Photo by Optical Illusion on Flickr
I usually find the New York Times "36 Hours" pieces to be formulaic and unexciting, but Danielle Pergament's 36 Hours: Florence made me really hungry, especially since she talked about free bar snacks that made my mouth water. With the strength of the euro driving prices up all over Europe, free Florentine bar snacks sound pretty good to me.
My only question: What is Buontalenti gelato? I'll try to find out. In the meantime, here's where she went for the free food, great gelato, excellent pastries, and dinner.
Badiani Viale dei Mille, 20r: Ph: 39-055-578-682, is where Danielle had the Buontalenti gelato.
Free bar snacks for the price of a glass of wine (5 to 8 euros) at the following three spots. Bar snacks include cheese ravioli, seafood risotto, crisp artichoke salad, grilled vegetables, and tomato bruschetta:
Fuori Porta Via del Monti alle Croci, 10r Ph: 39-055-234-2483
Rifrullo (rooftop bar) Via San Niccolo, 55r Ph: 39-055-234-2621
La Dolce Vita Piazza del Carmine Ph: 39-055-284-595
Dolci & Dolcezze--"the city's best pasticceria-capuccino and croissant" Piazza Cesare Beccaria, 8r Ph: 39-055-234-5458
Trattoria Toscana Gozzi Sergio: "juicy Florentine steak (34 Euros a kilo)" Piazza San Lorenzo, 8r Ph: 39-055-281-941
Osteria Belle Donne: "arugula salad with pecorino and artichokes, eggplant parmesan, and roasted chicken with peppers" Via delle Belle Donne, 16r 39-055-238-2609
Teatro del Sale: Boutique grocery, theater, and private club (memberships at door for 5 euros Via dei Macci, 111r Ph: 39-055-200-1492 Dishes: buffet table features olive tapenade, rigatoni with ricotta cheese, spaghetti with pesto, sauteed fennel, bean salad, roack of lamb, and chocolate mousse with whipped cream and wafer cookies" Plus entertainment that begins at 9:30. The bill for all this is seriously cheap: 25 Euros a person
For more info on where to eat in Florence or just to cross check where Danielle ate check out faith willinger's website. Faith is an American who has lived in Florence for many years. She really knows her stuff. Also, Mario Batali has great tips on eating in the rest of Tuscany on his site.
I think I solved the mystery of Buontalenti ice cream. According to many sources Bernardo Buontalenti invented gelato in 1565. The owner of Badiani claims he found Buontalenti's recipe in some old manuscripts. Sounds like an Italian urban legend to me.