The Art of Dining in Florence can be of the highest levels.
Yesterday at Mario's was one of those days.
I have taken most of April off to work on selfpublishing my cookbook with more notes and recipes for sale to the public and came into Florence yesterday to pay rent ( you have to go in person to the bank, or post office to pay.. no checks in the mail!)
So that takes a morning.. as a reward, we went to Mario's for lunch.
Yesterday was a fabulous menu.. which deserved a fabulous wine.
Although by all appearances, Trattoria Mario's ( actually outside it says Fiaschetteria, which means they started off selling wine " fiaschi" are the old wine flashes, covered in straw)
The food was so good, I forgot to fotograph it!
but we had pasta with ragu, Romeo's version is one of the BEST!
Followed by roast kid, young goat... WOW.
There is something about a restaurant stove, the timing, the heat that turned the meat into a miracle!
If I were to cook it at home, it would never turn out as well as it does here.
I think that they cook many meats together and add some broth to create moisture and steam while cooking.
Also a long slow cooking is so much better, releasing all the fats, crisping up the skin!
Mario's was packed yesterday, ok, it is always packed!
As those who know me know... one of my favorite pasttimes in Italy is eavesdropping, the guy sitting behind me was on his cell phone betwee courses, telling his friends where he was, what he was eating, how many people were there, sort of a play-by -play of dining at Mario's.
He was so moved by it..and wanted everyone to know about his discovery!
Then he started with those at his table, also from out of town, finding out how they heard about Mario's.
Hard to believe that a place that has been open over 50 years in the same family.. is still being Discovered!
It is great to see it adding on to the family, now that Francesco is also there, the family is going on to another generation!
After lunch I met with my nephew Ben, who is studying here in Florence this semester, to help him arrange for a tattoo ( isn't that want aunts are for?).
We ran into a friend of mine Paolo Favi.
If you saw Paolo at his old shop selling jeans, you would never know he was a famous artist.
I am lucky enough to know..and be his friend.
Paolo is part of an important art moviment in Florence, that was with Vinicio Berti and others.
this is a part of one of his projects, documenting history, he is holding a copy of a book dedicated to Charles Schultz.
He has now shut down the shop and invited us to his studio, where we views some of his projects and heard tales from the past.
His book of Pinocchio, illustrated by 5 artists of his " movement" is in the MOMA in New York.
the made the book pointed, representing Pinocchio's nose..and hat!
On days like yesterday... I am a very lucky person!
and so is Ben.. Paolo gave us each a painting.
Mine is the Pinocchio wearing Fiorucci jeans ( Paolo is a friend of Mr Fiorucci) and Ben got a piece inspired by the 9/11.