La Casalinga

Trattoria_La_Casalinga_Florence_Italy_0Review by Madeline Dunagan

The trattoria La Casalinga is located in the Oltrano quarter of Florence. It is just around the corner from Piazza Santo Spirito, which is home to several restaurants. The restaurant does take reservations, though they also accept walk-ins. Be prepared though if you arrive after 20:30 you will have about a 30 minute wait for a table and eventually the man at the front will tell people they are no longer accepting customers for the night.
When you first walk in, the restaurant it seems very small, but in reality there are three other sitting areas in the back. The restaurant has a traditional feel, while waiting for your table you can see into the kitchen and watch ” the grandpa” cut steak for people’s meals. If you are a party of two, you will most likely be seated very closely to another party of two. For some this is a turn off, but it’s a great way to meet some new people. There is no music, and the only noise is from other diners and the wait staff. The walls are decorated with some artwork and a lot of pictures, mainly of the restaurant in the past. As we were not seated until 9:00pm, our service felt rushed. Our waitress spoke English, though she did help us with our Italian as well. She also gave us some suggestions for my secondo piatto. Even though you could tell she was in a rush, as at that time they were packed, she was very nice and did not make us feel hurried at all. She also brought me the wrong pasta dish, but was very nice when I informed her of this and she brought the correct one as soon as it was ready. I ordered three courses as well as a 1/4 L of their red house wine, while my friend just ordered spaghetti al pomodoro. I started with ravioli al burro e salvia, then had a braciola alla pizzaiola and finished with cantuccini con vin santo. The second course was on the recommendation of my waitress.
The menu is only offered in Italian. They offer dishes from seven categories: antipasti, primi, secondi, insalatone, formaggi, dolci and frutta. Their menu also includes an additional two categories, contorni (side dishes) and piatti del giorno (daily specials). The menu does not contain a description of the dishes, but our waitress explained a few when we asked her about them. I think for the most part the seasonality is respected. If it is frozen, they place an asterisk next to it, though only a couple of items, such as seafood and one of the contorni, have the asterisk. The wine list primarily consists of bottles ranging from 9 to 20 euros. It is not an extensive list: they offer whites, Chianti, Chianti Classico, all D.O.C.G., rose, as well as their white and red house wines. The best deal is to get their house wine which is only 8 euros for 1 L. For a meal consisting of a primo piatto, a secondo piatto, a dolci, the cover charge and a 1/4 L of house wine, the cost came to 25 euro.
For me, I liked my ravioli and the cantuccini the best. The ravioli had a strong sage taste which I preferred especially as I ordered butter and sage ravioli. The beef dish was too cooked for my liking but it was also very thin, so that can be expected. For me the flavors were exactly as I expected. We had to ask for the check at the end of the meal. By the time we were finished it was only us and a few tables of Italians that knew the owners and workers. She wrote us our check right away and we had to go to the front of the house to pay the man at the register. The service was to be expected as we arrived later at night, though the service though was not terrible. My meal was pretty good, though I would probably not order the beef dish again. For the amount of food I got, I thought the price was excellent. I would return there, but I would definitely get a reservation before hand.

Trattoria La Casalinga
Via dei Michelozzi 9r
Tel. 055 218624
Hours: Monday- Saturday, lunch 12:00-2:30pm, dinner 7:00-10:00pm