This is the 9th post in my Best Bites of Italy series, a round-up of the best eats during my 2 week trip through Rome, Venice, Florence and Cinque Terre. Previous posts include… Rome: highlighting Renato e Luisa, La Gelateria del Teatro, Fried Artichokes at Giggetto, La Pizza del Teatro in Rome and Osteria Le Mani in Pasta (truffle heaven!); Venice: Osteria Alla Frasca and Cip Ciap Pizza; and Florence: Uscio e Bottega.
This is a story about how a lasagna redeemed my trust in good Italian food in Florence. After a disappointing meal at Acqua al 2 our first night (so bad I had to write a TripAdvisor review to warn others against this place – review here), I became very wary of food recommendation and online reviews. Long story short – I chose to go to Acqua al 2 because two different coworkers raved about their experience there so it got me excited. I should have known better than to blindly trust them because I had read some reviews online which had red flags, plus Acqua al 2 has locations in Washington DC and in San Diego? Yea, really should have known better.
So the next few nights, I became paranoid when picking a place for dinner. To the point that I started annoying myself because I was getting hangry and couldn’t just pick a place. Am I the only one who gets like this? I’m already terrible at making restaurant decisions (food FOMO I’m telling you), but this just really escalated my indecision. J’s so sweet and usually lets me choose what I want. I suspect it’s because he doesn’t want to be responsible for the wrath of Shelly eating bad food.
Anyway, J recalled a memory of the fluffiest gnocchi he’s ever had in Florence. That was years ago, so he didn’t know where it was, but that’s how I started to narrow down our choices. After searching for gnocchi online, I found Trattoria San Lorenzo. This was a short 10 minute walk from our apartment and honestly just mentally exhausted from picking a place, I decided to go for it.
Started with prosciutto and bufala mozzarella plate that made me believe that all tomatoes and olives in Italy are supposed to taste this fresh. None of that bland tomatoes you find sometimes in supermarkets here.
The gcocchi was for J. He came and got what we came for: the Gnocchi Gratinati. The gnocchi was fluffy, but I don’t think J was in love with the cream sauce on this dish. Not as wonderful as what we were hoping for.
But the star of the night was thus Lasagna Bolognese. The lasagna was layered to perfection, with the noodles perfectly al dente. But what I really loved about this lasagna was the bolognese that had just the right amount of milk in it that helped balance with the tomato and meat ragu. It is just what I expected lasagna in Italy to be like. I can only dream of making something this good at home.
Needless to say, I finished the whole thing. Faster than you can say “Yummers”! Ok, I was playing nice and gave J a few bites too. 😉
We finished the meal off with tiramisu, my fave. I’m starting to see a pattern here and might have to switch things up the next time I go to Italy. Have to expand my dessert horizons!
We took the short walk home back to our apartment near the Duomo. As Domo was getting up close and personal with the Duomo, J and I admired its beauty as its white facade contrasted with the dark sky. We’re old fogies these days so we turned down soon after dinner and didn’t party with all the kiddies who were out and about. Gotta get that sleep, you know what I mean?
My final note, how unreal does this city look? Looks like we’re walking on a movie set in LA, but I promise you that it’s all real.
Trattoria San Lorenzo | Trip Advisor
Piazza San Lorenzo 33/r, 50123 Florence, Italy