Over the last few months I’ve spent a lot of time in Florence. Partly because, well, Florence, right? But I’ve also been working, as usual. Although I go regularly to Florence, and even used to live there, I hadn’t spent a big chunk of time there in a while, which would give me time to update the Florence section of my app, Eat Italy.
And an updating it needed. When I first published Eat Florence, in 2011, the restaurant scene in that city was pretty easy to document because almost nothing ever changed. The same trattorie, ristorante and tripe carts had been serving the same food forever. Some were good, some weren’t and it was a more or less simple equation to share this information with you via my app and blog.
But like much of the rest of Italy over the last few years innovation has finally arrived in Firenze. There have been so many new and exciting openings that a major update was in order. And of course, by major update, for me, that meant major amounts of eating.
Near the end of one of my recent visits I had spent five solid days eating my way through as many of the new places as I could. This often meant stops at at least two places a day for lunch, followed by visits to gelato and coffee shops, and then cocktails and dinner(s). As you can imagine by the end of day five I was a bit burnt out. And thought “Ok, enough. I’m just going to see a movie tonight, and then head straight to bed.” No dinner. No way.
But of course, after the movie, I was hungry because, you know….me.
Which is when I remembered that I had one more new place to check out on my list and it was just around the corner from the cinema: The Savini Truffle Experience.
This place had opened a few months earlier and I had never really understood exactly what it was. First of all the name: Savini Truffle Experience? Say what? Also, it was in the Hotel Porta Rossa, but despite passing by often I had never seen it. And when I looked online, it was almost as confusing.
But I persevered, and am glad I did.
I headed into the Hotel Porta Rossa , through it’s old world lobby, until I finally saw a discreet sign leading me to the dining area. It was an elegant oasis of calm, with leather banquets, checkerboard marble floors, low lighting and soft music. Nice.
Although I was hungry, I wasn’t hungry-hungry. And so was hoping to ‘experience’ the ‘truffle restaurant’ without completely over-indulging. Eggs with truffles? Perfect.
As I sipped my glass of champagne (because, truffles) I enjoyed just being in the space. There was only one other couple, but that may have been because it was a Sunday evening in January.
My egg and truffle was perfect. Just what I wanted: a softly fried, farm-fresh, egg smothered abundantly with truffles. A basket full of excellent home made bread was much appreciated.
If I had been hungrier, I could have ordered the tagliolini with truffles, which the other couple had ordered and which looked (and smelled) divine. But my little, elegant, truffle meal did me just fine. Especially since the waiter dropped off a truffle-flavored chocolate truffle with my check.
The menu is not huge, but there is certainly enough to satisfy anyone looking for truffles. The important thing to note about this restaurant is not that it will offer cutting edge innovative cooking, nor rustic hearty Tuscan fare. It’s all about the truffles and the dishes they serve are the perfect way to enjoy them. (Although if you don’t like truffles, you can certainly order them without). I always hesitate to send people to a specific place for truffles, since often you never know what you are getting. But since Savini is a family that is well respected and has been in the truffle business for generations, you can be sure you are getting what you pay for. If they are in season you can have a choice of either black or white truffles, and the prices are clearly stated.
Savini Truffle Experience
Hotel Porta Rossa
Via Porta Rossa 19
+39 055 2710911
12:30pm – 2:30pm, 6:30-10:30pm, Daily.
For more information on dining in Florence and Italy download my app, EAT ITALY. EAT ITALY is a free app, and contains guides to Venice, Milan, Rome, Florence and Umbria (and an ever expanding list of regions and cities) available as in-app purchases for both iPhone and iPad
(NOTE: if you bought the previous version of EAT FLORENCE, which I first published in 2011 as a stand alone app, thank you! I hope you enjoyed it, but that version is now officially obsolete and will no longer be updated. If you have it on your device, it will continue to work, more or less, but the content will be outdated. For the new version, and future updates, I invite you to download EAT ITALY. ) (grazie!)