Close your eyes, turn on your sense of smell. Now reopen them, cut and taste. In your first bite there is! True and genuine Tuscany. A short and sustainable supply chain. An accurate and exclusive choice. A familiar and friendly environment. Now relax, your journey into taste has just begun.
I sit at the table and I am greeted by this message printed on the menu, the evening promises to be special: preview of the new tasting menu I'Tuscani in Florence, many colleagues welcomed in an informal, pleasant and certainly captivating environment.
At my table, among other colleagues, too Alberto Florindo, holder together with Enrico Burberi, David Dubois and Barbara Fagioli of the chain of Florentine restaurants, specialized in meat, cured meats and first-rate products.
The tasting opens with an excellent Chianina tartare from the farm San Giobbe of Chiusi, in the province of Siena, served in two versions: natural and with black truffle of Stefania Calugi.
"In San Giobbe pay much attention to the nutrition of their animals" - he says Alberto Florindo - "they follow a closed cycle that guarantees a controlled meat, unparalleled in terms of taste and nutritional properties."
In combination with the pure white PinotVasario”Of the Buonamico estate, a fragrant wine, complex and of character, with floral and yellow-scented fruit notes, soft and persistent.
A philosophy, that I'Tuscani, which pays particular attention to sustainability and respect for the environment, the foods are served in edible bran dishes - "Soon the glasses will also arrive" - points out Alberto - "products with corn starch, but we are still working on them."
The kitchen is atypical, induction stoves and no chimney, but above all no professional. All the collaborators are in fact sent to the profession through training courses. "There is a great collaboration between us in all the choices." - continues Alberto - "Our menus are born from a free sharing of ideas. In fact, we work with excellent raw materials, minimizing processing in the kitchen. "
The tasting continues with the cheeses and the choice is among the best: Grand Mugello Ubaldino, semi-cooked paste, aged twenty-four months in the cave, combined with cabbage in oil by Stefania Calugi. An appetizing, tasty and very tasteful dish.
"You go into restaurants I'Tuscani because a choice has been made "- specifies Alberto -" and not by chance, our guests are aware that here we eat the raw material, without processing. "
Alberto recounts his life and his project with transport and with a touch of emotion, a journey that began at the end of his studies as a Surveyor when he went to a famous Florentine restaurant where he often ate steak during his lunch breaks. From that moment he then began a training course made of tastings and tastings also and above all of PAT, throughout Tuscany.
"My philosophy is to give help to those who really need it," - continues Alberto - "only good people come into our premises, and there are also young people from a Florentine family home, who we train and who we make regular contracts for of employment. I am like that, I need help. "
The tasting continues with The Guttus, 100 blue cheese, sheep's milk, worked entirely with artisan techniques, seasoned for at least 4 months in the cave. A gourmet cheese, overpowering in the mouth, but at the same time creamy, pleasantly spicy. Matching cherry tomatoes with truffle, always Calugi.
The rosé arrives "Particular”Of the Buonamico estate, and with him the tasting menu continues with the salami, Salami, Finocchiona and Prosciutto, Porchetta, all of the Salumeria di Monte San Savino which still today keeps the meat in the wood-fired oven and craftsmanship. "I decided to work with them" - tells Alberto - "because the owner is a young entrepreneur who looks to the future, but with his feet firmly planted in the most authentic Tuscan traditions. They still work the macchiaiola, an ancient breed of pig that dates back to Etruscan times. "
Sangiovese, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, at least for me finally the red! The fruity of the Tuscan IGT Cercatoja winks and announces the arrival of the meat. An excellent sirloin, served at the right temperature and on a nice wooden cutter. For the occasion, the cut is blended on the grill with grappa.
My evening ends in joy with cantucci and vinsanto, an excellent English soup served in single portions, and a sincere conviction: that of having met people like Alberto who succeed, in their own way, in giving value to the good things in life, which perhaps too often they escape us.