How to use truffles in the kitchen

truffles. lots of truffles.

truffles. lots of truffles.

Besides just going at it and stuffing your face with these aromatic, umami nuggets of gold- I have a couple ideas for how to use truffles in the kitchen.

Last weekend, I headed over to the truffle festival in San Miniato with Girl in Florence, her hubby-to-be and met up with one of our foodie idols, Emiko Davies. Wow, that’s a lot of name dropping but I must give cred since Emiko and her sommelier master hubby (sounds like a team!) organized a rather decadent day for us and it wouldn’t have been possible without either of them for the truffle-y goods I got my paws on. Continue reading

Restaurants in Florence- top picks of 2015

A year of eating including Cibreino even if not formally mentioned

Polenta and ragu, artichokes and potato puree and ribollita…where’s the pizza and pasta you may ask?

It’s been a gluttonous year in this tiny city- and I’ve only scratched the surface. Florence is a TINY city, but there are nearly 3,000 eateries! I want to stay within normal BMI and cholesterol parameters, here! I’ve done my best to eat at as many places as possible, to meet the chefs, to see what was worth the almighty buck and also what was worth our time. Continue reading

Eating Istanbul in 4 days


When traveling, I have a couple rules. One is that I don’t want to plan anything. I need to wonder. To get lost.  Another criteria is that I need to eat really great food. I mean, what good is traveling if you don’t get to know the local food?


Earlier this year I went to Istanbul and I went again because a. it’s a tremendous city that I barely scratched the surface of. b. I have a friend there. Not only that, this is someone who has a similar lens that I do for analyzing society. Thanks to this incredible friend, I was able to observe a little bit better how the social fabric of Istanbul was woven and to see nuances of juxtapositions evident in daily life. Continue reading

7 Reasons to Visit Piedmont: Italy’s wine holy grail

Sightseeing in Piedmont

me: completely aloof as always Val: adorable, prepared as usual

Piedmont is the holy grail of culinary wine travel. It is home to the Slow Food Movement, an annual Cheese Festival in Bra, prized white truffles from Alba, pastured heritage beef, rugged un-manicured terroir with unique variations in its soil and orientation making it a complex home for age-worthy Nebbiolo, comforting rich cuisine, delicious tangy creamy cheeses, the heavily contested University of Gastronomic Sciences AND Eataly, birthplace of Vermouth in Turin and the producer of some of the most interesting wines in the country: Barbaresco and Barolo. This is a frightening short synopsis of the culturally rich region, however the only way to get the full feel for it is to visit for yourself.

definitely not a bad place

definitely not a bad place

I recently had the pleasure to visit the area with local blogger, Valerie Quintanilla. Valerie also dabbles in wine travel and introduced me to all things Nebbiolo. Not only was she able to take me to some of the most special producers of the region, she effortlessly pulled off a wine maker dinner and whipped up a feast to be paired along with it. I pinched myself every moment of this trip, hoping to never wake up from this delicious dream.

Thanks to Valerie spending some time with me and a friend visiting, I decided that in addition to being able to hang with Val, these are the top reasons to visit Piedmont: Continue reading

Aperitivo in Florence Article- UPDATED!

Photo Credit: Sam Engel (contact me to get in touch with Sam- he's a great photographer!)

Photo Credit: Sam Engel (contact me to get in touch with Sam- he’s a great photographer!)

Man oh man, it’s been a painful few months knowing I had a very popular/read post just dying to be updated. Mostly, I wanted to update my article on Aperitivo in Florence because there were some spots that have gone horribly downhill and it took some personal visits to realize horrifically how disgusting they were in both terms of service and quality. It’s a real bummer when recommendations get outdated, usually due to a rise in popularity, If people catch on to a good place in Florence, it usually doesn’t stay secret for long (which should usually be a good thing!) Unless locales are prepared for the increased volume, they usually can’t keep up with providing consistent quality and service.

Here is the link to my updated post:

Aperitivo in Florence- a round-up

And while I was at it, I realized the article I wrote on Where to Eat in San Niccolo (the area near Piazzale Michelangelo) was also a bit outdated so I cleaned it up, with a realization that most places in that area suck. Florence, what is wrong with you?! (Sometimes) Continue reading

Florence represented in Eater Cocktail Week 2015


I started this Curious Appetite blog in 2010 and I kept up a blog ever since I started traveling in 2005, when I moved to London as a young lucky/idiot/genius. Continue reading

What’s in Season Fall 2015 (Florence, Italy)

It’s so fun to peruse outdoor markets and I personally love the change of seasons, smelling tasting and exploring the new goodies on the block.

