Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Trattoria Angiolino - Florence, Italy

In an earlier post, I mentioned I researched typical Tuscan food. Here is my list.
1. Lampredotto stands - 4th cow stomach
2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3. Bread
4. Chestnuts
5. Wine - try Chianti
6. Donuts
7. Ribollita - Tuscan soup
8. Schiacciata con l'uva - focaccia with grapes
9. Cenci - fried dough
10. Fagioli All'uccelletto - bean and meat dish.

It's an intimidating list. Whereas other people hunt the real David statue, I hunt food. This led me to Trattoria Angiolino on Santo Spirito.
They were advertising Ribollita (€7) and Fagioli all'olio o all'uccelletto (€4). These were rare finds so I was properly excited. They weren't open yet (be prepared for Italian restaurants to appear open but really aren't), so I gazed upon prosciuttos at Olio & Convivium (look at the per kilo prices),
 and I watched the Tango Spirito dancers for another hour.
Finally, their opening hour arrived and I was starving. Reservations are encouraged, but they were able to seat me and my second (my large backpack). I do recommend making reservations for Santo Spirito restaurants. They are very popular and receive much foot traffic.
Trattoria Angiolino has a fantastic interior. The exposed stone, murals, Tuscan colors, dim lighting add to its hushed atmosphere. Respectful of this, I glanced around and sneakily took pictures.
My food arrived remarkably fast. Here we have the Ribollita alla fiorentina. Links show that Ribollita means reboiled, was originally leftover minestrone reboiled with bread, and features inexpensive vegetables. It is a simple dish with white, green and muted red colors. There were light Italian spices present. Overall, a simple hearty dish presented with a triple layer of plates.
Along with this came bread and cooked white beans. The bread was part of the cover charge (€3). The white beans confused me for a while. Fagioli all'olio o all'uccelletto should come with meat, yet this was just white beans. Then I remembered how I ordered. Oftentimes at restaurants I'll say the beginning of a dish's name so I'm less embarrassed as I butcher the foreign words. The short, bald Italian repeated back to me: "just fagioli all'olio?" I replied affirmatively, therefore I received Tuscan white beans with sage and olive oil. D'oh! They were quite good and satisfying. The bread was dense and chewy. I even mixed the table olive oil with the bread and beans. So good, so smooth.

My bill came to €11 which meant they subtracted the cover charge since I erred my order. Thank you for the grace. So, if you're looking for traditional Tuscan fare on an interesting thoroughfare filled with street vendors and possibly tango dancers, go to Trattoria Angiolino. They also serve larger dishes perfect for sharing.

Another dining room.
The front of the restaurant.
via Santo Spirito 36r,

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