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It helps when the waiter is cute!

What do you get when you cross a small, cozy restaurant with excellent food and a cute-as-a-button flirt of a waiter?!?  A fabulous dining experience!

We decided to stay close to the apartment tonight, so we walked up a hill behind the place, saw a small restaurant right away, cute-as-a-button waiter came out, saw us, I held up seven fingers (I’m a pro at Italian sign language and gestures) and next thing I knew, we were being led into a great little restaurant – Trattoria Bordino.

And what a fun meal it turned out to be.

Our waiter had a great command of the English language and an even better command of how to work a table.  He was great.

And so was the food!

I had my first Bistecca alla Fiorentina. Beefsteak Florentine style consists of a T-bone or porterhouse steak (traditionally taken from either the Chianina or Maremmana breeds of cattle), grilled over a wood or charcoal fire, and seasoned with salt and, sometimes, black pepper, and (strictly after the steak is retired from the fire) olive oil.

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It may be the best steak I have ever eaten.  It was so rare, so tender, so mouthwatering-good.  It was perfection on a plate.

Before the steak arrived, we had a few appetizers – smoked salmon bruschetta, and another absolutely fabulous chicken liver bruschetta.  This I have to figure out how to make.  it is stellar-good.  It is grainy, not smooth and pureed, and has virtually no chicken liver taste – but it is so rich and flavorful that a little goes a long way.

It’s served warm and it’s not at all greasy – so it’s not the same as Uncle Rudy’s with all the butter. I’m going to have to figure this one out.

There was a seafood spaghetti that was fantastic,  and a carpaccio, a farfalle with salmon, and a chicken breast that I never did get to taste – or photograph.

Mr. Cute-as-a-button was just that – as well as attentive and fun.  He asked how long we were in town, suggested we come back for another meal, said the restaurant was open 24 hours and the waiters were all strippers after hours.  Needless to say, we laughed and laughed – and fought over who would be first.  I won’t even describe the swiping of the debit card – or the punching of the card code.

We were bad.

And then there was a table of desserts…  All made in-house.  Mr Cute-as-a-button had us all come out to look and choose – much easier than trying to describe the.

I had a chantilly cream cake topped with meringue – Zuppa Inglese!

It was made in a casserole dish, topped with the meringue, and then spooned out.

I told Mr Cute-as-a-button I wanted to make it at home, and he gave me the basics – a sponge cake thinly sliced, sprinkled with liquor, layered with lemon chantilly cream, layer upon layer, topped with the meringue and then popped into the oven to brown.

It rocked the Casbah.

So… Another fabulous meal, a really fun waiter, and a train ride to Venice in the morning.

Life is good.

For those taking notes… The restaurant is:

Trattoria Bordino
via Stracciatella, 9r
Firenze

We may stop back for our last night in Italy…  It was that much fun!

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