I arrived a bit later than my intended arrival at Cantina Barbagianni
. I was greeted kindly by Efrem, one of the owners. He explained the locale to me, what they usually have going on. They have a back room for business lunches if need be, lined with wine bottles along the walls. It definitely reminds me of cantina, where all the wine is kept. As you enter at street level, there is a soothing sensation with soft music playing in the background. Subdued lighting. Very romantic setting.
Entrance to Cantina Barbagianni
I head to the basement to see the very cozy setting of comfy like couches set around tables with mellow candlelight. It was up to me where I wanted to sit in this humble place. I chose right at front of the door so I could see the patrons enter. I enjoy seeing people’s faces when entering a new place.
The lower level of the Cantina
First, I was offered a Brut Royale prosecco to begin my meal. I hadn’t eaten much that day for lunch, so it hit me very abruptly. In a good way, of course. Efrem approaches my table to inform me that tonight he will prepare bits and pieces of what they are serving this season. Every 3 months the menu changes according to the season. I am glad I have no food allergies or huge dislikes in the Italian cuisine. Since every single dish they brought out to me, I was enamoured. There were portions just enough for my tiny stomach.
For the first antipasto(appetizer), I was served a flan with vegetables in a parsley sauce. I took my first bite and I was in heaven. The flavors were very potent and danced in my mouth. Sing Sing Sing is playing in the background, perfect song for the dancing in my mouth. :) I was served a Savignon Blanc wine called Floreado ’09 of the Alto Adige region of Bolzano. Then came another flan with fish, a meatball in a Chianti tomato sauce, and a sfogliatine with pear and cheese inside. Unforgettable pours out of the speakers as I enjoy and savor each bite of these perfectly shaped appetizers.
Primi piatti(first course) started with a taglietelle with saffron, pumpkin and spiogla(bass fillet). Oh how fabulous it is! Melting, softly mixing. It was one of my favorite dishes I have had in Florence, so far.
The ambiance of the ristorante is very comforting. Romantic, above all else. The chairs are incredibly comfortable and the tables are set up very elegantly. The next plate that appears in front of me has a large tortellini with fragrances that tickle my nose. Tortellini di Boriotti beans, arugula, pecorino, sun-dried tomatoes on top of a eggplant sauce. So delicious!
Sara was my waitress. She was very kind and answered all my questions. I had many. :) She explained each dish to me thoroughly. She spoke English to the other patrons very well. She has a soft smile after she brings out the food. Makes me think she really cares about what she is serving. Efrem visits my table occasionally to make sure the food is filling my belly. In fact it was.
Bistecca. Oh so delicious!
Last but not least, I am served a tiny bistecca with a mushroom and roasted potatoes. Belly. Is. About. To. Explode. I am unable to finish the delicious piece of meat. Unfortunately, there was no more room. Sara arrives back, “you want some dessert?” My first thought is ‘No, Katie, you can’t fit it in.’ Alas I said ‘something really small, please’. A chocolate mousse with peperoncino. I am in trouble. Never had I eaten a dessert with peperoncino in it, not gonna lie, surprisingly delectable!
Chocolate Mousse. Oh so mouth-watering!
I suggest this Cantina for a date night with your amore, birthday dinner with some close friends. Like I mentioned above, there is a nice open room in the basement where a party of any kind will be happily enjoyed here.
I end my scrumptious evening with a caffe normale(espresso). The last sip of coffee helps me digest and I thank God I’m able to sample such a feast like at Cantina Barbagianni.
Spectacular and very intimate, full of flavors I’ve never had in one sitting before.
The outside of Cantina Barbagianni
Via S. Egidio, 13/r
Tel e Fax: +39 055 2480508