Da Ruggero is one of those places I had heard about for years, but somehow never made it to. So many people told me it was one of their favorite Florentine restaurants, but since it was located a tiny bit outside of the center, I’d just never made the effort.
But recently Domenico had to visit the amazing kitchen supply store Barthel on Via degli Serragli, so I decided it was the perfect excuse to go that extra ten minute walk through the Porta Romana and out the via Senese.
Da Ruggero is the type of completely anonymous places that you’d drive right by unless you were looking for it. And I say drive, since the Via Senese is the road most people use to get out of town in the direction of – yes you’ve guessed it – Siena.
The two small and cozy rooms are hung with attractively kitschy paintings, and both the setting and the owners are welcoming and inviting. The menu is 100% Tuscan, with excellent zuppe starting things out. Pappa al pomodoro and ribolita are always on the menu. The day we went they were serving an incredible farinata con cavolo nero: a gruel like soup made from polenta flour and kale. Drizzled with a bit of intensely green olio nuovo, it was heaven. Domenico’s friend Paolo, who came with us to lunch, ordered the pappardelle alla lepre, big fat homemade noodles made with hare ragu.
Although they have excellent roast and grilled meats, we all went for the bollito misto, a mix of boiled meats, brought to the table just as it should be: in a deep dish filled with broth to keep the meat warm. And of course it came with a big bowl of perfect salsa verde, which is pretty much my favorite condiment in the world . Which is kind of why I also ordered a side dish of white beans (on top of which I put a big dollop of salsa verde).
Dessert was ‘light’, since we just had fruit. Apples baked till soft inside, with a crispy sugary topping.
I’m heading up to Florence this weekend, for Taste, a fair full of all sorts of new and exciting and fancy foodie finds. But of course the only thing I can think of is whether or not Ruggero’s will have that farinata on the menu this time of year.
Via Senese 89, Florence
Thurs-Mon, Lunch & Dinner
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