Posted on Aug 27, 2017
‘Vino and Schiacciate’, it says above the door, but there is far more to Vinarno than that…
EU Today was lucky to meet with the co-founder of one of the newest eateries in the medieval city of Florence, one of Italy's most beautiful cities, Francesco Altamore. Just a few days after he opened for business at the beginning of August, he showed us around, and gave us the opportunity to try delicacies as fine as you can find, even in Florence.
Francesco has created in Vinarno an expression of his passion for the food and drink of Tuscany. All his meats and cheeses are locally sourced, and are simply delicious.
The fare is simple, the menu modest, but the food itself…! Porchetta - savoury and moist - the best we have ever tasted; Tuscan salami unbelievably succulent and so tender.
Artisanal pestos, olives, and Schiacciata, the famous Tuscan bread made with flour, water, yeast, salt and olive oil. Everything absolutely fresh, and everything locally sourced.
And as for the wine! Tuscany is renowned, and there is a great deal to choose from, but special care has gone into preparing the list at Vinarno. We found an excellent Sangiovese Rose, and, unusually, a Tuscan Syrah that could challenge its French, or even Australian counterparts. If you are a wine buff, Francesco appears to know most of the people who actually grow the grapes and produce the wine, and so he knows exactly what he is offering, and it is worth taking his advice.
Its the same with the beers. Italy is one those countries where I would recommend sticking with the local brews, but here Francesco has made one exception to his ‘buy local’ principle, and carries an outstanding German brew. ‘Hoffman’, from Bavaria, was new to me, but I can easily see how it found its way into Vinarno, which is, incidentally, the only place it can be found in Florence. Unsurprisingly, Francesco knows the brewer personally.
The bar itself, tastefully refurbished before opening, is relaxed, comfortable, and the service is friendly.
Vinarno is not just a place to experience Tuscan food and Tuscan wine, but also Tuscan hospitality. Drop by here for a bite to eat and a glass of something nice, and you will leave with more friends than you had before you arrived.
Prices on both food and drink are very reasonable by local standards, and despite having only been open for some days when we visited, the steady flow of customers, mostly locals, which is always a good sign, suggests that it has gotten off to a great start.
Vinarno is located close to the south bank of the River Arno, which flows through the centre of Florence, straight off the Ponte (bridge) Alla Carraia, and maybe 5-10 minutes walk from Ponte Vecchio, one of the main tourist attractions of the city.
In keeping with Italian custom this is a family business - Co-owner Simone is Francesco’s cousin - and although we did not get to meet him during our visit, hopefully there will soon be a next time!
Tel: +39 338 208 9409
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