According to WiseGeek,http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-trattoria.htm …
Trattoria is an Italian term for a fairly casual, mid-priced restaurant. Less formal than a ristorante and more formal than an osteria, the trattoria is traditionally a family-run establishment that offers simple fare and a relaxed atmosphere. Outside of Italy, the term can be applied to any type of Italian restaurant, which can lead to considerable confusion of expectations.
Restaurants in Italy focus on atmosphere nearly as much as food, providing the visitor or resident thousands of choices for every dining experience. At a trattoria, the mood is meant to be relaxed and fairly informal. While ristorantes may offer a wide range of antipasti and several courses of food, trattorias prefer to offer a few, well-executed entrees. Wine is often less expensive and served in a decanter, as opposed to by the bottle.
In terms of cuisine, a trattoria in Italy will frequently offer regional, local, and family specialties on the menu. The focus is generally on the best of local Italian food, rather than adopting a global cuisine. Wines and other drinks may be from local producers or even family vineyards. In family owned versions, recipes may be centuries old and be a tribute to the long history of great Italian food. Eating in this type of restaurant while traveling in Italy can give a tourist real insight into the neighborhood and region.
This may indeed be the case, and I will need to pay more attention as to whether or not we are having our meal in a trattoria, osteria or ristorante ( I could actually just look at the name of the restaurant). Our meals have been varied, from simple wood fired pizzas and a glass of wine at the New Mercato Centrale to full course meals at our favorite restaurants, Trattoria Garga http://www.garga.it.
Every corner in Florence seems to have a coffeeshop or pasticerria – they are great spots to stop off for a cappucino and cornetto. They also offer little paninis, made with all sorts of local meats and cheeses – simple and perfect!
Forgive the limited text here, but I am still learning how to navigate working with the text and photos on Word Press. The rest of the post is really a feast for the eyes….some photos of the meals we’ve had out – either at a trattoria, coffeeshop, osteria or restaurant.
This little sweet dessert was delicious, made with pears and a homemade buttery crust.
We had this delicious chocolate torte after lunch at Trattoria Palle d’Oro, and I remember that I saw the waiter walk by with a piece and just knew we had to try it. The slice was served warm, and was one of those chocolate desserts that you just want to roll around in, it was that good….and I am not a chocolate lover like some of my friends.
Georgette from the Girl in Florence blog shared a great post about the Osteria de L’Ortalano…so we just had to give it a try, and it’s practically around the corner from our apartment. She describes the following dessert, among many other things, much better than I could, so check out her blog to read more about it.
Another delicious food that we tried at Osteria de L’Ortalano was an apple and pepperoncini jam with cheese. This little osteria has a booming business of homemade condiments as well as many other things. Two jars of the apple and pepperoncini jam are coming home with me!
Now onto some of the fresh salads, primi and secondi photos…
The dish below is full of fried anchovies and zucchini flowers, served with many of the locals at Alla Vecchia Bettola. While I was searching for the restaurant’s website I found that Ina Garten has a delicious looking pasta recipe from the restaurant on the Food Network site http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/nick-and-tonis-penne-alla-vecchia-bettola-recipe.html – I think we might make it one night for dinner.
Home made wide pasta with Wild Boar (cinghiale) sauce – not sure where we had this.
Piselli alla fiorentina
After all of these photos from trattorias, osterias and ristoranti, we are actually cooking home tonight. FHFB is busy making a delicious white clam sauce, and we are serving it with homemade linguine. As some side dishes (contorni) we are serving a fresh tomato salad, wide Italian green beans, and Tuscan beans cooked with garlic and rosemary on grilled crostini. Yes, it’s a lot, but there will be leftovers for lunch tomorrow~!
I hope you enjoyed reading (looking at) this blog post. Some ideas for future posts include the gardens and balconies we are seeing here and some of the wonderful shopkeepers we have met here. If you have anything that you’d like to know more about just let me know and I’ll try to include it.