Pizzeria Da Gherardo

Review by Elizabeth Rivard
Da Gherardo is a comfortable, unpretentious restaurant located in the San Frediano neighborhood of Florence. Found on a street full of small but busy restaurants always hopping with local Italians, Da Gherardo fits in very well with the authentic, laid-back vibe of the area. It only opens for the dinner hours and most of the menu is made up of both traditional and new twists on pizza options, with several starters and other options available as well.
We arrived about twenty minutes after Da Gherardo opened on a Monday night, so there were plenty of seats available without a reservation. However, over the course of our meal, the restaurant filled up and reservations may have been needed later on in the evening. The space is small with lots of tables and a the warm, cozy feeling of a home kitchen permeated the atmosphere. The décor is made up of lots of unique, antique, and handcrafted items hanging from walls and ceilings. One especially nice touch was the fresh basil in a small vase on each table (instead of flowers). The lighting, music, and general noise levels were low enough to create a more personal feeling but high enough to feel like Da Gherardo is a welcoming, bustling place. When entering the restaurant, it was a little difficult to read the clues of the environment and figure out where to go to be seated. My friends and I kept walking back through the two rooms until we came to the server at the cash counter in the very back. After this, though, the service was fantastic and friendly.
The menu of Da Gherardo was featured in chalk on a large, rustic, rusted board on the wall, which was aesthetically pleasing. The menu was all in Italian, but the staff willingly translated it into English. It contained the pizza names with the list of ingredients for each pizza and the price. A separate board contained the starter options in the same format, and a smaller board listed the daily special. The pizza prices ranged from 5 Euro to 13 Euro a pizza and the starters rang in at under 10 Euros, while a half liter of house red wine cost 6 Euro. Overall, Da Gherardo featured very affordably priced dishes that were well worth the money.
I ordered the Montanara pizza, which cost 9 Euro. It incorporated tomato sauce, arugula, fresh tomato, fresh cheese, parmesan, and oil on a deliciously chewy flour crust. The presence of fresh vegetables on the pizza blended incredibly well with the softer mozzarella and the sharper, more aged parmesan. The tomato sauce and oil helped to tie all of the flavors together into one lovely whole. The pizza was a typical size for Italian pizza, and it left me feeling very full. The house wine paired well with the tomato of the pizza. One of my friends ordered the Margherita pizza and said that the mozzarella was some of the best she has ever had on a pizza. My other friend ordered the Ortolana pizza (which featured tomato sauce, mozzarella, zucchini, and peppers), and though she did not realize it had peppers on it (which she does not like), she still enjoyed her pizza and especially the atmosphere of Da Gherardo.
Overall, Da Gherardo satisfied my pizza cravings in an excellent way. The restaurant would be good for anyone looking for a casual, delicious pizza location. The restaurant had a charming overall ambience, but the temperature and level of crowding could make it uncomfortable for some, especially during busier times and warmer seasons. The food more than makes up for this though, and the service is fast and helpful, so I would highly recommend Da Gherardo to my friends!

Da Gherardo
Borgo San Frediano 57/red
Tel.: 055 282921
Hours: Daily 7:30pm-1:00am