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Il Latini – Solo Mission

Il Latini
http://www.illatini.com/
via dei Palchetti 6/r (Palazzo Rucellai) Firenze, Italy 50123

If you are looking for the truest of Tuscan dining experience while in the fantastic city of Florence, Italy, look no further.

Did you make a reservation yet? No?!?!? Keep reading and learn why you should.

If it wasn’t for the crowd gathered outside sipping complimentary wine and snacking on mellow Italian cheeses, this unique foodie haven would appear to be one of the most unassuming restaurants in the town of Firenze. Down a little alley, not far from the river Arno, you will find Il Latini. Reservations are a great idea but due to the surprisingly large sizes of the 4 dining rooms within, getting a seat, as long as you are patient, shouldn’t take too long. Soon you’ll be seated, of course family style, and sipping HEAVILY on the delicious house Toscano Rosso.

The restaurant gladly showcases off a gigantic selection of cavatappi (cork screws) as well as hocks of Serrano ham, proudly hung, and aging, from every piece of ceiling available. If you can get a seat in the section waited on by Julio, you’re already ahead of the game. Julio (and any staff member for that matter) will guide you through their amazing selection of Tuscan cuisine offerings but pay attention, there are no menus. It’s all in the servers head and they will make every effort to design you the perfect meal from their Tuscan country side cooking.

It’s a special place where conversation is almost as important as the food. Menu highlights include ribollita, Pappa al pomodoro and stracotto soups, ravioli made with white wild boar, braised pork and what I considered to be the star of the show, the most delicious and savory perfectly cooked bistecca Fiorentina. Don’t skip out on their home made desserts and wash them back with a selection of after dinner drinks and espresso.

Did you enjoy the robust wine, the thick and hearty olive oil or the sweet and chewy biscotti? You’ll be glad to know all of these items are for purchase and if you don’t bring back your friends and family something from Il Latini, what kind of person are you?

If you don’t LOVE Il Latini, you don’t love food and perhaps yourself as well.

4.5 out of 5 Knives
-Rev

 

With that, I give you THE official Il Latini Ribolitta Recipe. If you make it, I expect an invite with at least 24 hours notice. Thank you

Ingredients: Tuscan kale, savoy cabbage, beet, olive oil, leek, salt and pepper, carrots, celery, red onion, white beans, parsley, basil, whole wheat bread, ripe tomatoes

Preparation:
Fries of olive oil and leek.
Add the ripe tomatoes preserved if possible.
Then add the vegetables, that before you have cut in cubes.
Add the white beans with their water.
When the vegetable soup is ready, cover it with the bread slices; add olive oil and let boil

Ristorante del Fagiloi – Solo Mission

Ristorante del Fagiloi
Corso Tintori, 47/r
50122 Firenze, Italy

Florence, Italy the gateway to Tuscany, is widely known as the home to some of the most important work’s of art, like Michaelangelo’s David and the entire Uffizi Gallery but it’s not the only reason to visit this geographically small town with a world-wide presence. Firenze, as it is known by its natives, is a town that offers sightseeing, history, shopping and my favorite reason to visit, amazing cuisine. Firenze, translated into English means “foodie” and although I just made that up, if you had the trip I just did with my wife, you would be willing to believe it.

Whether you spent the day looking at art, shopping in the streets or taking in the amazing view from the Piazelle Michaelangelo, you’ll have probably done this while walking on to each on your two feet. It’s that kind of activity that builds up a massive hunger and no one feeds the need like Florentines. Italians like to eat slow, long meals that are doused in much conversation and in the sharing of many plates. At base it’s a simple cuisine made up of meats, mellow cheeses and produce but no one over does food like they do. You’ll find many a well-known and hidden foodie gems in this town but none of them can compare to Il Fagioli.

This little restaurant is hidden down one of the very few streets of Florence that ISN’T heavy with foot traffic. Surprising considering its proximity to both the Basilica Santa Croce and the Ponte Vecchio. Reservations are a good idea but not always needed. Prepare to share a table with some strangers and also, don’t come unless you’re hungry, really hungry. While a working knowledge of Italian cuisine would be helpful, the staff is more than happy and almost insistent that they design a perfect meal for you. While the menu itself is small, it’s also completely in Italian and while you’re trying to figure out what to get, be sure to have a few sips of the delicious house Chianti which is almost buttery in its rich presentation of flavors.

It’s a very small dining room doused with warm light that will make you feel like you’re in someone’s house not a restaurant. Start off with a the very traditional Ribollita, a vegetable and bread soup. It’s made with day old bread, a selection of local greens and olive oil. It is to Florence what hamburgers are to America. When you hear a loud banging from the kitchen, get up for your table and take a look into the kitchen. That is the sound of a chef taking a cleaver to a side of beef right in front of you. What you’re witnessing is steak that isn’t sliced from the cut until order it. No measurements, everything is eyeballed. Talk about some serious wow factor points!!Watching the cooks and severs do final prep is like watching fine art being created right in front of your eyes; scoops of stewed beans, pours of olive oil, various citrus squeezes and fresh herbs are all added right before the delectable dishes are brought to your table.

Without asking you will be served the most succulent tasting medium rare steak you’ll ever eat. Be in the know, use the spoon, not a fork to serve yourself. Don’t be taken in by the way steak is serves in the US; beef has fat. It’s what makes the steak taste great. Accept that and then dig into one of the most delicious and perfectly cooked steaks you’ll ever have. Do NOT and I mean don’t, skip out on the white beans. They will be the best god damn beans you ever eat in your life…especially if you let them go for a swim in the steak juices.

I’m not much of a dessert person but after watching piece after piece of home-made after dinner treats go from table to table, you’ll do what we did and pick something to split. It’s OK, everyone does.

As this amazing meal made of local goodies came to a close, I knew I had to report back to my fellow members of the “world’s #1 Steak Club” and you, our readers. So, in proper fashion, I sent out the SC7 glove changing signal; an upright t-bone. You gottta eat here but sure to show some respect to a local favorite, try to act like you live here and it’s just a regular night out to eat.

4.5 out of 5 knives
-Rev