Welcome to CiboChat!

CiboChat is the Food and Culture blog of FUA Florence University of the Arts. This blog project reflects our aim to share the cultural and especially gastronomic experiences of our students, faculty, staff, and Florentine locals. Check out our Florentine Food Guide for how to dine like a local!



Gelateria De’ Medici

By Brooke Bailey, Mia Barnes, Haley Billingsley, Johanna
Carmichael, Shane Chambers, Tiernan McKeown

Gelateria De’ Medici is conveniently located in Piazza Beccaria. It
is a welcoming, family-run gelato parlor. The atmosphere is elegant
with a chandelier and a grand setting. No reservations are needed as it
is a take-away establishment. However, it is strongly encouraged to
order ahead for specialty cakes. The parlor is open six days a week
and open from morning until midnight.
Their menu consists of 44 different flavors of gelato, fruit sorbets,
cakes with fruit or mousse, and even gelato stuffed fruits. These flavors
are constantly updated based on the seasons and available
ingredients. Upon walking in, you see a large counter for service and
two available seats. The staff at Gelateria De’ Medici were very
friendly, willing to describe each flavor, and let you sample as many
flavors as you desired. With so many wonderful options it was hard to
just pick a couple. The pricing for gelato is between 2 and 4
euros, and for cakes it is 15 and 32 euros. The price of gelato was based on the cup
or cone size chosen, so customers were able to have multiple flavors in one serving.
The quality was outstanding. It was fresh and had a smooth, creamy texture.
The consistency was just right, not too soft and not too hard.
Overall I would recommend Gelateria De’ Medici to a friend or
family member. With such wide variety of ice-cream flavors and other
goodies it would appeal to anyone with a sweet tooth.

Piazza Cesare Beccaria, 7R/ 055 386 0008/
info@gelateriademedici.com /

Traditional Tuscan Pasta

Sarah Mirisola and Adanna Padda

This week’s theme at Ganzo’s Wednesday aperitivo was traditional Tuscan pasta bake dishes. There were three different kinds of pasta dishes being served to Table 21 and each one represented a different element of Tuscan cuisine: such as seafood, meat, cheese, and vegetables. There were many familiar faces at Table 21 this week. It was full of FUA-AUF staff. The professors were very welcoming and talkative, with many of the students spending their evening out at Ganzo. The first Tuscan pasta bake dish we were presented with was meatball and bolognaise sauce served with ginger, garlic, and herbs. The pasta was layered: the first layer was feta cheese with broccoli sauce and below that layer were the meatballs with herbs. The pasta was made the day before and it took hours to make, according to the chef. The pasta was then baked and presented to Table 21. The next dish that we tasted was the mushroom-flavored pasta. It had a creamy sauce and two layers of mushrooms and cheese. The chef told us they had to prepare the pasta for this dish in a very interesting way: they rolled out the pasta dough with mushroom powder, which gave the pasta more of a flavor. This dough also was made the day before and also took hours to make. The final dish was the seafood-based pasta bake. This pasta was rolled out with cabbage powder which gave it its green color. The three seafood items within this dish were shrimps, calamari, and mussels. The pasta was served with a red sauce and it had a potato, red pepper, and herb filling. This particular aperitivo was very crowded. Many of the students seemed very relaxed and took their time enjoying the aperitivo, hanging out with all the friends they made since arriving in Florence. Ganzo’s aperitivo is a great place to go for a friendly and relaxing atmosphere, along with wonderful food!

We Love Green!

Spoilt for choice!

By Liz Katsoulis

This week at Ganzo the theme in the kitchen was the color green! Chef Filippo told me the reason behind the theme. Chef Filippo is very passionate about being a chef. He is 30 years old and he is in his last year in the Master’s program at FUA-AUF. Additionally, he is from Pisa. He explained the theme sustainability in the kitchen in order to preserve culture and ingredients. He also explained that this theme goes hand and hand with the Mediterranean diet and represents the idea that you can use vegetables in things other than salad. He also stated that all different vegetables can be used all year round. The first thing I ate was a small sandwich – toast bread base with milk and honey stuffed with pea purée flavored with meat – and pecorino chips seasoned with herbs (including sage, thyme, and rosemary). The next thing I tasted was a summer cabbage and creamy cod roll blended together with water, milk, gelatin and olive oil. It was served atop a crispy jowl-fat sauce, made of concentrated tomato sauce flavored with ginger. Last but not least, I tried the chicken liver mousse with onion, capers and anchovy butter blended with gelatin, whipped cream and set in a mold to create the circular shape. The mousse was served with very lightly candied black-cabbage and celery. My favorite dish was definitely the first one I discussed; it was very refreshing but also buttery and savory. Overall, I thought the green theme was very interesting and very well executed by the Ganzo chefs. 

