, 13- Loc Girone, Fiesole

+39 055 6593020 

info@poggiopiano.it

From our friends at Wikipedia, some background on Italy's most-used quality assurance lables for wines:

These require that the wine, or other food product, be produced with the specific region using defined methods and that it satisfy a defined quality standard.

DOCDenominazione di Origine Controllata (controlled designation of origin)

DOCGDenominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (controlled designation of origin guaranteed)

The need for a DOCG identification arose when the DOC designation was, in the view of many Italian food industries, given too liberally to different products.

A new, more restrictive identification was then created, as similar as possible to the previous one so that buyers could still recognize it, but qualitatively different.

A notable difference for wines is that DOCG labeled wines are analyzed and tasted by government–licensed personnel before being bottled. To prevent later manipulation,

DOCG wine bottles then are sealed with a numbered governmental seal across the cap or cork.
Italian legislation additionally regulates the use of the following qualifying terms for wines:
  • Classico (classic): is reserved for wines produced in the region where a particular type of wine has been produced "traditionally". For the Chianti Classico, this "traditional region" is defined by a decree from July 10, 1932.
  • Riserva (reserve): may be used only for wines that have been aged at least two years longer than normal for a particular type of wine.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

FATTORIA DI POGGIOPIANO/GALARDI WINERY -- FIESOLE, ITALY -- PART 5


TUSCAN WINES TO DIE FOR -- WITHOUT EVEN 
HAVING TO JOURNEY TO THE CHIANTI REGION

White wine ERTA AL MANDORLO, also organically grown with the fruit of the Trebbiano toscano (60%), Verdicchio (40%) vines with what tasted like notes of pineapple to our untrained taste buds.

The Galardi's say "perfumes are discreet, reminiscent of minerals and citrus, with nuances of sage ending in light spicy sensations."

"Goes well with raw and  grilled fish; also with fish based dishes that require a wine of a medium-high consistency," says Mauro, noting that best consumption is within four years from harvest.

"Harvest and selection grapes are carried out with attentive care using crates with ventilation openings."

"Crates are taken from the vineyard to the cellar paying attention not to damage grapes, so as to avoid  oxidation or undesired fermentation processes."

Soft pressing immediately after harvest aids in maintaining the freshness of primary flavors."

"A unique wine, intense, with flavors that will continue to evolve in the glass offering ever new sensations."

FATTORIA DI POGGIOPIANO DI MAURO GALARDI CONTINUES TOMORROW -- AUGUST 22

Monday, August 20, 2012

FATTORIA DI POGGIOPIANO/GALARDI WINERY -- FIESOLE, ITALY -- PART 4


TUSCAN WINES TO DIE FOR -- WITHOUT EVEN 
HAVING TO JOURNEY TO THE CHIANTI REGION

Red wine I.G.T.  Poggio all'Uccellare, another red  wine from organic agriculture composed of  Merlot ( 55%) and  Cabernet ( 45%) grapes  with notes of berry and spices.

"A red wine from Tuscany with outstanding intense taste and flavors," said Mauro.

"Produced with selected late-harvested grapes from Cabernet and Merlot vines."

"Its full-bodied and persistent taste is the result of an  attentive fermentation, which takes place at controlled temperature, and the subsequent ageng in selected medium-toast oak barriques of varying types, which impart a wide range of flavors to the wine."

FATTORIA DI POGGIOPIANO DI MAURO GALARDI CONTINUES TOMORROW -- AUGUST 21 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

FATTORIA DI POGGIOPIANO/GALARDI WINERY -- FIESOLE, ITALY -- PART 3


TUSCAN WINES TO DIE FOR -- WITHOUT EVEN 
HAVING TO JOURNEY TO THE CHIANTI REGION

Chianti D.O.C.G. Galardi, a red wine from organic agriculture composed of Sangiovese (80%), Merlot (15%) and Cabernet (5%) grapes and bearing the flavor of red fruits and spices.

"The selection of the grapes is done with extreme care, as with every other part of our wine making, in order to extract  only the softest tannins."

