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Oltrarno/Santo Spirito: Enoteca Le Barrique

40/r Via Del Leone , Phone: 055 224192
Closing day: Monday

Reviewed by: jan55612 from MN, review #3689

When: 2010

Go a bit off the beaten tourist track to try this small, charming restaurant.

Three of us shared a lovely dinner at Le Barrique on a chilly November Friday. We shared two antipasti, one serving of fabulous gnocchi, and each ordered a secondo (which were all good), shared two yummy desserts, and a bottle of wine. The total bill was 132 euros.

Unfortunately, since a few months have passed, my memory (and poor notes!) do not allow me to detail all of the food, but I will tell you it left a wonderful impression. The dining room is small and was occupied mostly by groups of two or three at small tables. Mid-way through our meal, a group of eight women came in to celebrate some occasion, adding to the fun atmosphere. The food was good and the service was welcoming, friendly, and more than competent. I would return.

Reviewed by: Jean from WI, review #3448

When: 2010

Great food and friendly service!

When our B&B owner recommended we go to Enoteca le Barrique for dinner, we were a bit skeptical thinking that it was just a place for wine and the food might not be that good. But it really is a hidden gem that only locals seem to know about. There was only one other table with tourists there, and they were there also on the recommendation of a local.

The restaurant is quite small, and the owner was very friendly and was helpful with making recommendations. We shared an outstanding seafood salad to start. I had pici and my husband had lamb. With a bottle of wine the bill was about 70 euros.

Reviewed by: marcella ansaldo from Italy, review #3247

When: 2009

Italian cuisine with a Japanese twist june 24th 2009 Sunday night my friend Viktorija Todorovska decided to take me out to celebrate my 40th birthday.

Directions: walk from Piazza del Carmine toward Piazza Tasso

My 40th birthday was not three days ago, but a bunch of years ago, but, as I told her how bad it was, she pointed that it was time to feast.

We went to the Restaurant Le Barrique, in Firenze, which I already knew and that, with its “French sounding name” and its “wine reminding”, looked perfect for the occasion.

The restaurant is small, simple with a touch of elegance given by a few details: a tiny wooden cupboard with crystal glasses, candles, white table cloths. I knew also that the bill was affordable, around 35 euros for a nice meal. I knew also that the owner is Florentine and the cooks are Japanese: things that disconcerted my friend a little bit, as, being American, wanted to dine with something “deeply Tuscan” or, at least, “deeply Italian”.

I told her to not worry, as the cooks are Japanese, but the food is Italian. Just with a light Oriental touch in the essential elegance of the presentation. What I like to say to my students is that, if the Italian food is considered the most various in the world is because Italians have been practicing what is nowadays known as “fusion cuisine”, since ever. Wars, invasions, conquests, trades, travels have brought – although in different ways – a plethora of different ingredients and techniques in Italy. Ingredients and techniques that – thank to the Italian imagination - have been utilized to form any time recipes “perfectly Italian”. Nothing sounds, feels, tastes more Italian than a dish of Spaghetti al Pomodoro (tomato sauce): the semolina to make the pasta is Italian, the shape of spaghetti came from China, the drying method of the pasta is Arab, the tomato is American…..

The dining room of the restaurant cannot contain more that 20 guests and the tables do not go under rotation: once you have a table, it remains “yours” for all the evening and you can enjoy your meal without rush. Viktorija was wondering how a restaurant can make money in this way, but the owner, Alessandro, does not look to worry about. He is the “wine guy” in the restaurant and what he “artistically” cares is to find good – often unknown - wines – at reasonable prices so that he can offer very good products without over-charging the bill.

Viktorija choose appetizer of Liver Patè with figs; ravioli stuffed with zucchini dressed with a soft truffle sauce – the only Oriental touch in this dish was the shape of the ravioli, folded like wonton - ; a dense Chocolate cake with Berry mousse. A glass of a smooth Tuscan blend of Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet accomplished her meal.

I had raw fish – sliced and not rolled like sushi, dressed with olive oil and just a few drops of barely detectable soy sauce - as appetizer; Black noodles with sea food; their particular “Millefoglie” (the Millefoglie is a puff pastry layered with custard, but at Le Barrique they steeled the name for their dessert), a tower of thin layers of crispy caramel toffee alternated with white chocolate mousse. I had a magnificent white from Northern Italy, Abbazia di Novacella being the winery house. We both finished the meal with a shot of sweet wine offered by the charming Alessandro.

Wasn’t is the best way to celebrate my 40th birthday? Thank you Viktorija!

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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