So I told you I have been celebrating my birthday all week and now I am going to tell you about a place you should visit if you’re in Florence and after a fantastic meal. Acquacotta is a wonderful restaurant that is tucked away off the main tourist track for those of us who are looking for delicious Tuscan flavours.
I had no idea where Nic and the boys were taking me for lunch on Sunday. We walked around a few streets I knew well, however, I should know it isn’t Nic’s style to take me directly to a secret location (I’m sure he did this so I wouldn’t be able to go back without him- smart!). From the outside it is a very non descript trattoria so don’t be looking for bells and whistles to draw your attention to the wonderful food inside, just trust me!
When you enter the small, warm and inviting trattoria the first thing that hits you is the beautiful smells coming from the kitchen. That mixed with soft yellow lighting, red and white checkered table cloths and the really friendly server are a fantastic combination and one you can only enjoy. The trattoria is made up of three small dining rooms while the small kitchen is smack bang in the middle. I love a kitchen you can look into and see the engine purring. We were sat in a small, intimate room next to the windows which was lovely. There were about 5 other small tables in the room and all were full!
Nic ordered a delicious bottle of Morellino di Scansano which hit the spot and paired beautifully with our antipasto of Tuscan meats. I have to appologise as I forgot to photograph the meat platter and we polished it off before I remembered, I was too busy being caught up in the moment! However, I did manage to get back on track with the artichoke and pecorino salad which we also shared as a starter…
A very simple and typical Tuscan salad excecuted perfectly. The raw artichoke was thinly sliced with a lovely soft crunch that paired beautifully with the sharpness of the thinly sliced pecorino. The boys were not keen to try so Nic and I didn’t push the matter and enjoyed the delicious salad while they polished off the bread!
They were busy, very busy in fact and with only one server for the entire restaurant there was a bit of a wait between courses. It wasn’t that long but try telling that to the boys who would of happily chewed through the bread basket if we let them!
When our meals arrived I was tickled pink! I ordered the rabbit and was not disappointed. The flavour was delicate, yet morish and with a side of roasted potatoes cooked beautifully I was really happy. Alex ordered the cinghiale (wild boar) with polenta mash and devoured it within minutes (he did manage to offer me a piece for a taste of the rabbit and it was divine).
As much as I loved my rabbit, I have to admit I was totally envious of Nic’s beef! He ordered the tagliata di manzo (sliced beef) and without a doubt I can honestly say it was the best steak I have eaten (kind, dear husband let me have two slices!!). Not only was the meat cooked to perfection, it melted on your tongue with it’s sweet, sweet flavour……breathtaking to say the least. Poor Nic had his whole family eyeing off his dish. Max ordered the homemade beef ragù with parpadelle, it was another dish full of deep, rich flavour, though I do wonder if he paused long enough between bites to actually enjoy it!? (pre-teen age boys are scarily hungry ALL the time!)
We all sat there after our meal feeling comfortably full, savouring the beautiful flavours we had just consumed.
The birthday plans prevented us from eating dessert at Acqucotta (that is another blog entry), however, that didn’t stop the boys from getting a piece of chocolate cake to share from our server! I did manage to sneak a bite and it reminded me of my mum’s death by chocolate dessert she use to make in her restaurant years ago, a dessert people would wait out in the cold for!
Acquacotta is a trattoria I will be taking people to when they come to town and want a fantastic Tuscan meal. I hope I have managed to talk some of you into going…….just don’t tell too many people!