Right up near the Stazione di Santa Maria Novella train station and close to the Fortezza Da Basso is a hidden little gem of a restaurant called “Trattoria I due G“. I was hinted several times about this place having simply the best “fantastico” black truffles dish in Florence. I envisioned a crowded fancy over-plated dark environment but that perception quickly diminished after coming here 4 times. Yes, we came here 4 times in a span of a few days for many reasons. First off, we had to try the truffles, secondly we had to bring more people to experience the truffles, thirdly it was near our clients, and 4th, my group had little success in finding other good restaurants in Florence, hence returned here.
Imagine an extremely traditional, family run, local restaurant in Florence filled with only locals, wine staffed up high, pictures and paintings mounted on every wall, and a staff with much personality and charm almost from a book you had read when you were younger(maybe Lady and the Tramp) . Nothing too fancy, just simple, clean, and to the point. Cooks would come out to greet customers like family and serve dishes along with a story or joke each time. The environment was charming with bricks on plastered white walls, picture frames, checkered red tables cloths, and chandeliers draping from fairly high brick ceiling. Enough about the space, let’s see the food!
Food and pics after the jump!
Their biz card with map! It’s funny how all the biz cards I get have maps around here….does that say something about the navigation in Florence? Otherwise, anything I was told about, I Google Earthed.
This is the front window entrance..nothing fancy..just plain and simple. I’d never randomly pick this place to eat….The curtains refrain any passerbys from the inside and kept tourist out it seemed. This was also the nice thing about the space….no tourists…just us and many locals….it made the place very authentic and relaxing.
The inside…again, traditional, simple, yet vibrant with a silent charm.
The wine rack! yar!
The famous Chianti red wine that we had with pretty much every single meal in Italy…it’s basically water to them, and after a few days, you get use to it…for lunch, dinner, late night drinks. Everyone carries their own, but beware of the touristy areas cause I think they refill these bottles with some water and cheat tourists.
Ah, time for the famous truffles….here’s a picture on their wall…I’ll assume these are the famous black truffle mushrooms before they are sliced up.
Here it is! The famous black truffle mushroom dish I’d been told about many times. The mushrooms were slightly dry and crispy, but the truffle oil gave them a nice tender crispness to them. The slightly creamy egg noodles were fantastic. They were cooked just right, not too chewy, but still a bit tender inside. The black truffle mushroom had an acquired taste… you either loved it, or didn’t care much for it… I liked it, but I somewhat liked the noodles more….perhaps it was the combination… Any leftover sauce was quickly scooped up with pieces of bread….yummm… The only thing with this dish was that it was a bit pricey…14 euros, which is about 20$, for an appetizer.
Here’s a close up! 😉
Here it is again from another meal…you can really see the marbling on the mushroom which I’m use to seeing on kobe beef.
After the truffles came some tempura like vegetables and flower petals( I think thats the flower petal on the front of the plate)…the deep fried flower petals were unique, but overall this dish was nothing too special to me, though good….then again, I’ve never been a huge fan of deep fried foods, unless it was really simple and light. This was a bit oily or salty for my taste, yet I ate a bunch of it.
Very raw charred steak and a simple salad. Yuummmm… I like my steak raw, and this was super raw with charred edges and very juicy. It was almost cold in the center, but still tasty…no sauce of any sort…just the meat which seemed to have a tint of salt on it already. The salads were delicious….plain and simple…olive oil and some balsamic vineger and you were set. Our table joked around about how America has some 250 different heavy salad dressings. All you need is olive oil and vineger. I then started my whole “Paradox of Choice” conversation by Barry Schwatz.
Spinach Salad: VERY GOOD!!!! This was incredibly tasty, fresh, warm, soothing. Maybe it’s been awhile since I’ve had spinach, but I’ll have this dish again any day. It felt healthy after all this meat, fried food, and pasta.
Instead of the famous black mushroom truffles with egg noodles, I decided to try something else this round…Same egg noodles, with different mushrooms. The mushrooms were softer, thicker, and more creamy… I preferred the truffle dish a bit more since this one seemed heavy to me, yet very tasty none the less. This was filling…enough for lunch.
Here’s the charred steak again, but served a bit differently. I only managed to get one piece. This is the point where I’m starting to realize Italians love their big meaty raw steaks….Every meal seemed to come with some.
I think this was goat…or lamb….I’m not sure, but it was succulent: juicy, tender, tasty burned edges. The spinach on the side rocked as well.
As, time for some dessert….ice cream and fruits…I’m not sure if your suppose to mix them, but someone at our table insisted that we did, so we did. Pretty good…nice to have fruits again after tons of pasta and meat.
Some kind of creamy dessert topped with chocolate…this was not my favorite, but others at the table devoured it.
A very light soft creamy cake…very good…almost vanished or melted the instant you put it in your mouth.
Espresso….real espresso…dark, slightly burnt, hot, small, stong. Much like the wine, espresso became an everyday meal ritual. The espresso here is much stronger, less watery, and tasty. Small portions were fine since they were so strong. No complaints on my end since I rarely drink coffee back in the states, but over here, it’s a must, a lifestyle.