During our last trip to Florence (Firenze), the staff at our hotel recommended that we try Rosso Crudo for dinner. The location suited us, being only a block from our hotel, the Domux Home Ricasoli, on a day when we hadn’t slept much the night before. We wanted something nearby but delicious as our culinary entry into the city.
Specialty: steak and pasta
Dress: Business casual
Price: antipasti 5-19 Euros; primi platti (pasta) 8-12 Euros; Steaks 17-24 Euros or, for premium cuts, 5-8 Euros per 100 grams.
What to order: steak, pappardelle cinghiale, proscuitto e melone
We arrived for an early dinner by Italian standards simply because we couldn’t trust ourselves to stay awake for a later meal. The restaurant had seated only one other table, although it did begin to fill up before we left. We did not need reservations for this semi-casual, rustic restaurant.
Rosso Crudo in Florence specializes in . . . Tuscan cuisine. No surprise. I was impressed, however, by how well they prepared typical dishes. The chef piled paper-thin proscuitto on top of sweet, ripe melon.
The mixed cheese plate arrived with artfully, though simply, arranged cheese topped with almonds with a side of honey for drizzling.
We shared both between the two of us, although certainly the cheese board could have sufficed as an appetizer.
Italians eat their meals in four courses, starting with antipasti, moving to primi piatti or pasta dishes, then to second piatti of fish or meat, and finishing with dolci or desserts. Along the way, you can add side dishes or contorni. But just because they list the dishes in that way, it doesn’t mean you have to order all courses. As in the United States, you can order pasta as your main courses. Just don’t expect an enormous pile of pasta the way it’s often served here.
Because the trip had exhausted us, we chose to order gentler and smaller pasta dishes instead of steak. I did peek at the steaks served at the table next to us, and they looked extraordinary. If I went back, I’d go when I could handle more food and therefore order one of the meat dishes. Instead, I opted for the pappardelle al cinguiale, or pasta with wild boar ragù. The flavor was rich without being overwhelming. The meat was tender and not gamey in flavor.
My husband went with the garganelli RossoCrudo, basically a tube pasta with tomato sauce and mozzarella. He loved it, but I’m glad I went with the more unusual choice.
Rosso Crudo’s wine list includes several bottles from the Tuscany region. We settled on a Chianti Classico Riserva from Banfi to complement our meal.
The staff speaks English, some better than others. Our meals arrived when expected, even when we lingered over our appetizers. Our server was attentive, but did not hover. As in most of Europe, you won’t get your check unless you ask for it. The service staff always wants you to feel comfortable and not rushed.
We would definitely return to Rosso Crudo in Florence on a return trip. I would like to try it again when I’m more hungry and can order steak. The rustic atmosphere feels Tuscan, and the staff helped make us comfortable on our first evening in Florence.
Debbie Lee Wesselmann