The shadows fled the city of Pisa and descended upon Firenze, prowling the cobbled alleys in search of flesh and blood…
Oh, alright…who am I fooling? We were nothing like ghouls and vamps, but we were certainly making a hasty beeline for a bloody (no pun intended) good Florentine steak dinner. After checking into NH Porta Rossa, we wandered down the street, awestruck by the architecture before getting lost at the rather worn-out end of Via della Vigna Vecchia. It was pretty dark in the alleys after the sun set, with the meagre number of street lamps in that area. At the risk of sounding like a complete chicken, I was convinced we were going to be killed by someone…or something. I was starting to hurl expletives at my friend for recommending this restaurant to us, when we circled the peeling block for the 163rd time and finally found the osteria.
The restaurant was empty. I thought we were done for but decided we should give the food a chance as the friend who recommended the restaurant used to be a chef. Also, Italians don’t go for dinner till late in the night, unlike us who were right on time (London time, that is…) to fill our bellies. We sat down and hoped for a meal so good that it would make up for all the worries about getting killed.
Now, we did have an excellent dinner. The crostini was lovely, especially when piled on high with nutty cannellini. The buffalo mozzarella was such a delectable, creamy incarnate of perfection that it was almost worth getting killed for one sinful bite. The tomatoes in the salad couldn’t get any sweeter, or fresher. And the steak, oh that divine piece of meat! We devoured a massive 1.3kg porterhouse and drew astonished/disgusted/I-don’t-know glances from other diners. Well, M had the most of it; whilst I was quite taken by how succulent and tasty the steak was, I couldn’t quite stomach more of it as the hunk of meat looked too rare for a visual eater like me. M was delighted of course, he didn’t have to fight his wife over the other love of his life! I sat through most of the meal, watching in awe as M alternated shoving morsels of steak and sipping Chianti like a well-oiled eating machine. Amazing but scary, the feat and my husband, that is….
We finished our first Florentine dinner off with a romantic walk across Ponte Santa Trinita for some gelato, naturally, feeling really quite chuffed that we made it out of the alleys alive, and more importantly, that my husband’s love for giant hunks of juicy steak, could explain his tall stature. Hmmm. We learn something new everyday.
Osteria del Caffe Italiano is located at:
Via Isola delle Stinche 11/13r, Firenze
Tel. +39 055 28 90 20