"The wine is bottled avoiding strict filtration methods which do impart  translucency and clarity  to a wine, but inevitably  destabilize its structure," according to Mauro.

"It accompanies any dish which has a decisive taste but not excessive. Ideal accompaniment for tomato based pasta dishes, salami and grilled meats."

 FATTORIA DI POGGIOPIANO DI MAURO GALARDI CONTINUES TOMORROW -- AUGUST 20

Saturday, August 18, 2012

FATTORIA DI POGGIOPIANO/GALARDI WINERY -- FIESOLE, ITALY -- PART 2


TUSCAN WINES TO DIE FOR -- WITHOUT EVEN 
HAVING TO JOURNEY TO THE CHIANTI REGION

We didn't get to stay the night -- we were simply sampling wines with our new friends Lamberto Tozzi and Patrizia from Turismo Senza Barriere.

But  Elisabetta Galardi showed us an accessible room on the ground floor of the farm house that was nicely equipped for disabled guests and features panoramic views of the River Arno and village of Girone below.

The wine and olive oil tasting room also is barrier-free.
We sampled wonderful Chianti and Tuscan red while Mauro conjured up his best English to tell us about his passion.

He informed us about every vine, climate impact, harvest and processing technique at his wonderful winery.

Galardi's host wonderful wine tastings, which include three wonderful vintages that we'll profile during the next three days.

FATTORIA DI POGGIOPIANO DI MAURO GALARDI CONTINUES TOMORROW -- AUGUST 19





Friday, August 17, 2012

FATTORIA DI POGGIOPIANO/GALARDI WINERY -- FIESOLE, ITALY -- PART 1



TUSCAN WINES TO DIE FOR -- WITHOUT EVEN 
HAVING TO JOURNEY TO THE CHIANTI REGION

No visit to Tuscany would be complete without a visit to a rural village where a family has been growing grapes and turning them into wine -- on premises -- for ages.

Galardi wines are produced on Poggiopiano Farm located in Girone; a borough of the town of Fiesole, just seven kilometers from the historic center of Florence.

Mauro Galardi runs the organic farm that produces Chianti, red and white wines as well as extra virgin olive oil.

Elisabetta Galardi operates Fattoria di Poggiopiano, the vineyard and olive tree farm-based bed and breakfast on the property.

The husband and wife team also prepare hearty meals for guests at their farm house and cottages.

FATTORIA DI POGGIOPIANO DI MAURO GALARDI CONTINUES TOMORROW -- AUGUST 18



Thursday, August 16, 2012

DEI FRESCOBALDI RISTORANTE & WINE BAR -- FLORENCE ITALY -- PART 7



EXQUISITELY PREPARED TUSCAN FOOD WORTHY
OF BEING PAIRED WITH THE FRUIT FROM 
SEVEN CENTURIES OF WINEMAKING

IF YOU GO:
http://www.deifrescobaldi.it/en/restaurant-wine-bar-florence/menu.html

Via dei Magazzini 2-4/R,

+39 055 284724


Closed Sunday and Monday lunch

Dei Frescobaldi also has locations at Rome's Fiumicino Airport and in the gourmet food halls of London's Harrods.
In the words of the website, the dei Frescobaldi Ristorante & Wine Bar in Florence:

"Is located in the city’s historic heart, right on one of the corners of the Piazza Signoria."

"It offers a complete panorama of wines produced by the Frescobaldi family, all accompanied by the most classic Tuscan dishes as well as by mouth-watering special food items (with a nod to other Italian regions as well)."


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

DEI FRESCOBALDI RISTORANTE & WINE BAR -- FLORENCE ITALY -- PART 6


EXQUISITELY PREPARED TUSCAN FOOD WORTHY
OF BEING PAIRED WITH THE FRUIT FROM 
SEVEN CENTURIES OF WINEMAKING

On our return visit, we were accompanied by a new friend from Kent State University's outstanding Florence program.

We both are Kent grads and can't help but mention the fine hospitality shown to us by Marijke Huegaerts and the rest of the KSU staff at Palazzo dei Cerchi.

More Chianti flowed while we opened with cannellini beans with Laudemio olive oil.

