I typed up these notes about eating in Dei Fagioli in Florence today, so I thought I would post them while I was cleaning up my other notes about my January travels in Italy.
have enjoyed reading Emiko Davies blog about her time in Florence (she no longer lives there) so I was curious to try Del Fagioli because I love beans and because she recommended it. I was also very curious to try Alla Vecchia Bettola, not only because it is a Slow Food recommended but also because it has the unique claim on being the originator of penne with vodka sauce -- a dish I cannot stand (especially to look at), and I really would like to know how far the original is from the dish is from the one that has become so popular in America (sort of the chicken tikka of Italian food in the US). I but in the end Del Fagioli won out because it was January and thus t was cold and Del Fagioli is about a 3 minute walk from Santa Croce, which is where I happened to be when all the church bells of Florence struck 1.
For antipasti, I had a fett'unta and it was just glorious -- the olive oil tasted brand new. In fact, I ordered another one the minute I finished the first (partly because my husband ate half of my order). We ordered crostini just to see if it could possibly be as good as what we had eaten at a Home Food dinner the night before. It wasn't, but that was a tough act to follow. (See my other post about Home Food for details).
We also had a plate of chopped artichokes -- plain, steamed with olive oil. They were so fresh and delicious! An Italian woman who came in after us actually ordered a double portion for herself. I overheard her insist to the waiter, who was checking to make sure she actually wanted 2 orders of artichokes -- "I love artichokes!" These were indeed lovable artichokes. My husband stopped me from ordering another plate.
Then I had really, really excellent dish of big floppy pasta purses stuffed with pureed potatoes and onion. They were wonderful on a winter day. I cannot recommend this dish too highly. It was dressed in a bit of oil and with grated pecorino (which I think it didn't need).
My husband had a special house pasta with thin tomato-ey beef sauce. I don't happen to like beef sauces with pasta but he was content with his food..
He had a filet of beef for a secondo and the meat was really very good and grilled just right. I had a plate of beans. I wanted them to be a little bit better, and they got better with the addition of a dash of salt and pepper and a shot of olive oil.
Housemade cantucci with vin santo for dessert. The cantucci were better than the Home Food cantucci I ate in Florence (see my other post) but the vin santo wasn't as good.
Water, coffee, one glass of wine for me. The bill was about 50e for the two of us. It was one of the more enjoyable meals we have ever eaten in a restaurant in Florence. I'm still curious to try Alla Vecchia Bettola (and for dishes more than Penne alla Vecchia Bettola) but I'd be happy to go back to Del Fagioli again. The food they are serving is good.