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Flexible chef and good kitchen at 1-starred La Bottega del Buon Caffè (23. April 2016)

| June 27, 2016 | 0 Comments

Usually, you can order the menu by table only. We were a party of four and only two of us wanted to have the menu – so despite the “rule”, we inquired if it was possible for one to have a vegetarian menu and for the other one to just have two courses. And despite the fact that the chef was not exactly happy about it (there is an open kitchen allowing you to see every move and “yell” of the chef), he made it happen which we greatly appreciated.

Once you’ve placed your order, you are served a couple of “parmesan grissini” to start with …


… followed shortly after by a “rice crisp with mackerel mousse” and while it is a super tiny dish it is perfect to stimulate your palate and activate it.


The six course menu (EUR 115.00) started with yet another small surprise from the kitchen – a “fake tomato” which was actually “duck paté coated with tomato water” accompanied by a “marinated salmon with apple roe”. The fake tomato was interesting but more in its appearance than in its taste.


But after one amuse bouche, the menu doesn’t start yet but we were served a “cauliflower cream with cardamon and salmon eggs”.


The selection of breads which were served after the amuse bouches ranged from potato bread to chestnut and honey bread as well as local bread from Tuscany. It was served with olive oil.


The first course of the menu was the “free-range egg, cabbage, bacon and horseradish powder”. The dish was in thus far interesting as the combination of the cabbage with the egg and bacon was a powerful and intense combination of flavours. The horseradish powder added its part but it was quite a bit of powder making it a bit too much for my personal gusto. In addition to that, some pieces of cabbage were definitely too thick to be enjoyable.


The “chopped smoked deer tartare, mushrooms, wild rose and hazelnuts” did not only look appealing but was also interesting to the palate. The meat was somehow creamier than for example beef tartare and the combination with the mushrooms and the flower leaves was actually quite interesting. At the same time, the vegetarian menu received a “vanilla potato foam with truffles” which was incredibly rich – definitely one of the best “soups” I have enjoyed so far.


The next course was a “risotto with 24 month aged parmigiano, veal tongue in its own gravy” and while I was a bit skeptical when I read that the risotto was served with veal tongue in its own gravy, I must admit the dish was incredibly good. The risotto was creamy, rich, mouth-watering and the veal tongue which was cut in cubes rather than in very thin layers (as I know it from other dishes), which provided the whole dish with a very bacon like flavour. Great!


Unfortunately, the “tortellini with artichokes and ricotta cheese on turnip green cream” which came next was definitely not on the same level. I mean, the pasta was perfectly cooked al dente but it somehow lacked this flavour impact like the two previous dishes.


The “Fiesole pigeon and foie gras, turnip greens and carrots” which came next was interesting. The turnip greens rather standard but the carrots were somehow pickled and definitely absolutely surprising in taste. The pigeon was fine and even the small layer of fat which was still present – and I am usually not a big fan of that – was actually supporting the dish. The foie gras ball which was on the side was nice but too coarse for my gusto.


Before the actual menu dessert was served, an in-between dessert was served – “pear sorbet with cinnamon with licorice dots”. I am a huge fan of sorbets anyway and I must say this combination was lovely. Nothing outstanding but lovely and making you ready for the main dessert.


The “La Sacher”, as the dish was called, led to wild speculations already when reading the menu. And it ended up being a really modern interpretation of the famous Sacher cake. It looked interesting and it also tasted quite good but to my personal understanding it did not have much to do with the original Sacher cake from Vienna.


To finish the evening, some chocolates were served (from the back of the picture to the front): “black chocolate with almonds”, “white chocolate with lime and liquid apple” (definitely my favourite) and “white chocolate”.


Overall, the restaurant La Bottega del Buon Caffè is recommendable and you have to definitely book a table in advance as else you do not stand a chance to get a table on short notice. And if you somehow manage to get a table close to the kitchen, be happy about that as you always get to watch what the chef and his crew are doing.

The service really does a good job – they are attentive, friendly, and only take a bit long towards the very end when you order the bill. However, make sure – if you have any special requests out of the ordinary – to talk to the head waiter as the other waiters were just telling us “that it was not possible to have the menu just for two” (being a table of four). Only when I spoke to the head waiter, it worked.

The price is very decent for what you get which is also true for the beverages (i.e. a bottle of water, EUR 6.00, or a double espresso, EUR 6.00). They have a huge wine list which comprises a variety of different wines from different regions. We wanted to try something local and asked the waiter what he could recommend us describing the type of wine we like – and he suggested a wine which was price-wise absolutely fine, rather on the cheaper end of the wine menu (40.00 EUR) .


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Contact Details:

La Bottega del Buon Caffè

Lungarno Benvenuto Cellini 69/R

Florence (IT)

Tel.: +39 05 55 53 56 77

E-Mail: info@borgointhecity.com

Homepage: http://www.borgointhecity.com/en/la-bottegadel-buon-caffe/

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.
EUR 250.00 (incl. tip) Filed in: Florence (IT), Restaurants

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