Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pino's Arte Caffetteria Bistro - Florence, Italy

The news of my upcoming Florence travels tended to generate comments and advice. The architect spoke of the Campanile and it's 400+ steps. The artists spoke of the museums and statues. Food people also spoke of the gelato, but also admonished me that Italy wasn't all about pasta and pizza. With this in mind, I hopped on the internet and researched typical Tuscan food. Pizza was never very  far from my mind, but my stomach has its digestive limits. Really, it does.

My pizza desire brought me to Pino's Arte Caffetteria Bistro Da Mamma Anna on Sunday afternoon. It was affordable, looked promising, and the gelato festival hadn't started yet that afternoon.
The waiter showed me to my table. They have both indoor and outdoor seating options. I chose to sit in their outdoor courtyard which was nicely colorful and welcoming. It was also an oasis from the Ponte Vecchio's tourist craziness. I sat in my chair and nearly fell off it thanks to a newly discovered broken leg. Whoops. I think that's when I met Mamma Anna. They quickly replaced my chair and profusely apologized.
I placed my order for the Prosciutto pizza (€7) which featured tomato, mozzarella, and ham. Along with pizzas, their menu also has two fixed priced options - a Menu Toscano and Pasta (5 types) + Salad. As I waited, I glanced around and took some pictures. My table is in the bottom left hand corner. It's a pleasant looking establishment surrounded by religious art stores. Some tourists even came by to take pictures. Thankfully, they were respectful and silent.
This is the inside portion. Notice the gray and blood red flooring.
Finally, the pizza arrived. It smelled wonderful and was nicely fragrant. Oil glistened at the crust's edge. It was a bit watery probably from the tomatoes. The bottom was crisp with crust about 5mm thick. The cheese was not well melted to the crust and existed nearly as a separate layer. This proved troublesome eating.
Eventually, it was too soggy to enjoy eating. I even drained the pizza after my first 1 or 2 slices. Overall, the pizza's wetness and separate cheese layer was too much for me. I didn't finish my pizza. Neither did I take it with me. The wetness does not make this one for leftovers.

I left disheartened. My pizza experience has not lived up to my expectations yet.

Pino's Bistro
Opposite side of the River Arno by way of the Ponte Vecchio bridge. Look to the right as you walk down.
Good prices, no cover charge (a bonus here).
I do not recommend their pizza.

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