Trattoria Sostanza in Florence

Buttered Chicken Sostanza bbeeman

Mouth watering wild strawberries in fresh cream.  True Italian style.  This simple and the sublime dish was served up to me at Trattoria Sostanza,  Il Troia as it’s often called,  after I dined on a decadent dish of baked chicken smothered in butter.

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Get Me to the Church On Time.

Why did the wedding cake cross the road?  Deep in Chianti in the town of Panzano, we had lunch at Solociccia a restaurant of Dario Cecchini – the Butcher of Tuscany.  He has several restaurants near his famous butcher shop – Anticia Macelleria Cecchini. and the day we visited they were just bursting to the seams with wedding guests.  I looked out the window from our table and noticed that traffic had stopped – so the cake could cross the road, TO GET TO THE RECEPTION ON TIME. Voila!

Corzano e Paterno Winery

IMG_1125Last summer I visited this lovely winery, caseificio (CHEESE!) and olive farm located in San Casciano Val di Pesa, roughly halfway between Florence and Siena in Toscana.  Nestled in a remote location with breathtaking views of the countryside, it’s well worth the drive. We had the normal tour of the place, learned about the cheese and olive oil production and then settled down to TASTE!

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Ode to Italian Undies.

Do you ever wonder what Italians think of our endless fascination with their laundry?  We go on vacation armed with our best cameras but, alas, we seem to ignore the beautiful countryside in favor of taking picture after picture of their undies suspended high above our heads.

So, this picture is my ode to Italian underwear.  I think the juxtaposition of the laundry and the old building makes a good picture.  What say you?  This photo was taken in Pienza in May of 2012.

Wild strawberries. Simple and sublime.

Strawberries Sostanza Florence bbeeman

Mouth watering wild strawberries in fresh cream.  True Italian style.  This simple and the sublime dish was served up to me at Trattoria Sostanza,  Il Troia as it’s often called,  after I dined on a decadent dish of baked chicken smothered in butter.  The concierge at my hotel assured me this place was easy to find and just around the corner from the hotel, but failed to tell me that if I got there too early a rolling door would hide the restaurant from view. I was early because I did not have a reservation.  I was armed with a verbal note from my knowledgeable Florence tour guide from earlier in the day.  “Just tell them I sent you”, advised Ann Reavis, a  guide arranged by my friend of Judy Witts Francini.  “But get there early.”  So I wandered up and down the tiny street until they flung open the rolling door.  I then had an ah-ha moment.  Upon entering I firmly announced my recommendation from Ann and they grudgingly found me a seat at a communal table. My seatmates were an Italian family celebrating something (never did figure out exactly what they were celebrating) and a young British couple.  The simple decor and brusk mannerisms of the waiters were unimportant. I had my prized seat and mustered up my best Italian to place my order.  Over dinner we discussed American politics and I learned about how my British friends met and later married.  The wild strawberries and cream topped off one of my best evenings on my own in Florence in May of 2012.  As I made my way back to the hotel, I found myself surrounded by a bevy of stylish young Italians mingling outside a nearby restaurant.  “Maybe someday this will be me,”  I dreamed.  Yeah right.  If you would like to read more about Trattoria Sostanza, here is a great post from Elizabeth Minchilli.

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