mercoledì 9 novembre 2011

Dinner in Florence: Pizzeria del Caffè Italiano

Entrance to Caffè Italiano

By Paige Gherardi

For a couple months I had been walking by this pizza place that always has a line of Italians out the door. I passed by the Osteria del Caffè Italiano where I have had great meals before, but the Pizzeria del Caffè Italiano is separate from the main restaurant and is always full. Last Saturday we decided to try it. The pizzeria does not take reservations and patrons write their names on a list to get a table then wait outside until their name is called. Looking in from Via dell’Isola delle Stinche, a small room of tables and a station complete with a pizzaiolo and a wood fired oven invite guests to try their pizza napoletana that both looks and smells delicious. There is also another room behind what you can see from the door, but just to give an idea of how popular it is, there was a line of 10 people waiting with every table full at 7:30 PM on a Saturday night – and that’s early for most Florentines! After waiting about 20 minutes for a table, my fiancé and I were seated and served very quickly. There was no menu as the pizzeria has three selections each night. Our choices were a traditional margherita (tomato sauce, mozzarella, and a basil leaf), marinara (marinara sauce with herbs), or Napoli (tomato sauce, mozzarella, anchovies, capers, and oregano). We ordered a margherita and a Napoli. Our order was placed immediately since we were within earshot of the pizzaiolo who never takes a break. When I took my first bite of pizza I was glad we waited for a table. It was delicious! The pizza had the perfect balance of sauce and cheese with a crunchy and chewy crust. It was by far the best pizza I have ever eaten in Florence. Each pizza at Caffè Italiano costs €8, but drinks and dessert can make your bill add up. If you’re in the mood to try some great pizza and don’t mind waiting for it, head to Caffè Italiano.

Real pizza napoletana
Note: The Osteria del Caffè Italiano has excellent Tuscan cuisine. Try their “tagliere” appetizer of mixed cold cuts that are sliced when you order. I had the risotto with pecorino cheese and mint and loved it. 

Location: Via dell'Isola delle Stinche, 11/13R
Get there early to avoid the pizza line! 

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