After a few days of unsuccessful restaurant choices we went back to our reliable resource that first introduced us to the fantastico “I Due G” and asked for another find. This time the long words “Vini E Vecchi Sapori Osteria” were given, and upon a simple google maps search we were there.
Vini E, as I now call it, is a cozy 5 table space with high rustic wood-beamed ceilings, brick floors, one waiter, and a visual aroma for what was to come. This place seemed authentic, real, warm, and truly Italian with no need or care for tourists even though cradled near the populated Piazza della Signoria. The environment was stacked high in wine bottles and oils along with hollywood like beacon lights blistering the wooden fan ceilings. Our first sign of an authentic meal glimpsed at the daily hand-written menu which had no english besides the words “no pizza, no ice”. That was a good thing because our attempts at pizza in Italy proved poorly thus far.
More pics after the jump…
The entrance, which seemed more like a small cafe and with little room was a definite surprise. Upon entering, they told us to wait 30 minutes, without taking names….the waiter took reservations based on face to face contact… 30 minutes later, we pondered back to this somewhat hidden location, and he pointed at us, letting us know we were next.
This pic was taken after our looooong meal and while they were cleaning up around midnight…The couple in the front were there well before we arrived and probably long after we left drinking many bottles of wine. From what I hear, the owners open and close whenever they want and really have no schedule. I’d just say it’s a dynamically driven restaurant….their menu changes based on what’s in the daily market and the owners work whenever they feel like it.
That’s the one waiter…very kind and polite….it seemed like he lived there, and we were guest at his house in some way… he spoke some english and took orders by knowledge, not by pen and paper.
This was the daily written menu….we were guessing this was the case based on the date on the top. Very few words were understandable to a non-speaking Italian, but that just made the experience even better.
Our first dish was a shared plate of meats, liver, sun dried tomatoes, and another crustini with I think a ham spead on top. Very very very tasty…simple….these plates vanished before I could take another picture…we were hungry.
Steve ordered a very delightful refreshing carpaccio…very zesty and fresh.
We all shared a pasta plate with a rabbit sauce and I’ll assume some meat…the pasta was perfectly Al Dente(firm and tender but not hard pasta) which we enjoyed…very good and warming.
I had this “Arista Al Forno Con Patate” which is basically Pork Loin with potatoes.. I finished the entire plate and cleaned the sauce up with bread..The meat was veryyyy soft and tender…it was just right…not heavy, very juicy, and tasty but not overwhelming in garnishes.
Ahhh…here’s the real deal in Florence, a sweet after meal dessert wine with biscotti for dipping( I think it’s a delight from Tuscany). At Vinni E, they call it “Biscotti e Vin Santo”, my friend calls it “Tarallucci e Vino Bianco”, and what I’ve found online it’s called “Cantuccini con Vin Santo“(great description). No matter the name, it was damn good! Sweet to bite, strong with an aroma, and delightful like a crunchy biscotti in dipped wine should taste. It was great for digestion and a left your tummy warm for a chilly night back home.
Their Tiramisu dessert was also fabulous….I’ve never seen this dessert drenched in a bowl and did not know what to think, but upon a scoop, it was super light and fluffy…not just soft, but soft like no other soft. Very light, not heavy tasting. I generally don’t eat Tiramisu in the states because it’s a bit heavy for me, but this was just right!
Their biz card….and surprisingly no map on the back… but if you want to print out a map…go here.