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Posts Tagged ‘Florence restaurants’

Trattoria dei 13 Gobi, Florence

Jon and I ate only three meals in Florence during our last trip. The best of the three was at Trattoria dei 13 Gobbi, and even there our meal was not without a few issues, so it’s fair to say I was disappointed by the restaurants we tried in the city. It wasn’t a good sign when the restaurants that kept coming up in english-language sources were ones I recognized (and had visited) from the last time I was in Florence, in 2003 (e.g., Il Cibreo, Ristorante La Giostra, Beccofino). I wondered: doesn’t anything change?

I think the problem with small cities that are major tourist destinations is that even if a restaurant serves good food, the servers are so tired of tourists that they just can’t be bothered to be polite or responsive. So perhaps there was a little bit of that going on during our trip, combined with the high likelihood that non-Italian-speaking me wasn’t able to research my way to the really good, new places (i.e., the elusive “where the locals go”).

Trattoria dei 13 Gobbi, not far from the train station, was recommended by a friend who’d visited in 2005, and had rave reviews from recent Chowhound posts. When four of us walked in at around 10 pm for dinner, 90% of the other guests spoke english, which isn’t a deal breaker, per se, but it made me suspicious. But I relaxed when I saw how warm and inviting the trattoria’s dining room is, and there’s a large back courtyard where al fresco dining in the summer must be lovely.

We were in a rush to get on the road to Tuscany that evening, so we ordered only pastas. My spaghetti alla bottarga was deliciously seafoody and salty, though more oily than it had to be. Everyone else’s dishes (ribollita, ravioli and a tagliatelle) ranged from fine to pretty good. Our main complaint was with the service. Our server’s body language and clipped speech conveyed a whole lot of disdain and irritation, which ruined an otherwise nice meal. (more…)

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