“Milko hello, I would like to invite you to taste the autumn menu in advance”, he begins on the phone Francesco Carzoli, owner of the restaurant the, Pratellino in Florence and, with great pleasure, I accept your invitation on a leaden morning in late September.
Upon my arrival Francesco greets me with a big smile that is evident even behind the mask; its restaurant is welcoming: furnished with simplicity and good taste, pleasant accessories that recall a lived past.
The tasting opens with an entrée that recalls the recent history of Tuscany: the Lombard soup, which Francesco offers with the addition of a cannellini bean purée.
“This is the starter dish for the month of September which in October will be replaced by a grape mustard. The Lombard soup or for the Lombards is a dish from the early twentieth century designed for the workers who were in Florence to build the railway: bean broth and dry bread were always in the kitchen.
In combination with a white from the estate of Sticciano, Argillara 2019, fresh and with a marked minerality, very pleasant both on the nose and on the palate.
Tidbits of Drunk Sturgeon, accompanied by a bed of sautéed spinach, a recipe by Paolo Petroni; the sturgeon is blended in a pan with garlic, parsley and white wine, and flavored with rosemary.
"Today everyone offers tuna, salmon and various types of tartare" - says Francesco - "I like to stick to choices of character, perhaps unusual and difficult to find."
A truly delicate and very special dish. In the kitchen Matteo Caccavo, a chef born and raised in Borgo San Lorenzo, in every dish he manages to keep the peculiarities of the raw materials used in his preparations unaltered, with great balance and refinement.
“For me, the restaurateur cannot and must not buy raw materials from large retailers, but necessarily look for quality products, from farms and from the producer. My pumpkins, for example, come from Mugello, I pay for them less than at the market, they are organic and KMØ ”, explains Francesco.
Here comes a really delicious first course: Gnocchi with yellow pumpkin and Mugello blue: a simple recipe with a strong autumnal character, prepared with genuine, good and tasty ingredients.
“The potato gnocchi come directly from the pasta maker on the next street” - explains Francesco - “an artisanal product of excellent quality. For me it is very important to work with the closest territory, the neighborhood in this case, I find it a way to give character to my restaurant. The final touch of the Blu Mugello area of Historic Palagiaccio Farm complete the dish. "
There is a lot of passion in Matteo's cooking, each dish is cooked really well, the perfect cooking of the pumpkin and gnocchi is proof of this: nothing in his preparations is left to chance, and this is a plus especially for the most demanding palates.
A taste of Pici with duck sauce, “A condiment that will accompany the Mugello tortello on the menu” - Francesco tells me - “Matteo's grandmother tells me that it is the right condiment for this fresh pasta, for the sweetness of the duck meat”.
In combination with a very interesting red, "The Massif”Which comes from Sangiovese grapes helped by the roundness of Merlot, a wine with beautiful hints of cherry, enveloping and well balanced tannins.
We arrive at the latter, Francesco makes me taste the Torrigiana style trout steak, a 1912 recipe from Giulio Piccini: a trout in crust with a sauce of milk and egg yolks (originally). “With Matteo we decided to review this preparation, people's tastes have changed a lot over the years, today we have reinterpreted it by serving fish accompanied by a very smooth egg and lemon sauce, served cold.”, Says Francesco.
Exquisite follow Pork liver cooked in butter and sage accompanied by a bed of cabbage salad, dressed with apple citronette, onion and mustard. The cooking of the livers is behind (only for connoisseurs), a dish that manages to be contemporary despite its ancient origin, the combination with wine is a winner.
La Drunk Dunk, prepared with almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, grapes, vinsanto and alchermes from the Certosa and a delicious English soup close the tasting.
The restaurant of Francesco Carzoli in Florence it is a melting pot of flavors, experiences and emotions, a place for all those who are looking for a cuisine made only of KM0 products, carefully selected raw materials, cooked with respect for each of their characteristics. It has nothing less than the cellar, where it is always possible to choose between labels of excellent quality and good value for money. I leave Francesco with a big goodbye and a tribute to him from my book.