In "TravelValue: Italy's Restaurants" CombatCritic reviews the wonderful restaurants of Italy!
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Trattoria da Giorgio ... Excellent Fixed-Price Menu at Ridiculously Low
A hidden gem! At €13 for a 3 course, excellent dinner (€12 for lunch), wine and water included, Trattoria da Giorgio is a terrific BARGAIN!
Diners select from a primo (first course, usually pasta or soup), second (secondo...that wasn't so hard! - usually a meat dish, but not necessarily), contorno (side dish - vegetables, salad, french fries - accompany the secondo), 1/4 litre of wine or a can of Italian beer, and 1/3 litre of water...ALL INCLUDED IN THE PRICE...NO TAX...SERVICE INCLUDED (although you should always leave a little something extra if the service was good).
Pasta and risotto dishes are moderate in size, just large enough to allow room for your secondo and maybe a little dessert. The ravioli with butter & salvia (sage, not something to smoke) was perfectly cooker light with a hint of sage and the ravioli slightly al dente as they should be. The bigoli tartufo nero (thick spaghetti with black truffle cream sauce) were also excellent, thick and rich as you would expect from a truffle sauce. The risotto (rice) with asparagus and radicchio (not, radish, but a red cabbage-type vegetable) was of a perfect consistency and delicious while not overwhelming. The farfalle (butterfly) pasta bolognese (creamy meat sauce originating in Bologna...where else) with peas and mushrooms was outrageous and the pasta, again, cooked to perfection.
On our first visit, my wife and I both had the scallopini al tartufo (pork tenderloin in a cream and black truffle sauce) and it was WONDERFUL! The pork tenderloins were medium in thickness and the sauce rich and creamy, softening the somewhat stale bread as I sopped-up what was left on my plate...not much! On our second visit, my wife had the prosciutto e melone (thinly sliced, cured (not cooked) ham, usually from Parma and white melon, similar to a cantaloupe in size and consistency, but not quite as sweet). The prosciutto was a bit dry, but delicious and the melon perfectly ripe. I, on the other hand, could not make up my mind between the insalata caprese (sliced tomatoes and mozzarella di buffala with freach basil and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil) or the scallopine marsala (thin veal medallions covered in a rich marsala wine reduction with walnuts). I love caprese and it rarely varies much in Italy, so I went for the scallopine...I was not disappointed! The veal was thin and tender as it should be and the marsala sauce was the best I have had in an Italian restaurant, and I have ordered it in many restaurants all over Italy, thick and rich....YUM!
The tiramisu, €3, was icing on the cake on our first visit, an excellent mixture of mascarpone cheese, savoiardi cookies, coffee, cocoa, sugar, egg, amaretto...and two spoons of course! We tried the pear tort, all desserts are €3, smothered in warm chocolate sauce on our second visit and were not disappointed. The tort was warm and fresh, fresher than the bread unfortunately, and the chocolate sauce equally so, tasty and not overwhelming.
The service on our first visit was excellent and friendly, even though the place was packed (the place seats only around 50 diners at a time) and when the bill (conto) arrived, the extra 1/4 litre of wine we ordered and the service charge (servizio or coperto) were missing, so we left a generous tip. On our second visit, we arrived very early (by Italian standards), around 7:00 PM, and the trattoria was basically empty. The tattoo covered waiter seemed a bit overwhelmed by our arrival and spent more time surfing the internet than taking care of customers. We had to ask the chef for wine and my wife had to get up to get the dessert menu becaise our waiter had mysteriously disappeared. The chef seemed embarrassed by all of this, as he should be, but it really did not detract from our wonderful meal.
The only other disappointment remains to be the bread, while tasty, is obviously leftover from lunch, possibly yesterday's. In any event, we will be returning again over the next month and will add menu items as we go...buon appetito da Giorgio!
Trattoria da Giorgio - Florence, Italy
Trattoria da Giorgio gets a very respectable 8 BOMBS (bombs are good) out of 10 from CombatCritic: