Food can be a bit hit and miss in the busier areas of Florence, however there are plenty of places to enjoy a delicious meal. One of the better places to try is Trattoria Garga (Via San Zanobi 33/R – behind the San Lorenzo Market, Florence).
The first thing I noticed when we entered the trattoria was a HUGE wooden box filled with vibrant red strawberries sitting in the dessert counter. Mr Ana became very excited when he saw the fresh strawberries.
There is nothing fancy or complex about the food in Garga. The food is simply cooked and relies on fresh produce to give the dishes its flavour. Mr Ana started with a simple homemade pasta with bolognese sauce. The pasta was freshly made and perfectly al dante, but the wow factor was in the tomatoes. The tomato flavour in the bolognese sauce was rich and sweet. The sauce was watery with tomato juice, but it was not weak in flavour. The fresh tomato slices that decorated the plate were the best tomatoes I have ever tasted in my life. They were incredibly juicy, sweet, and packed a fantastic tomato flavour. To this day I have never eaten such a wonderful bolognese sauce.
I had fettucine in a creamy white wine and citrus sauce. I love a good creamy pasta and this fit the bill. It wasn’t a heavy sauce, and the citrus flavour gave it a refreshing zing. The texture of the fettucine was perfect, slightly chewy which gave the pasta a great texture, and firm enough to allow the sauce to coat the pasta. mmmmm…
My main was chicken scaloppine with a cream sauce and avocado. The avocado went perfectly with the scaloppine (but really, when does avocado not go with chicken?) and the sauce wasn’t heavy. However, since I had a creamy pasta to begin with, the main’s sauce was a bit similar. Probably not the best choice I could have made.
Mr Ana and my brother took the plunge and ordered a Florentine steak. If you can’t tell by now, Mr Ana and my brother are game to try pretty much anything. A 1.2kg steak came out on its own cutting board. Seasoned simply with salt, the steak is served rare to ensure it stays tender. While quite nice, there is only so much steak I can eat, so I left it to the boys to tuck in happily.
For dessert we tried Garga’s famous cheese cake. Now, I’m not a big fan of cheese cake in general, I find it too heavy and strong in flavour. But since Garga is known for its cheese cake (you arrive in the hope that it hasn’t sold out by the time you eat dessert, however we had the forethought to ask our friendly waiter to reserve three slices for us), I wanted to give it a try. The cheese had been whipped to make it light and fluffy, and there was a light lemon flavour. The cheese wasn’t heavy in flavour and it was super yummy. Still cold from the dessert fridge, I cut little portions taking care to include a little of its biscuit bottom and let it sit in my mouth so I could savour the flavour. It was served with room temperature strawberries (strawberries are best served at room temperature), which was very sweet and flavoursome. So tasty that Mr Ana requested a serve of strawberries, which they made just for him. I had to convince him to part with a few so I could taste them!
Overall Garga was a great place to have a casual dinner. It had a good vibe, the waiters are suave (our waiter didn’t care that I had Mr Ana, he was doing a good job being super charming to me), and setting was filled with original artwork. And of course, the food was delicious!