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Dining at Simone's

By January 9, 2012

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CrostiniA few weeks ago we went to the Trattoria La Baracchina, a restaurant owned by Simone Ciattini that's about a half hour south of Florence, not far from L'Albergaccio, where Macchiavelli wrote il Principe after being banished from Florence. Even if he weren't an old friend of my brother-in-law it would be worth the trip; the location is beautiful and refreshingly cool in summer (in winter you eat indoors, and there is a nice fireplace), and the food is quite good. I started with crostini misti, mixed crostini, and then had bollito misto, boiled dinner, which is a dish I generally associate with the north.

Bollito Misto Simone has an innovative approach that will also be more practical for a home cook than might be the carrello piled high with mixed boiled meats one often encounters in restaurants.

He simmers his meats in the kitchen, and come time to serve them cuts a half-inch (1.5 cm) slice from each kind of meat he has cooked, sets them in a heated terracotta pot, tops the pot off with simmering broth, adds a boiled potato, and brings it to the table, where the diner transfers them to the plate and adds condiments.

Very Tasty!

What to Drink With a Meal Like This?

Chianti Classico would be a good bet. However, I would also be tempted to serve a Barolo or Barbaresco from the Langhe, where King Vittorio Emanuele was known for sneaking away from court to enjoy Bollito Misto alla Piemontese.

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