Hey there! Apologies for being a teensy bit late on this, but the night I wanted to make a post on this, I was actually at a Taste event on Thursday…! Which you did not miss anything but an overpriced aperitivo (25eu) and a poorly printed (with sloppy google translated) release of a “foodie” guide to Florence from Firenze Spettacolo. The book you then could buy at a “promo” cost of 5eu. The guide itself was nothing surprising and somewhat hit-and-miss in terms of recommendations and in my opinion, not worth the 12 euros (the non-promo listed price.) The event itself was saved by cool snack stands present such as Gastronomia Galanti and Trattoria Da Burde (serving up Ribollita and Farinata soup) but other than those 2 and an outdated hotel space, the event was worth missing.
Despite my bittersweet kick-off experience to the events for Pitti Taste, there are more legit food-centric events worth checking out, I promise. What is Pitti Taste/Fuori di Taste? It’s an annual FOOD festival where basically there are special dinners, lunches, demos, events and tastings held at restaurants, bars and cooking schools around town to showcase excellency and new tricks in the Tuscan food scene deemed Fuori di Taste events. There is also a central showroom space (Stazione Leopolda) where loads of purveyors are present to sample and taste off their goods. The cool part of this event is say you’ve been curious about L’Ora di Aria, Florence’s 1 Michelin star “innovative” restaurant and Marco Stabile– during Taste you can sample a special menu at a promo price (just 45eu for Michelin-star dining) Of course, Michelin-star is not-the-end-all-be-all of fine dining. For those really interested in cuisine, experiencing (and understanding) the whole Michelin craze is beneficial for getting a well-rounded understanding of culinary culture.
In the past, I’ve gone to tastings from Carapina gelato where they make savory gelato inventions like caprese (tomato sorbet and mozzarella gelato and basil topping) or white truffle fused sashimi sushi at Momoyama so its a period when you see Florence show its inventive stuff in a city usually dominated by centuries-old traditional cuisine.
That being said, here are my picks for where to experience Fuori di Taste-themed events for the 2016 Pitti Taste Food Festival
*Note: In terms of reserving, its always best to give a call or e-mail ahead of time
FRIDAY MARCH 11th 2016
*ALL DAY (10am-9pm) Supreme Pearls: White Meets Black: Procacci Truffle Cafe cost: 20eu
Tasting of bubbly Franciacorta Cuvée Royale from Antinori paired with with Royal Calvisius Caviar.
Info and reservations: 055 211656 http://www.procacci1885.it Via de’ Tornabuoni 64r, Firenze
APERITIVO (6pm-9pm) A Taste of the Mountains: Genepy Aperitivo cost: free entry (pay as you drink)
*Note: this event will be running for the whole of the Taste Festival
This might earn me some enemies, but I love bitter herbacious aperitivo liqueurs and this tasting looks interesting. Cocktail drinks with Genepy (Artemisia Glacialis aka glacier wormwood) supplied by Disilleria Erboristica Alpina with an aperitivo buffet aimed at pairing intentionally with the drinks at hand. Other liqueurs and an award winning 15 herb and botanical infusioned Amaro will be sampled off also during the evening.
Info: Via Gioberti 168r Florence, 055 2476214 http://www.pasticceriaserafini.it
*APERITIVO (6-11pm) Jazz Aperitivo at the Four Seasons Cost: 25eu for the 1st round, 12eu for the sequential)
Various jazz bands will be coming through the Atrium bar at the Four Seasons while you sip on craft cocktails and snack on artisan cheeses and cured meats, as well as other fanciful finger bites.
info: Borgo Pinti 99 Florence, 055 2626450
*Note: this event will be running all weekend
*LUNCH AND DINNER (12-2:30pm, 7-9:30pm) Truffles and Cocktails at Florian cost: varies, 52eu for a 3- course menu inc. cocktail pairings or a la carte from 14-22eu)
This one is off the Taste menu…Fuori di Taste as you might say, and looks awesome. A special menu of truffles with a craft cocktail pairing. The truffles are provided by Giuliano Tartufi and the cocktails are intentionally paired.
info: Via del Parione, 32r Florence 055 284291 http://www.caffeflorian.com/en/florence
*Note: this event will be running all weekend and also Monday the 14th
DINNER (7pm-11pm) …E CHE CAVOLO! (Damned by Kale?) cost: not listed
Various dishes based of Tuscan Kale from local kale growers, the black heart of Tuscan cuisine. For the love of kale!
info: Via Isola delle Stinche 11r-13r Florence 055 289080 http://www.caffeitaliano.it http://www.cavolonerofiorentino.it
Additional noteworthy events include: A Taste of Puglia at Olio in Santo Spirito, All about Risotto lead by a local food critic at Desinare (cooking school), Innovation is Feminine (food tastings led by female purveyors) at women-directed Cordon Bleu culinary academy in Florence and an Artisan Beer Tasting at Eataly from 5-6:30
SATURDAY MARCH 12TH
LUNCH (12-2pm) The Truffle Revolution: Ora d’Aria Cost: 45eu (5 tapas tasting- expect to taste rather than to fill)
Truffle prepared Tapas at this innovative michelin-starred restaurant in Florence led by Marco Stabile
info: Via dei Georgofili 9r 055 2001699 http://www.oradiariaristorante.com
SNACKS (2-7:30pm) Macarons and tea! Boutique Laduree Cost: 5.70eu (precise!)
