Trattoria Mario must pop up when you are researching places to eat. Though everybody and their brother was eating the Florentine steak there, and it’s renowned for meat. And my logic is simple – if they’re doing meat great, they might do the vegetarian things great too.
And there were two other options for me around here for lunch – the food market hall and another place. I saw the other place, it looked authentic too and I came here. It was a hard choice knowing well that I won’t get to visit the other two, since they’re open only for lunches and that I’d be exploring Tuscan villages over the next two days.
The food was good. As mentioned in the earlier posts, the Tuscan bread didn’t appeal much without salt. The chickpea soup had a piece of bread dunked into it. It was very subtle in taste and hardly flavored. But that simplicity tasted good. The soup was garnished with olive oil. After last night’s tasting of a ribollita, I was hoping for more of ribollita.
The nice boiled and spiced potatoes were the same – simple and tasty. It seemed to have been tossed in oil, tomatoes and some paprika perhaps. Not spicy but flavorful enough to remind you of a nice desi aaloo ki sabzi with a gravy.
The rigatoni with pomodoro and basil was again, good. It wasn’t al-dente and we were more than happy with that fact.
Desserts were some sliced sweetened strawberries and some biscotti and vin santo (sweet wine). This! I know I was a bit late in the game and I did see a few people at other places dip the biscotti in it, but wasn’t quite sure. Only after confirming did I do that. And boy, it was heaven. Chai and parle-g, nope! Wine and Biscotti! My kind of dunking!
Too bad I didn’t more of that dunking during my visit here.
The place was packed and the seating was tight. We were sharing a communal table. Had an elderly couple from the UK and another solo traveller from France. We were glad to share our pitcher of wine with him and strike some interesting conversations with them.
You could observe the kitchen from where we were seated. And our server, nice and friendly but waited almost until the end to make fun of us for being vegetarians 😉
She playfully closed my husband eyes as he appreciated that solo traveller’s steak piece and blurted, “No, no, no, vegetarians” and went oh oh oh pressing her hands against her mouth to make that sound.
It was one of the fun meals I had in Italy.