Curious Appetite

The Best Restaurants in Florence open all August (updated 2017)

Pasta in Florence tomato pappa al pomodoro
All things summer tomatoes at Osteria de’ Pazzi- open all August

You’ve probably read about it: Italy shuts down for the month of August. Well, not entirely. Over the last 12 years, I’ve seen this shift of cities being less of ghost towns. My first visit to Italy was 2005 in Florence during August- can’t remember noticing this apocalyptic country closure. But in 2007 I was studying in Perugia for the summer and I definitely witnessed the city empty gradually through July until August arrived and all there was left were the tumbleweeds and overheated classrooms (and professors). The last 5 years, I’ve noticed a shift of closures becoming less month-long to 10-14 days, or less.

This post is a curated guide to restaurants in Florence open in August- all month long. Bear in mind Ferragosto, the 15th of August/Assumption day, mostly everything in town will be closed similar to the Christmas effect. The listings I’ve handpicked are restaurants who confirmed being open all month, some even the 15th. Some will be closed or will decide last-minute to close for the 15th so better to call ahead when you make a reservation or if you plan on stopping by. Continue Reading

Where to find the best pasta in Florence for Vogue Magazine

Between researching stops for my progressive dining tour in Florence and eating out (aka my favorite thing), I have come to find the restaurants in Florence who serve excellent pasta- so I wrote a dining guide all about if for Vogue Magazine.

Here is the link to the article now on Vogue: Where to Find the Best Pasta in Florence

My first job in Italy involved assisting & translating cooking classes. We made fresh pasta during every lesson, taught by a little Italian nonna who didn’t speak English. It was one of the most fulfilling jobs I ever had- I was able to put my Italian language to use which I spent years at University learning plus doing something with my passion for cuisine.

After doing who knows how many lessons and rolling out pasta, making tagliatelle, gnudi and tortelli- I sort of became discerning about my pasta. Now I prefer tagliatelle from paper thin sheets, even if I’m not sure if this is the “right” way. I can’t stand if tagliatelle strands are thick (in height) and I can’t explain how, but I usually can tell when fresh pasta is made in-house or when they have bought it from a industrial pastificio. I love making pasta at home just as much as I love eating pasta. Now on to pursuing an independent career, I still learn pasta secrets from the local culinary experts on the pasta making classes I help arrange.

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Manifattura- bringing Italian spirits back in Florence

 

I’m really excited about a new bar recently open in Florence. So new it’s barely a week old.

Now I know this is dangerous territory, to review a bar that is barely born. However, the people behind Manifattura are no stranger to the cocktail world in Florence, namely Fabiano Buffolini, who poured & stirred from fine institutions Florian (I regret is closed) to Golden View Open Bar.

Located in Piazza San Pancrazio, a sort of hidden gem micro ‘hood with Museo Marino Marini. If you haven’t been, this museum is home to classic, contemporary & modern art by Marino Marini in the ex-church of San Pancrazio. More info here since I want to get to the juice of the matter.

The bar is a 50’s retro Italian lounge, herb potted walls at the entrance, lacquered & Tuscan wood table tops, bartenders in white and waiters in suit and tie. Continue Reading

{recipe} Pasta with Shrimp & Zucchini Blossoms (fiori di zucca)

love love love sant’ambrogio market

It’s official- my favorite summer vegetable are zucchini and especially their flowers. In Florence they seem to be around most of the year as I see them in the fall and in the spring. I wonder if there are some greenhouses responsible for year-round zucchini (or courgette) but the natural summer ones generously blossomed by blistering heat are the ones I tend to fawn over. Before any Italian puts a bounty on my head, zucchini are “zucchine” in Italian but since I speak American English I’ll still refer to them as “zucchini.”

I lead market food tours in Florence and one of the first things I point out to people is to take note of the zucchini flowers in the markets, and the visible quality of the produce in general. Continue Reading

{review} Aroma Ristorante Firenze: Seafood, Service & Style

mazzancolle from the Tyrrhenian sea and a touch of burrata- I’m in love

A topic I could never bore of talking about, and one I incessantly get into, is food and where to eat in Florence. I love food so much, I want everyone to eat great food and I hope the world lives forever if just to give us wonderful food. And if you share my love for simply bullseye spot-on grub with at least an ounce of enthusiasm, I highly recommend Aroma Ristorante. Especially if you are looking to eat at one of the best seafood restaurants in Florence! Continue Reading

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