Fuori di Taste: 2018 highlights under 25 euro

What to do during the most delicious week of the year

Mary Gray
March 6, 2018 - 12:58

Florence's 13th edition of food fair Pitti Immagine Taste is around the corner (March 10 to 12), and the town-wide table is set. A plethora of "Foraging"-themed tastings, talks and cooking shows are in the pipeline at the main fair, held at Stazione Leopolda, and spinoff events will bring the festival's spirit to restaurants, bars, shops and other venues all across the city. Fuori di Taste is the official title of the off-circuit initiatives, which kick off on March 7, ahead of the main fair, and run through March 12.

We've combed through the packed program to bring you some budget-friendly highlights. Costs are based on the official program listings and may be subject to change.


SimBIOsi tasting dinners

The hip San Lorenzo restaurant hosts three tasting dinners where organic ingredients are the centrepiece. Diners will enjoy a sampling platter for 16 euro matched with wine or beer at an additional cost. First in the lineup is a craft beer and pizza night with Tuscan brewery La Petrognola (March 8), followed by a rich Truffle and Brunello-themed evening with Gemignani Tartufi (March 11) and a final "pizza party" with Petra Evolutiva (March 12).
When: March 8, 11 & 12, starting 7pm each night
Where: SimBIOsi, via de' Ginori 56r
Info and booking: 055 064 0115, [email protected]


One Night of Sake: Scents of the Orient

Get your sushi or sashimi fix at the recently-opened Asian fusion restaurant One Night in Beijing. Pair your bites with punch-packing sake by Japanese label Yoshida, based in the Fukui Prefecture. Cost is 25 euro for a buffet spread plus two sake tastings, or a sake-based cocktail (made with spices like Sichuan syrup, ginger or saffron).
When: March 9, from 7pm
Where: One Night in Beijing, Rotonda Barbetti, via il Prato 14r
Info and booking: 055 2608885, [email protected]


Spacca (i) Sassi!

Vino al Vino teams up with Rinci for a free come-and-go tasting of the Monte Conero label's Pacasassi, or "sea fennel" (pictured), paired with wines from Alberto Serenelli and Federico Mencaroni.
When: March 10, 5-9pm, & March 11, 4-8pm
Where: Vino al Vino, borgo Ognissanti 70r
Info: 055 2670495, [email protected]


Taste at Rinascente

The downtown department store hosts its customary two-day event. Nibble on free samples and enjoy meet-and-greets with gourmet producers whose creations are sold in the chain's upstairs food market.
When: March 10 & 11, 11am-8pm both days
Where: La Rinascente, piazza della Repubblica
Info: 055 219113


The isle of wonders: journeying through Sicilian flavors

Dig in to the delicacies and delights of Sicily without setting foot outside Florence. Italian Tapas is launching a special Sicilian sampler menu tailor-made for Taste week: expect a range of regional treats, including blood orange-based products. The official launch will be held at a TGIF aperitivo on March 9 (from 6pm) but the menu will be available all week long.
When: March 6-11, 6pm-11pm nightly
Where: Italian Tapas, via Sant'Agostino 11r
Info and booking: 055 0982738, Facebook page



Dolce-mente, Spiritosa-mente, Artistica-mente

A three-pronged, free-entry event held across a group of Santo Spirito businesses. Area jeweler Marina Calamai will exhibit her work in the windows of Wave salon and will open her nearby studio, which has a panoramic view of the city, to the public. Neighboring restaurant Angiolino will serve chocolates, grappa and artisanal gelato to celebrate.
When: March 9, 5-8.30pm 
Where: Ristorante Angiolino, via Santo Spirito 36r; Wave, via Santo Spirito 27; Studio Marina Calamai, via Santo Spirito 14
Info and booking: 333 7395426, [email protected]



The Grand Prix Profili di Pressione with La Marzocco

Big-name baristas from around Italy battle to see who can serve up the finest espresso. Using top-of-the-line La Marzocco Strada Ep machines, and standing before a caffeinated jury of coffee experts, participants will experiment with applying different levels of pressure to see what works best. Free entry; tastings and talks will also be part of the program.
When: March 11, 2-7pm
Where: La Ménagère, via dei Ginori 8r
Info: Facebook page


Tartare, I Olive You!

Oil mill Frantoio di Santa Téa has teamed up with Antica Macelleria Falorni for a tartare-themed event to be held at the former's Oltrarno outpost, Olivia. Participants will learn how to properly pair tartare with three different types of extra virgin olive oil, and the Falorni butchers will throw a meaty selection of their main products into the mix, too. 15 euro for finger food buffet, tasting and a glass of wine or beer. 
When: March 10, from 7pm
Where: Olivia, piazza Pitti 14r
Info and booking: 055 868117, [email protected]



Go Japan Cinema

Celebrate Taste weekend like a movie star: catch the Italian premiere of Mitsuhito Shiraha's What's for Dinner, Mom? with a pre-party complete with Japanese food supplied by via Romana restaurant Il Cuore. Prices from 5 to 10 euro.
When: March 11, 7pm
Where: La Compagnia, via Cavour 50r
Info and booking: 055 268451, website



Ortobello® market

Spend your Sunday strolling through one of the Oltrarno’s top organic markets, with products sold directly from farmers. Free admission.
When: March 12, 9am–4pm
Where: Riccardo Barthel courtyard-workshop, via dei Serragli 234r
Info: 055 2280721



Food & Cheers by Fratelli Lunardi

Sottarno / ph. @marcobadiani

The famed bakers/consummate cookie-makers of Fratelli Lunardi will be the guests of honor at a cocktail party in the various nooks of SottArno, the ground-level hub of SoprArno Suites. 12 euro.
When: March 10, 7-9pm
Where: SottArno, via Maggio 53r
Info and booking: 0573 73077, [email protected]



Florence and Bronte: the Odd Couple

In case you need (another) excuse to visit the ongoing choco-fair in piazza Santissima Annunziata, Firenze e Cioccolato is hosting a free-entry, km0 aperitivo with pistacchios, gourmet, special liquors and more, held in collaboration with Bronte-based 'A Ricchigia. (Note: as the event is only one hour and held in the same venue as a highly popular festival, we advise reading this first).
When: March 9, 8-9pm
Where: Piazza Santissima Annunziata
Info and booking: 055 433349, [email protected]

View the full Fuori di Taste program on the Pitti Immagine website or pick up a brochure/map at participating venues.





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