Italian Tapas Rostobar

Buon appetito!

Review by: Brooke Nastasi, Isabel Napper, Lily Nguyen, Lucia Matteo, Caroline Murray

When our group first approached the tapas restaurant, we thought it was going to be small. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the seating area extended far into the back and was very open. The interior was very modern and had a good aesthetic. The back of the restaurant had a very laid back and mellow atmosphere. The two men sitting at the cash register/bar area were very friendly to all of us when walking in and each said hello. The waitress was very friendly and offered us menus and explained how the restaurant worked, as we were not familiar with a tapas restaurant.
Looking at the menu I was surprised at how inexpensive all the food was. Even though the portion sizes were very small, it was still a great price. We each got 2 dishes each to split between the 5 of us.  Each plate came with two to four small servings and were arranged to look just as good as they tasted. A few things we tried were prosciutto curdo, fresh Tuscan pecorino cheese, riso, patate e cozze, eggplant parmesan, octopus and potatoes, terre del sud, gnocconi ripieni, and a few more things that aren’t on the online menu. The sauces and garnishes that came with some of the plates were for both flavor and presentation. Many of the dishes that were offered at this restaurant appeared to be drawn from traditional Italian dishes, but then had a fun twist, in either the presentation or the unique flavors. We had a good variety of Italian tapas. A few of us got the house white or red wine or a drink homemade by the bartender.
After finishing our meal, we were all very full and happy. We absolutely loved this restaurant and its atmosphere. The food in general is priced very well and the quality of the food is great. We would absolutely recommend this place to all of our friends and we already want to go back and try it again soon.

Risto Bar
Address: Via Sant’Agostino 11/R
Telephone: 055 098 2738
Website: http://www.italiantapas.it/
Hours: Monday-Friday 5pm-12am, Saturday and Sunday 12:30pm-12am

An Acquired Taste

By Sarah Mirisola and Adanna Padda

The theme at “AperiGanzo” this week was “raw food”. The aperitif was also the occasion for another special event: the “AperiArt”. This art exhibition held once a month, where an emerging artist can display their work, distinguishes Ganzo from any other restaurant.
Before the aperitivo started, the artist who was displaying his work explained the concepts behind his paintings. While we were listening to his explanation, I noticed that there was a unique and eclectic vibe at this aperitivo. The music was very up-beat and the guests were all talking animatedly, having a good time. Everyone also seemed to be happy with the food that was being served. Looking at Table 21 specifically there was a different atmosphere from the other tables, more serious and professional. The artist was sitting at Table 21 with his colleges and friends. The food that they were being served was gourmet raw food: a beef tartar on a bun, ceviche, raw veal with a fig marsala and a salad. Each of these meals being served at Table 21 was very different and they each had their own special flavor. The students working in the kitchen told us that the dishes were inspired by different regions in Italy. There were also some dishes that were not classics of Italian cuisine, but they were prepared in an Italian style. The beef tartar was very interesting to taste because it was extremely different from a cooked piece of beef on a bun and the taste of an American hamburger, which we are used to. The beef tartar was served with a sauce which had a sweet flavor. The next dish was the raw veal with a fig marsala sauce. There were radishes and garnishes on top. The taste of the raw meat had a nice contrast with the sweet fig marsala. The meal was cold and altogether flavorful. The salad was full of fruit and vegetables such as pears, carrots, and radishes. The salad was very light compared to the other raw meals being served at Table 21. The chef told us that his favorite meal of the evening was the beef tartar served on a bun. We agreed with him, that was also our favorite meal. Altogether, the meal and the vibe at this “AperiArt” were unique and engaging.