This vist, we tested dei Frescobaldi's pasta making talents with two orders of Tagliolini -- thin fettuccini with black truffle and butter.

The black truffle, another Tuscan staple, and butter sauce made the fettuccini devine as Dante's Comedy.

Heidi rounded the out proof is in the pasta experiment with Picci Senesi -- a fine thick spaghetti with anchovies and aged pecorino cheese.

Peorino -- another staple in Tuscan menus -- is a hard, salty Italian cheese made from ewe's milk and most often grated over dishes.

We finished with a sweet, dry dessert wine and a pair of perfect creme brulees to share among three sated diners.

FRESCOBALDI FOOD AND WINE REVIEW 
CONTINUES TOMORROW -- AUGUST 16






Tuesday, August 14, 2012

DEI FRESCOBALDI RISTORANTE & WINE BAR -- FLORENCE ITALY -- PART 5


EXQUISITELY PREPARED TUSCAN FOOD WORTHY
OF BEING PAIRED WITH THE FRUIT FROM 
SEVEN CENTURIES OF WINEMAKING

We were so impressed, we will let Frescabaldi's website speak for the victory that was our slow food lunch:

"The partnership “wine + fine food” is of absolutely fundamental importance to us: an excellent wine is enhanced by a fine dish, and vice versa."

"The entire philosophy behind the “dei Frescobaldi Ristorante & Wine Bar” is based precisely upon this conviction."

In our role as wine producers we have, for some time now, created venues of enjoyment, leisure, and culture, places in which wine reigns, but always in the company of outstanding food."

"In the historical centre of Florence, just behind the Piazza della Signoria, we opened in 2002 a restaurant and wine bar that showcases the cuisine of Tuscany."

"Over the years, we have built the `dei Frescobaldi' concept, which is not simply gourmet foods and wine.

“Dei Frescobaldi” is a special place where our guests know that they will encounter the warmth of the traditional Tuscany in a contemporary-style, relaxing atmosphere."

FRESCOBALDI FOOD AND WINE REVIEW 
CONTINUES TOMORROW -- AUGUST 15

Monday, August 13, 2012

DEI FRESCOBALDI RISTORANTE & WINE BAR -- FLORENCE ITALY -- PART 4


EXQUISITELY PREPARED TUSCAN FOOD WORTHY
OF BEING PAIRED WITH THE FRUIT FROM 
SEVEN CENTURIES OF WINEMAKING

Dei Frescobaldi sources outstanding green peas and favas that made for a fine pairing with the Chianti that arrived at our table.

Heidi ordered a half baby lobster baked in tomato sauce and served with sautéed seasonal vegetables.

The exquisite lobster came with lots of sautéed sweet plum tomatoes to compliment the sauce the crustacean was baked in.

I opted for grilled fresh sea bass with grilled vegetables -- potatoes, tomatoes and zucchini tasty enough to turn the zucchini-phobic into a fervent fan.

Digging deeper into dei Frescobaldi's outstanding list of wines by the glass, we switching over to white wine -- mine sparkling, Heidi's still and both of them perfectly dry.


FRESCOBALDI FOOD AND WINE REVIEW 
CONTINUES TOMORROW -- AUGUST 14

Sunday, August 12, 2012

DEI FRESCOBALDI RISTORANTE & WINE BAR -- FLORENCE ITALY -- PART 3


EXQUISITELY PREPARED TUSCAN FOOD WORTHY
OF BEING PAIRED WITH THE FRUIT FROM 
SEVEN CENTURIES OF WINEMAKING

Twice we indulged in the excellent Italian tradition of slow food at dei Frescobaldi.

Sitting in an elegant dining room and attended to by very professional multilingual waiters, we forgot about the bustle of the tour groups outside and lost ourselves in food and wine.

We almost always have a rule on the road -- my wife Heidi and I cannot order the same thing as a starter, main or even dessert.

We want to be able to explore the menu more deeply, so one might go stick with the classics while the other orders more adventurously.

But after each of us had settled on something from the sea for our main dish, we both chose a flavorful puree for our starter.

Fresh green peas and fava bean soup with crouton came to our luxuriously-appointed table in the formal dining room.

