Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cantinetta di Verrazzano

Fresh-baked bread and pastries
Focaccia with fresh tomato and basil
Fresh-baked focacce
Fresh-baked focacceTipped off by a food blogger, we discovered the delights of the Cantinetta di Verrazzano, a bustling little focacceria and caffe in the heart of historic Florence, in the blocks between Il Duomo and the Piazza della Signoria. As soon as you enter, a beautiful display case of breads and pastries catches your eye at the same time as the aroma of fresh baking fills your nostrils with confirmation that it is as good as it looks. You can get baked goods from the girl behind the bakery counter, or, as we soon learned, if you want fresh focaccia, you proceed toward the rear, where a woman will heat a slice of focaccia to order in a traditional wood-burning oven. The varieties of focaccia were beautiful to behold. One had fresh tomato and basil, another had roasted peppers and mozzarella. Yet another had carmelized onions, olives, and anchovies, while a layered one had porcini mushrooms sandwiched between two bread layers. Happily, amidst all this gluten-fest, they had something special for George too: a focaccia-like crepe called cecina, which is made from ground garbanzo beans and is completely gluten-free. The bustling place has a small number of tables, but there are also several chairs and benches around, and some people just get some focaccia and eat on the benches. If you get a table, you can also enjoy coffee or wine. The Cappellini family who run this actually owns a winery estate in Chianti (the Castello di Verrazzano), and this little "cantinetta" offers a great venue to taste their wine, as well as to enjoy a terrific light lunch or afternoon snack. We were so delighted with this place that we ended up coming back here a couple times during our few days in Florence. (The Cantinetta is at Via dei Tavolini, 18/R. Hat tip to Gluten-Free Girl, who tipped us off to this gem, and its cecina, as well as to several other great foodie finds around Tuscany.)

Focaccia with onion, anchovy, and olives
Fresh-baked cecina

1 comment:

Rhapsody B. said...

hmmmmmmm, those look positively delicious.

have a blessed day.