Florence – A Tale of Two Dinners

Giannino in San Lorenzo
Via Borgo San Lorenzo 33/35r Firenze

Dinner Day 1 was sooooo good that Dinner Day 2 was plate for plate / glass for glass repeat.  Yup.

What attracted me to this restaurant in the first place was gluten free menu.  In the US such menus are only just becoming common, but Italy’s ristorantes have been aware of Celiac’s Disease for much longer than the US, and are doing something about it.  After all, in a country where pasta is THE food, you can’t ignore the need for great pasta that isn’t wheat based.

Most of today was spent photographing and exploring the neighborhood around the Ponte Vecchio and the Palace Pitti, and building up an appetite for dinner.  I’ll post those photos and comments separately because you just need to know about this food right now.

If you live in the US and are gluten intolerant, you need to know that pasta can be your again, but you may have to go to Florence to get it.  Well worth the trip!

For the first time in what seems like EVER, I ate tortellini in a cream sauce with ham. Tortellini that didn’t taste like chalk under the sauce, au contraire, this was PASTA.   Even if I wasn’t gluten intolerant I would be over the moon for this incredibly creamy, rich, perfectly seasoned and prepared dish.

Paired with a really nice chianti and a fresh salad with deep red ripe tomatoes and yellow bell peppers and an aged balsamic — I could have stopped eating right then and walked away a happy foodie.

But wait.  There’s more.

The starring players? An Italian waiter named Alberto (who made proud his country’s reputation for charming men), and a piece of heavenly chocolate cake.


After the pasta, wine and salad, Alberto (who, in my mind, I have renamed Giovanni Luca, as the Italian answer to France’s Jean Luke) – brought me this rather enormous piece of moist, dark chocolate cake, sitting on a bed of rich sauce and scattered with walnuts.

It was gluten free, my friends.  Years since I’ve eaten cake that tasted like cake, much less melt in your mouth chocolate cake.

Died.  And went to foodie heaven.


Not just GF foodie heaven.

Foodie heaven, period.

Alberto, God Bless Him Forever, then proceeded to serve a deliciouso Limoncello to top off our culinary feast.

And made us a reservation for tonight.  Which we showed up for.

My dinner companions tried new dishes (they’d had the specials that were no longer available) but I didn’t even think about.

Dinner Take Two, I’ll have another one just like the other one.







Tonight’s dinner was also a delight as I bumped into a fellow travel blogger from The Truly Amazing Adventures of Cash Cow and Calf.

Her truly amazing adventures in Florence led her to the same conclusion as mine – Florence is not just a great place to visit, and a stellar place to eat – but a place you dream about living in for a long, long time.

Stay tuned for Day 3!










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