During dinner an hour ago while we enjoyed
overcooked 10% fat flavorless fantastic burgers with fresh mozzarella, I asked the clan what do you remember most from Nerbone and Mercato Centrale. Here are the results:
Child #1: It smelled of fish
Child #2: I need to go to the bathroom
Wife #1: The lines and confusion at Nerbone but fantastic pastas, market with great assortment and display of things like a cows head.
Agree on all counts. For all the food lovers out there, and if you are reading this blog, unless you have a bizarre misspelled words fetish, you probably are a food lover – This is the place to visit in Florence.
Lets start with Nerbone, serving the Cucina Povera since 1874, and I got the picture to prove it. Meaning, the picture of the sign that says since 1874, not a picture from 1874. Don’t believe anyone can dispute that fact. This is a very popular place and you cant really miss it inside the market. You do need to come early (before noon if you can) to beat the crowds and not much later than that as by around 1 to 1:30 they may start running out of things.
You stand on the line leading to the cashier, order the pastas and the sandwiches and pay. At this point you get the pastas on the spot and get a ticket that shows how many sandwiches you ordered. You then need to go on another line leading to the counter on the right, present the ticket, and tell them again the sandwich(es) you want. The ticket will just show the number of sandwiches you paid for. I suggest doing what we did; dispatch the kids to find seats while you wait on line, pay, eat the pastas, then dispatch the wife to get the sandwich (what, I did all the work doing all this amazing research)
Available pastas differ every day. On this day we enjoyed a very good funghi risotto (much better than a risotto we had at a former Michelin star in orvieto later in the trip), a terrific Tagliatelle with rabbit sauce, and an ok Farfale with pesto. On our first full day in Italy we got a little excited with the pastas so only one sandwich to share. A very good Bolitto (boiled beef) with salsa verde (green sauce). Good bread and although I was wishing for more meat, it was an enjoyable Panini. Highly recommend Nerbone
When people ask me, “Ziggy, what in your opinion is the top museum in Italy” simple answer for me really; The Rialto market in Venice. The most colorful, unusual, jaw dropping pieces of art I’ve ever seen. Ok, no one really asked me that question yet. But if anyone ever asks me, that would be my answer (can someone please ask me that question in the comment section, so I can finally use that line in cocktail parties in NYC). Also, can someone please invite me to a cocktail party.
Anyway, really enjoyed walking around this market/museum. I wouldn’t mind coming here on an empty stomach tasting everything in sight. So much better than a Sunday in Costco!