And when I say we went twice, I actually mean, we went three times. Yes, three times.
La Buchetta is a wonderful food and wine spot in Florence located right near Ponte alla Grazie on Via de Benci, also very close to Santa Croce Church. With a fun atmosphere and local waitstaff, we absolutely adored the restaurant and the food they served.
Sunday was our first night there, and we couldn’t have been more excited to order the Bistecca alla Fiorentina. Having been vegetarians for 5 months prior to our trip, we were ready to finally chow on some juicy steak, Fiorentina style. We also tried the Tagliatelle al Ragu, a traditional bolognese pasta, and the Ravioli Saporiti al Cartoccio, a spinach and ricotta ravioli in a red sauce covered with cheese, served in tinfoil. It was just delicious!
Walking past the restaurant on Monday night, Maurizio, the owner was smoking a cigarette outside and recognized us immediately from the previous night. “Ciao,” he exclaimed, and with a big smile invited us in for a shot of limoncello, on him. We were flattered and, of course, accepted the invitation.
Maurizio soon discovered that we hadn’t had dinner yet and it was already 9:45PM. Then with his charm, he convinced us to stay and enjoy another meal at La Buchetta. He tempted us by suggesting we try another pasta dish, since we had the bistecca the night before. We folded.
I was hesitant. I didn’t want to be in Florence and only keep going to one spot, but Tom persuaded me that this was truly a special occasion for Maurizio to invite us back as friends and not a customer. He was right, so I went with it.
We were showered with endless bottles of their brand new rosso toscano house wine, and a complimentary glass of Prosecco to start off our meal. We tried the Antipasto plate this time, and fell madly in love all over again with La Buchetta.
For dinner, Tom ordered the Pici alla Carbonara and I went with the waiter, Ledio’s, suggestion and enjoyed the Trofie al Pesto, a pesto pasta. We were amazed again and a little wine-happy 😉 Having ordered different things, and a completely different meal than our first night, we certainly didn’t regret our decision.
As we ate our chocolate cheesecake and tiramisu for dessert, Ledio and Maurizio generously left bottles of limoncello and amaretto at our table and told us to enjoy with no rush. By this time it was almost midnight; we spent 2 hours enjoying our food and pinching ourselves to prove we were actually in Florence.
Around 1AM, the dinner crowd had left. The locals that were still there and the waitstaff turned up the music, toasted, and enjoyed the rest of night in each other’s company.
As we were leaving, they of course welcomed us back and even gave us a bottle of their house wine to bring back to the States. To our surprise, we noticed Maurizio had cut our bill in half. We couldn’t even believe it.
Our third night at La Buchetta, was our last in Florence and we had to do it right. We contemplated trying a new place, but why risk it on the last night, right?
At this point we were family. We enjoyed our meal with the company of Ledio and Viktor and they shared the history of the space that now is La Buchetta. It was a perfect evening filled with wine, friends, and mouth-watering tuscan food.