Saturday, January 10, 2009

All the good things: food, art and opera

One night in Firenze, our new friend and enthusiastic foodie Romina took us to a little gem called Trattoria Garga. This trattoria is a favorite among food enthusiasts and its fans include Donna Karan and Rachel Ray.
It is a riot of colors and paintings inside, with strains of opera music floating in from the kitchen. One can't help but love the uniqueness and sheer exuberance of this place. It is a little pricey, considering we were able to enjoy several incredible meals at low prices, thanks to our knowledgable hosts Alessandro and Jhoana. That said, I do not regret a single cent spent at Trattoria Garga because it is a truly special place with lovely food. Here are my lovey and I, just about ready to pounce on our dinner.
We were a tad full when we came in, as we had come from San Carlo where an antipasto buffet is yours to gorge on with just a €7 drink (that's another story). We went straight to our entrees, and the first to be delivered was this beautiful plate of spaghetti with artichokes.
You can imagine that my face fell a little when my order came looking like this.
I had ordered Il Magnifico and recall thinking to myself, "I might need to order something else after this tiny portion." Thank goodness I was dead wrong. The sauce which is composed of butter, cream, Parmesan, mint, lemon zest, and orange zest is in a word sublime. The creaminess was rich and gratifying, but the citrus and mint kept my palate fresh and yearning for more bites. Before I had cleared two thirds of the taglierini off my plate, I felt full and satisfied. It's a taste I will keep dreaming about until I get another chance to visit Garga.

For dessert, we ordered tiramisu and cheesecake. Our group was not enthusiastic about the tiramisu, but the cheesecake drew raves. I just found out that the cheesecake is the recipe of Sharon, one of the owners, who is actually Canadian and not Italian. Thus, she makes use of good old Philadelphia cream cheese and mascarpone. Un-Italian maybe, but delicious and now one of the most popolar items on Garga's menu.
We didn't get to try the spaghetti with calamari that Donna Karan reportedly keeps coming back for, but it's good to leave one stone unturned so that there's always a reason to return, don't you think?

Trattoria Garga is located at Via del Moro, 48/r,50123 Firenze, Italia. Tel. +39 055 2398898

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