This was far from your uncle Joe's pea soup from a can at Mabel's corner diner.

Fresh legumes and vegetables are as much or more a staple of the Tuscan diet than are the various styles of pasta that every unpolished American expects to eat twice daily even the finer restaurants of Italy.

 FRESCOBALDI FOOD AND WINE REVIEW 
CONTINUES TOMORROW -- AUGUST 13


Saturday, August 11, 2012

DEI FRESCOBALDI RISTORANTE & WINE BAR -- FLORENCE ITALY -- PART 2


EXQUISITELY PREPARED TUSCAN FOOD WORTHY
OF BEING PAIRED WITH THE FRUIT FROM 
SEVEN CENTURIES OF WINEMAKING

Olive oil is no afterthought in Tuscany.

It is a constant presence on the table top and in most every savory dish served from pasta to fish to beans to vegetables to game meat and more.

For a quarter century, the Frescobaldi family has produced Laudemio olive oil.

In their words:

"Laudemio, in the Middle Ages, referred to that part of the crop reserved for the lord, or for the owner of the land; the laudemio was the highest-quality portion of what was harvested."

"Laudemio Frescobaldi belongs to a consortium of 30 olive-oil producers in the heart of Tuscany that was launched in 1986."

"Their common goal is to produce olive oils of absolute maximum quality through the most rigorous production procedures in every step of the process, from cultivation through bottling."

"Laudemio Frescobaldi is a superb expression of the potential that extravirgin olive oil is capable of achieving."

"The Frescobaldi family succeeded, in fact, in applying to olive-growing their centuries-old expertise in wine-growing, applying in particular the concept of terroir, or that unique interaction between the human hand and the local environment, to the high quality and varietal characteristics of the olive and its oil."

FRESCOBALDI FOOD AND WINE REVIEW 
CONTINUES TOMORROW -- AUGUST 12


Friday, August 10, 2012

DEI FRESCOBALDI RISTORANTE & WINE BAR -- FLORENCE ITALY -- PART 1


EXQUISITELY PREPARED TUSCAN FOOD WORTHY
OF BEING PAIRED WITH THE FRUIT FROM 
SEVEN CENTURIES OF WINEMAKING

For more than 700 years, the name Frescobaldi has been synonymous with outstanding Italian wine.

With 30 generations dedicated to winemaking, much was at stake when the Frescobaldi family decided to open a eponymous restaurant in the heart of Florence.

Dei Frescobaldi Ristorante and Wine Bar is on a quiet corner of the Piazza della Signoria -- the cradle of the Florentine Republic and home of both the Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi, where the greatest Renaissance art in the world is displayed.

Standing on so much history -- both family history from the vineyards and Florentine history in the fabled plaza -- dei Frescabaldi risked collapsing under the weight of great expectations.

Throughout the world, there are great wine bars and great restaurants.

Rarely do the two meet.

Dei Frescobaldi manages to exceed both by the glass and plate, while also serving the best premium olive oil in Italy.

FRESCOBALDI FOOD AND WINE REVIEW 
CONTINUES TOMORROW -- AUGUST 11

Thursday, August 9, 2012

LA CUCINA DEL GARGA -- PART 9


OCTOPUS AND OTHER SEA DELIGHTS SO 
FRESH AND FANTASTIC THAT YOU'LL SWEAR FLORENCE MUST BE A SEASIDE CITY

A chef-suggested (we're idiots for not jotting down the label, but we were too relaxed to pay attention to fine details) red wine fueled us through the primi and secondi.

We were too sated to be tempted by dessert, but we couldn't pass up on a couple strong Italian espressos.

The shots were as rich and powerful as our hometown Cuban Coffee but without the tons of sugar that automatically comes in the cafe favored by our Cubano brethren.

The verdict -- we are as likely to return to Florence for the artistry of La Cucina Del Garga and Chef Alessandro Gargani as we are for the master works of Botticelli, Brunelleschi, Donatello and Giotto.

http://www.garga.it/english.html
Via San Zanobi 33/a r
055/475286
info@lacucinadelgarga.it