Tag Archives: Florence

Heading to Florence, Italy?

Le Menegerie

A few weeks ago I headed to Florence to meet a virtual friend. I have been following “Girl in Florence” for many years, and Georgette Jupe is one of my favorite Italian blogger girls. If you don’t know her, head over to her blog right now.

Le Menegerie

We made a date, set a meeting point, and made it happen. It was a very hot day in Florence, but that did not stop us from walking the distance with Georgette pointing out her highlights along the way.

Georgette had made a reservation at a brand new Florentine restaurant Le Menagere (it literally opened a week before). She touted it as a stylist’s dream, and she was not over selling it. When I walked in the door, it was swoon-worthy for sure. A beautiful “concept” restaurant which included a gift store, flower shop and coffee/sandwich bar, and a beyond beautiful restaurant. The communal table ran about 100 feet which was something I had never seen. Set in an old building, the owners vision was to leave the patina as is, which for Italians is something quite unique when doing a restoration project. The effect is magnificent. The untouched walls add to the over-all texture and ambiance. I took note as we are in the process of buying and renovating a home in Italy.

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The menu was very unusual for Tuscany. Most Tuscan restaurants offer the traditional fare, but Le Menagere, takes the standard Tuscan dishes and offers their twist. One of the highlights for me was the “hot and cold caprese salad”. Served in a glass, this delicious course was layered with warm tomato coulis and ice cold mozzarella foam, topped with a basil leaf, sun dried tomato and crushed pistachio. What can I say? Every bite was a surprise. We ordered, eggplant caviar with fig endive and sprouts, cold tomato soup with vanilla poached prawns, and salmon with honey glaze served with fennel salad, along with fresh peaches and an arugula salad to share. A crisp cold Tuscan rose wine rounded out the flavor profiles to perfection.

Le Menegerie

Le Menegerie

It was delightful to finally connect with Georgette; she’s a delightful, bright and warm person. I loved hearing her story as an American living in Florence.

Next time you’re in Florence, make a point of having lunch dinner or aperitivo in this exquisitely designed space; the floating orchids in the main dining room will make a lasting impression. Oh and did I mention the wait staff is excellent, and so well dressed?

Le Menagere

Ciao until next time! Bon appetito.

Big thanks to Georgette; you’re an amazing host!  xx

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Pienza, Tuscany quick fix

Pienza

statue Tree Last week we briefly ventured deep into the heart of Tuscany. About 4.5 hours south of our house, it’s a tiny bit of heaven as most Americans know. I rarely make this trip, truly about once every 5 years, but I could not resist since it’s the week of Palio which is honestly one of my fave events in Siena, about an hours drive from Pienza. Pienza is one of the few planned communities in Italy. Read about it here.

An early morning stroll to grab an espresso provided me with the fuel I needed to explore the town. To be honest, without a proper espresso in the morning, I am useless. I admit that I have an addiction, but that’s the first step right? Admitting it? So after 2 shots I was in business.

We strolled the deserted streets, a treat since Tuscany this time of year is jammed with tourists and one can hardly move. Avoid Florence starting in July- August. I always tell friends Florence is perfect in the fall. Admiring the Tuscan vignettes along the way, our morning walk proved visually beautiful as only Tuscany can be.

Cheese

 

Needless to say, I am in love with the food stuffs here mainly the salamis and breads. Not to mention that Pienza is home to Percorino cheese. How could I go wrong? Buying a hefty supply to bring back to the Riviera made the drive worthwhile. Read about Pecorino here.

If you have a chance, put Pienza on your list, and make sure to make it an early morning adventure before the crowds dominate the city.

Tuscany is so Tuscany-ish. It never disappoints. xx

 

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