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On a recent trip to Florence, Italy to do research for an upcoming feature article in Passport Magazine, I stumbled upon several exciting restaurants. One extraordinary establishment was Cuculia.
Cuculia is located in the Oltrarno neighborhood, which basically means the other side of the Arno River. The historic centre of Florence is on one side and when you crossover the Ponte Vecchio...
... (or several other bridges), you're in the Oltrarno. This also happens to be the part of town I prefer to stay in. It's quieter, less touristy and full of great artisan shops, museums, and restaurants. One evening, while strolling through the neighbor trying to decide where to have dinner, we came across Cuculia. There was something very homey and charming about the look of the restaurant and once glancing at the menu, the decision was made to see if we could get a table without reservations.
Yes! Probably because it was a Tuesday night. For the weekend, I would definitely recommend reservations. Cuculia refers to the twitter sound the cuckoo bird makes and this restaurant is the love child of Chef Oliver Bentancourt and his wife, Roberta. Also a library, the dining experience was exceptional from the innovative culinary creations to Rosa, our smart and entertaining server. Our gastronomical adventure started off with an unexpected "on the house" soup.
|Pumpkin and Carrot Soup|
Pumpkin and carrot with cauliflower, beet foam, spinach and croutons. Simply delicious and gorgeous to look at. In fact all of the dishes were stunning artistic creations. Here we have a chard roll stuffed with buckwheat and beetroot with apple chutney served on a bed of celery and walnut pesto.
The Winter Salad below was composed of fennel, avocado, winter melon, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate served on a bed of chickpea humus.
As an entreé, the sunflower pasta made with hulled wheat stuffed with goat cheese and honey on a bed of chestnut purée that was scented with fresh thyme was surprisingly delectable.
|Sunflower Pasta with Goat Cheese and Honey|
We also ordered the delicate ginger cod fish perfumed with a saffron rose infusion.
|Cod with Rose Infusion|
Note: all flowers were eatable and gobbled up! For dessert, a refreshing fruit sorbet was enjoyed as well as a...
...chocolate fondue with bananas, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries!
The Dizzy Traveler is cuckoo for Cuculia!