A macaroon flight of 3 paired with luxury tea tasting. For the love of macaroons!
info: Via della Vigna Nuova 48r http://www.laduree.com
*CAKE CARBS (3-9pm) All about La Colomba. Sala Ex Leopoldine Cost: donation style
Colomba is a simple dove-shaped sweet springy bread cake topped with pearl sugar and almonds served during Easter time and unfortunately many are purchased pre-made from the grocery store but this will be a great way to taste artisanal baked Colomba with wine pairings/tastings. 10 different colomba cakes will be presented.
info: Piazza Tasso 7, Florence 333 7677228
*Note: this event repeats on Sunday
CRAFT BEER (6-10pm) Italian Craft Beer and Food. Lo Sverso. Cost: 8-12eu
Beers from Birrificio Italiano will be provided with in-house prepared snack pairings. Ideal for those wanting to taste awesome craft Italian beer and understand the beer scene in Italy beyond Peroni and Moretti.
info: Via Panicale 7-9r 349 7482939 http://www.facebook.com/losversofirenze
FASHION APERITIVO (6-9pm) The Beautiful and the Tasty: Truffles, fashion and design! Arkadia Design
This event says by invite only, but I am sure you could contact them and give it a whirl. This looks interesting: a game of tasting engaging the senses and crossing sectors of taste and aesthetics. Truffle goods from San Miniato will be presented in a interior design studio and with local fashion designs to browse through from Zerosettantastudio. A full-circle Made in Italy concept event.
info: Via Monaco 2a, 0571 419470 http://www.arkadesign.it
MIXOLOGY (6:30-8:30) Cocktail Fever! Le Muse Ristorante & Lounge Cost: 9eu
Revisited cocktails prepared by resident mixologists and Quinto Quarto (offal) finger foods in pairing.
Info: Via dei Conti 9 055 2937730 http://www.lemusefirenze.com
APERITIVO (7-1:30pm) Hi! I’d like an Aperitivo, please! Circolo Aurora Cost: free event (pay as you drink)
A all night event dedicated to cocktails and the art of mixing, breaking down the prime ingredients that are needed to make excellent craft drinks. This bar is super artsy and cute- worth a visit at some point in the evening especially if you happen to find yourself in the Oltrarno.
info: Viale Vasco Pratolini 2 (Piazza Tasso) http://www.circoloaurorafirenze.it
POP-UP DINNER (7pm-11pm) Tasting with the Florist: Bouquet of Flavors. Riva Loft. Cost: 25eu
This looks cool- an unsual dinner production put on by Cuisine Collectif where the Riva Loft Hotel is transformed info a Florist Bistro with edible floral arrangements, a bouquet of cheeses, artisan beer pairings and Spring-themed sweets.
info: Via Baccio Bandinelli 98 055 7130272 http://www.rivalofts.com
Additional Noteworthy events: Cinta Sinese meat tasting at Nedo, Coccoli and Prosciutto tasting at La Divina Pizza, All about Rice at Il Santo Graal, Art Taste at Strozzi Cafe and Italy is Served at Vinoutlet
SUNDAY MARCH 13th
Many events which I’ve listed are on repeat all weekend- so if you can’t make one you see listed for Friday and Saturday, odds are you can catch them again on Sunday.
CHEESE (6-10pm) Unconventional Cheese. Rivalta Cafe. Cost: pay as you consume
A unconventional aperitivo which will present 3 unique cocktails realized by creative bartender Rachele Giglioni and will have may artisan cheeses showcased to pair. The location of Rivalta near the river also does not suck.
info: Lungarno Corsini 14r 055 289810 email@example.com
SPEAKEASY (7pm-1pm) A Speakeasy with Italian Taste. GURDULU Cost: 10eu
My new favorite restaurant in Florence will transform into a speakeasy for a night, bringing that uber trendy prohibition vintage vibe. The kickass barlady Sabrina Galloni will present 3 craft cocktails interpreting the historical winery & distillery Contratto.
info: Via delle Caldaia 12-14r 055 282223 http://www.gurdulu.com
Additional noteworthy events: Sunday Supper Club at Claudio Nardi Architects Studio, Beer and Food at Cucina Torcicoda, Baladin retro Pop and Toast at UB vintage in San Lorenzo.
MONDAY MARCH 14th
WINE TASTING (6pm-12am) Cinta Senese and Natural Wines. Simbiosi Organic Pizza. Cost: Pay as you consume.
Locally produced Cinta Senese (heritage, wild pork products which seem to dominate the menu in many Taste events this year) paired with the natural, no-added sulfite wines. The producer is Fattoria La Ginestra in case you were curious.
info: Via de’ Ginori 56r 055 0640115 http://www.simbiosi.bio
PIZZA AND WINE (7pm-12am) Pizza Loves Wine. Berbere’ with Il Santino. Cost: 5-25eu, depending if you go a la carte or for the full menu)
Gourmet pizza joint Berbere’ will be whipping up their innovative pies with meticulous detailed dough down to the fermentation time and grain type and will be pairing with undoubtedly fab Tuscan wines from Il Santino (the wine bar adjacent to Il Santo Bevitore, the city’s chic dining hot spot). This one seems like the tastiest event on Monday.
info: Piazza de’ Nerli 1 055 2382946 http://www.berbere.it
For all Taste Food Festival Events (also the events past Monday), visit the complete schedule to find something that tickles your curiosity: http://www.pittimmagine.com/en/corporate/fairs/taste/calendario.html
In your love for Taste,
Hey! Want to stay in touch with me during this weekend of Taste? Follow along as I’ll be snapchatting and instagramming at CuriousAppetite
Cheers and buon appetito!