Our wonderful host, Giancarlo at Le Volpi e Luva recommended this Prosecco and we enjoyed it at his table in Florence and at ours in Philadelphia. This is a mildly crisp prosecco while light and not overly dry. My only regret is that we only brought 1 bottle home – I’ll have to find some here now…
Claudio, our tour guide from Drivers Guide Service (who was wonderful by the way) suggested La Griglietta (Via Germanico, 170 00192 Roma, Italia) which has been in operation for the last 41 years by 2 brothers who run it with pride and love which is evident in the food. If you’re in Rome anytime, you should stop by and spend as much time as you have enjoying these home made specialites.
Let me start by saying that I do not generally eat artichockes or like them for that matter, but that all changed in Roma. They started with a fire roasted jerusalem artichocke which cooked for so long that the outer rings resembled baked potato chips and had the earthy flavor of the soil likely not far from our lunch.
The restaurant was relatively small and when we sat down, the waiter broke off some bread from the drawer in the cabinet to the left here. He brought us an eggplant crepe – meets pressed lasagne. I don’t know really what it was beyond perfect, and too small (I could have eaten more). He also brought peas and pancetta and a variety of croquettes stuffed with fresh mozzerella and other fresh fillings. Luckily, they left enough space for the feature dish: pasta. They really know what they’re doing on this front as they brought out homemade gnocchi and spinach ravioli in a pasta that tastes like it was just made when we ordered as it had the consistency that only a fresh noodle can. The sauce was equally good on the pasta and on every piece of fresh bread I could find to absorb it off the plate. I don’t think licking a plate in Italy is any more cooth than it is here, but the thought did cross my mind. If you’re in Rome, make sure you visit La Griglietta and give yourself the afternoon or evening to walk it off.
I found Le volpi e l’uva in a Travel & Leisure issue before we went on vacation which identified it as one of the top 10 wine bars in Europe. Being the wine lovers that we are, we had to find it. It was a bit tricky as it’s between Ponte Vecchio and the Palazzo Pitti. Giancarlo is an amazing host, first suggesting some prosecco to start us off. It’s worth noting that we had a full lunch in Florence already with Pizza in one of the squares, but when Giancarlo asked if we wanted an assortment of Italian cheeses, the only answer was: yes, please. The cheese was wonderful and had 2 different types of pecorino (one very soft with a washed rind, and the other hard with saffron) and 3 other wonderful selections as well. They were paired with 2 honeys, and two chutneys . It was also accompanied by some extraordinarily fresh tomatoes and the best foccacia I’ve ever had – no rosemary or other herb, just simple olive oil and salt: what else is necessary? Giancarlo recommended a Chianti to go with our cheese and it was perfect and not like any other Chianti we’d ever had. It was light, slightly fruity, and a really matched our cheese well. We asked him for some recommendations and brought some of Italy (wine) home with us. We spent about 2 hours eating, drinking, eating, and drinking and absorbing all Firenze, or Florence as we know it had to offer.