I usually hit up the Sant’Ambrogio market for just about everything. Especially meat from the butchers inside the market and fresh, dirt cheap veggies. It’s also not very touristy thanks to uber-touristy, kitschy Mercato San Lorenzo that keeps Sant’Ambrogio pretty real. I do love San Lorenzo for cheap eats and the foodie oasis within- just not my cup of tea for produce shopping. Although the Sant’Ambrogio market is starting to be inundated with vendors and not farmers, you can still experience a slice of Italian life with a shop through this market. There are some farmers still around (and definitely none at San Lorenzo) and it’s a modest reminder of how Italians live and eat in normal circumstances. Continue reading

New Event: Art Walk + Renaissance Mixology Oct 9th 2015 4pm

Aperitivo Tour with Curious Appetite

One of Mayday’s tasty herbal provisions- come and try this Friday October 9th 2015

Hello readers! I’m quickly writing to let you know I will be teaming up with art and history expert Alexandra Lawrence for a special Walk + Talk event this Friday October 9th!

Here is the event details from Alexandra’s Facebook page:

Walks and Talks Renaissance Art + Aperitivo

“How did people really eat, drink, live and love during the Renaissance? We will attempt to answer this with a visit to Palazzo Davanzati and the exhibition “Il sole in casa”, which explores daily life through Italian ceramics. Different domestic objects in the palazzo—ranging from furniture to famous 14th c. frescoed stories on the bedroom walls—illustrate gender roles, home décor, food culture, the role of the minor arts and artisans in Renaissance homes, and much more.

Walks and Talks Renaissance Art + Aperitivo Mayday

After the visit, join us for a private guided tasting of Renaissance elixirs by Florence’s most seasoned and fascinating mixologist at Mayday. Go back in time to imbibe historical medicinal liqueurs, house-made essences, Renaissance potions and potent concoctions, all paired with artisan cheeses that were nibbled during the same time period. We will be accompanied by local food blogger Curious Appetite (that’s me!) who is on top of the contemporary food and drink scene in town and who will give us a deeper understanding of the cocktail and elixir culture of Florence’s most defining era. Not to be missed!”

For those of you in town and would like to combine a fascinating art walk lead by one of the most sought out art history experts in Florence (Alexandra) with a potion stop to imbibe in some Renaissance mixology at Florence’s truly speakeasy craft cocktail lounge, contact me or Alexandra to RSVP

details: Friday October 9th 2015. Time: 4-7pm location: meeting point will be released to all upon RSVP

cost: Contact for inclusive pricing for the art walk and the post-walk Renaissance-themed aperitivo. This event is private and we get exclusive access to Mayday and special drinks off the menu, as well as various tastings from their mixology lab. There will be light food pairings included.

inclusions: A guided fused art and food/drink walk with 2 local experts with a truly unique theme!

For more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch! Space is limited- reserve your spot today.

In your quest for time travel (and good booze),

Curious Appetite

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Trattoria Coco Lezzone (Florence, Italy): Mixed feelings


By a fateful accident of texts exchanged between me and a pal we ended up dining at Coco Lezzone for what should have been a no-nonsense weekday lunch date. I suggested Coco Filippo and said pal replied “oh, you must mean Coco Lezzone!” Since I never heard of this trattoria before, truth be told, I wrote off Filippo and said to Lezzone we go! Continue reading

New Opening: Locale on Via delle Seggiole (Florence, Italy)


smokey. mezcal. negroni. And I usually yuck at tequila- not at Locale on Via delle Seggiole.

A recent fixation of mine has been with craft cocktails, for many reasons. Mostly for an article I was doing research for, but also because I love them. It goes without saying that there is an art of being a barman. In addition to the product, but also the sort of social interaction and place involved with the ritual. If we look at old sitcoms, such as Cheers and even the Simpsons, the bar or the pub was a place where you could let it all hang out. Your barman is your confidant, your hooch peddler and the one who will banter with you when you have no one else to- and never judge you no matter how much whiskey and lager you sling back. Continue reading