After few days in Florence, it was time to go back home. Florence is such a beautiful city, that even people who don't like art would appreciate it.
So for our last dinner, we went to Trattoria Sostanza that was, after Trattoria Mario, our second experience with a restaurant that serves food on communal table. We heard about this restaurant after doing some research on the good places to eat in Florence. One of the recommended dishes was the buttered chicken. I was for sure going to try it!
For dinner, they have two sittings: 7:30pm and 9pm. We decided to go to the earlier one and showed up 10 minutes before, just in case they opened the door in advance to hungry customers. As we arrived, there was already a small group of people waiting.
7:30pm, they opened their doors. We did not have a reservation and I was scared they would not have any availability. But, luckily, after just a couple if minutes, they brought us to a table where there was seated an American Family, as well as a Belgian couple.
7:50pm: all tables are taken (they sit approximately 35 guests).
Few minutes after, they brought us some bread; no bread basket: they simply put it in front of you with their bare hands, making the family next to us talk...
As the menu was in Italian and Jodi and I do not speak the language, I asked for an English version: they did not have any, forcing them to describe dishes to tourists. But hey, this is part of the experience!
To start, I decided to try one of their Italian beers.
And we ordered some delicious salami:
For her entree, Jodi ordered the tortellini al burro or tortellini with butter:
It was very good, the amount of butter not being stranger to that. But for sure, these pasta seemed store bought.
On my side, I got the buttered chicken:
I admit that, when I ordered it, I was a bit anxious, because everybody was ordering either the chicken or the bistecca a la Fiorentina that is simply a grilled T-bone steak you can find all over the city. I did not try it, preferring to try more traditional dishes.
When the buttered chicken arrived, it was still sizzling, a delightful smell of butter emanating from the very hot skillet. I did not try the chicken first, but rather dipped a piece of bread in the sauce that was simply butter; and I mean a lot if butter. This was divine. Of course, I could not not notice the envious looks from my neighbors. The American family ordered the chicken too, for three people and it came in a larger skillet, but they served the chicken in dishes, so they had much less butter than me, hence more envious looks on their part...
The piece of bread dipped in the butter was delicious, but when I tried the chicken, I was in heaven: it was so good! Perfectly cooked, it was moist and I noticed a nice slight salty taste on the surface of the breast that was breaded with eggs, flour, salt and pepper. They probably sear it for several minutes before cooking it in the oven.
This is a fantastic dish, a bit pricey (18 euros) as there was no side, but so delicious that I would definitely reorder it, even if it is a heart attack on a plate.
I still had some room for dessert. We decided to go for their signature dessert:
It was made of very small strawberries (first time I saw them), meringue, chocolate and whipped cream. It was very good: not too sweet, not too heavy (although Jodi would say that my conception of heavy might be different from anybody else...). At 10 euros, this dessert was also pricey.
I really liked my meal at Sostanza and would definitely go back to try some other specialties, although I found the prices to be on the high side. The communal table is also a fun social experience that clearly depends on who you are sitting with. But anyway, you do not have to talk to people and can just enjoy the meal. And I enjoyed, I did!
Via del Porcellana
25/R, 50123 Florence, Italy
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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!