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Italy

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    Italy

    Going to Italy for a few days, primarily Florence and Rome. I don't really expect any BBQish restaurant action over there, but are there any places anyone enjoyed that really stands out in your mind? Thanks.

    #2
    I think Meathead's butcher is in Italy.

    Here he is

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      #3
      This redneck has never been out of the States, sorry i can't help but enjoy!!!!!

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        #4
        I don't remember any restaurant names ... but in Florence ("Firenze") there are a ton of hole-in-the-wall Ma and Pa places down most any side street or alley, usually with just a few tables. All were awesome ... and if you can convey just how much you loved the food, be prepared to spend most of the evening swapping shots of grappa with the owner.

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          #5
          Find Mr. Dario Cecchini, butcher/restaurant: Antica Macelleria Cecchini. You can even take a lesson from the master butcher.

          Try the "bisteca alla fiorentina" found everywhere in Italy. a T-Bone, different than US beef. Usually Chianina cattle, less fat and marbling but intense flavor. always served rare at medium rare. Firenze is one of the cities where you really enjoy abundant quality meat.

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          • Potkettleblack
            Potkettleblack commented
            Editing a comment
            Use yelp or google to find a better place for bisteca. And frequently served at rare at many of the better places. Worth the spend.

          #6
          If you like wine you must go here: http://pittigolaecantina.com/tastings

          Ask for Zeno. He'll show you all kinds of great wines and cut you a discount at the end of the evening. We liked him so much we went three times in 4 days!

          Also check out this thread. https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...ily-restaurant

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            #7
            I can't help with bbq, but I do hear you can get a decent pizza, and some pretty darn good Italian food too.

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              #8
              I've had the good fortune of traveling to italy for business.

              But regardless of Italy, Europe, cuisine, bisteccca fiorentina I found this place culinarily inspirational.

              Trattoria Sostanza
              Via della Porcellana 25r
              +39.055.212.691

              Small narrow galley kitchen.
              Grill set over coals atop marble counter.
              Bed of coals next to grill cooking Tortino di Carciofi

              Not my pics.

              Click image for larger version

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              Click image for larger version

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              You come back to states and a new world of opportunity opens up for use of the kettle (or whatever you cook on).

              Have a great trip.

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                #9
                Never been to Firenze, but my wife and I spent a week in Rome a couple years ago. Like Mbmorgan said, our experience was that there tons of little mom and pop eateries down the side streets. Out on the main street were all the tourist traps. Also, we had nothing but outstanding wine for very reasonable prices. And I ate a ton of melon and prosciutto just cause I could!

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                  #10
                  Had a pizza with wild boar prosciutto in Florence, was really great. Florence has a wonderfully meaty cuisine, but it's also considered to have the best gelato in Italy. We had 2-3 a day while there. Rome... man, the carbonara, the amatricana, the cacio y pepe... the bombas.

                  And the wine. Everywhere, the wine.

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                    #11
                    Loved Florance, disliked Rome. I might as well had gone to new york...nearly everyone in rome spoke english, and the street vendors made the stay rather unpleasant. If and when I go back to Italy, I will definitely be avoiding the bigger cities and stay more in the country type areas.

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                      #12
                      I spent some weeks touring Italy on my honeymoon. Most of the places left me with a "Damn... I gotta learn to do that" EXCEPT for Venice. In that place it was "Heck, I can do this better than they do". Here's what I remember:

                      First of all, check tripadvisor reviews. We found an absolutely awesome wood-oven pizza lost somewhere along the streets of Firenze over reviews. (can't remember the name, though)
                      In Firenze there is a place called Zá-Zá. We ate dinner everyday there, it was absolutely delicious. Try the bistecca fiorentina or the risotto. Don't ask for dessert, wait for Café Coronas or Gelato from El Festival
                      Round the corner of Zá-Zá there is a place where florentine people go to eat called Trattoria Mario. Food is awesome, but be ready to wait a long line and you won't get a table for yourself, you will have to share a table with other people (great opportunity to chat up some locals).

                      In front of the mercato centrale you can try lampredotto panini. Lampredotto is something made from one of the cow's stomachs. REALLY tasty. Be aware tough, that it's a street stall. Very clean and all, but you will only find them during the day.

                      In Via de Calzaiouli (The one running in front of the Duomo) you will find a place called Café Coronas. You can have a torta del nonno there for dessert (it's a almond biscuit filled with chocolate cream). Right next to the café coronas, rounding the corner, you will find the Festival del Gelato... LOTS of different flavors.

                      Be sure to go to Piazza della Signoria, to the Gucci cafe, and ask for a ciocolatto con panna. Just order it to go, or they will charge you extra for sitting. (Most cafés and panini places will charge you for sitting)

                      In Rome, as someone said, a LOT of restaurants on the main streets are tourist traps. You will get charged a sitting fee and for each bread piece you eat.
                      The place we loved was called Massenzio Ai Fiori (Largo Corrado Ricci, 2-6) in front of the Roman Forum. I have some experience cooking pasta, and that place taught me new dimensions of flavor. Try the spaghetti allo scoglio (seafood).

                      Have fun! And do drink a lot of wine. If you have time, take the chance to explore the fortified villages near Firenze. You can have a day trip to San Gimigniano (Beautiful place) or Monterigionni if you dig Assasin's Creed videogames (This town was rendered faithfully for one of the games).

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                        #13
                        Input on other things in Rome besides trying to find BBQ ;-)

                        Totally agree with using TripAdvisor. Also, spend the money on your cellular plan to have data service while you are there. It will make a big difference to be able to use maps and trip advisor on your smart phone (assuming you use a smartphone of some sort). Just factor the cost into your vacation budget.

                        If you go on a tour of the Vatican in Rome (highly recommended), afterwards walk back towards the Castel Sant'Angelo on the Tiber River. The castle is awesome and you should explore it also. Meanwhile, as you make that walk, turn down a side street and look for a hole in the wall food joint. I promise you will not be disappointed. Also, in Castel Sant'Angelo they have a deli kind of place up top. Buy a beer and sit at one of the little tables looking out over Rome. Enjoy 15 minutes drinking a beer and looking at a 2000 year old city from one of the great castles of Europe.

                        Make sure and see the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, the Jewish Ghetto and Piazza Vittorio farmer's market.

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