La Cucina de Garga (Florence)


Mama’s Italian cooking has never been so freakin’ fantastic.

During our Florence weekend last month, Hannah made our reservation to La Cucina de Garga just in time to witness the sunset at Boboli Gardens and Piazzale Michelangelo minutes beforehand. When we walked into a bar to buy a bottle of wine, the bartender even gave us three free wine glasses to take along with us. Talk about a unique but appropriate souvenir. And, not to mention, the perfect prop for a photo!

The eclectic restaurant’s turquoise and floral storefront stuck out in the cobblestone alley. We walked in ready to experience a classically divine Italian meal. We received that and so much more: excellent service, free foccacia and dessert, and so many laughable moments between the three of us.

As expected, we began with two key ingredients: bread and wine. Our endearing waiter brought us salted focaccia and followed up with a focaccia bruschetta with olive oil and marinara on the house.
Our appetizer, calamari con avocado y pomodorini, was a bright mix of sautéed calamari, avocado, cherry tomatoes and lemon dressing. I'd pick this over fried calamari any day.

Pictured above was the winner: linguine with clams. Not a single noodle sat on my plate after ten minutes. The light olive oil and garlic added so much zest to a classic. In fact, when I asked for parmesan, the waiter lightly scolded me for wanting to add cheese to a perfectly refined dish. He said the cheese would ruin my appreciation for the existing flavors! Interesting, huh.

Gotta love Italy.