Category: Florence

Have you ever heard of Comerc 24 in Barcelona? No??? Have you ever heard of El Bulli at Cala Montjoi? Well if you haven’t heard that one either than you should wonder what you are doing reading my blog…. Cause every foodie (and most of non-foodies) knows about El Bulli.

El Bulli is one of the best restaurants in the world where finding a reservation is more difficult than having tea with the Queen. Ferran Adria, the chef, has been acclaimed the best chef in the world.

Carles Aballan, chef of Comerc 24, used to work with Ferran Adria at El Bulli, until he decided to continue his own adventure. In 2001, he opened Comerc 24 in Barcelona which became rapidly one of the best known tables in the city.

His concept is simple; he took all the tapas, and revised them with his creativity and worldwide influence. The result? Amazing.

The Marmelades have already been to Comerc 24 during their vacation week. The experience was so great that, they decided to go back and share the yummy food with me.

Thanks to his social skills, Ring Ding managed to find us a table for Saturday night. I think I have never seen Magician and Twinkie so excited about a restaurant, lol.

When you first sit, they open your appetite with four different olive oils… Everybody already knew what they wanted. The parents and I took the festival menu, where you have the chance to taste a bit of everything. Twinkie and Magician opted for fewer plates, their tuna tartar looked amazing and when you see the speed it was gone, I guess it was delicious as well.

Let me tell you the highlights among the dishes…

Pizza 24, on a bread crust they put anchovies, mozzarella bites, ruccola salad, strawberries and some truffle oil… as the Magician pointed out “each bite is an explosion of different tastes in your mouth”.

The filo Parma, lemon and basil and the monkfish were also incredible. The famous “kinder egg” (not the chocolate with a surprise in it), was very interesting as well. It was filled with truffles and very interesting taste.

On the main plates, we had some seafood dish: the Dashi with cockles, razor clams Yakisoba and Lavaneres peas and potera squid. Then they brought us a rabbit and an ox sirloin.

My favorites were the seafood dishes… I don’t eat rabbit, and the sirloin wasn’t that impressive.

And also let’s be honest… even if the portions are tiny, after the 8th dish you are not that hungry anymore.

Well you will think that, but when the desserts arrived, the appetite came back…. My favorites among the five deserts (yes five… without counting the petit fours)?

Bread oil, chocolate and salt… I loved the combination of this extra virgin olive oil on the chocolate and the salt just made it better. As Twinkie and Magician pointed out, their “oreos” were amazing was to die for. Instead of two cookies they had two caramelized sesame toasts, and it gave another dimension to the “oreo”.

We accompanied our dinner with this amazing wine, Scala Dei Priorat Cartoixa 75. The sommelier took a good ten minutes to open it. And believe me, it was worth the wait….

While we drank our wine, Twinkie and Magician (especially Twinkie) finished their water reserve, lol.

After 4 hours of food festival in our mouth, we left the restaurant very satisfied.

I advise everyone to try Comerc 24, the décor is very modern and the service is impeccable. Some people say that it is too expensive; let’s say it is not cheap, but worth every penny of it.

“Via Tornabuoni”, if I literally translate it, it would be “the street that returns good”….
Do I need to add more about this famous shopping street in Florence? All my friends were there; Prada, Fendi, Cavalli, Channel, Valentino just to cite my favorites… and they had the whole new Fall collection. No need to say I did some retail therapy, and guess what??? even forgot to eat…

I had an expresso at Cavalli’s Café called “Caffe Giacosa”… passed by the famous mozzarella bar Obikà. It is a new restaurant concept which centers its offering on the Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP, together with the research of recipes and artisanal products typical of the Italian tradition.
In other words it is like a sushi bar (let’s admit even the name sounds like Japanese), but instead of sushis the chef prepares different kind of Mozzarella.

After doing some damage, checked out from the hotel and drove to Florence airport. My flight back was short, an hour and 15 minutes.
And when arrived to Geneva, I was curious to know if my car would be there, because I had decided to try a car service called “Parking Friend”.

It is basically a service that picks up your car from the departures, and brings it back at the arrivals when you are back. It coast much less than the airport parking, and you can ask them to wash, or even do some mechanical work.
They have a website, so when my sister asked me, if it was secure to leave my car with the keys to a stranger, I told her, I don’t think they planned a big scheme to steal my Fiat Panda. I hope for them that they have bigger targets… lol.

But in the back of my head, I was thinking, what if… anyway, good news!!! my Panda was all clean waiting for me at the airport. And I really liked the efficiency of Parking Friend. When you make the calculations, it comes to cheaper to take your car and ask them to hand wash, than take a taxi (and we all know how Geneva taxi’s are expensive), and bring it to parking de Rive, where they hand wash superficially and you pay a lot….

OMG, I am already back in Geneva, I need to plan my next trip!!!!

I thought I couldn’t leave the region without seeing the tower at Pisa and staying a night at Florence…
The Pisa tower or the freestanding bell tower of Pisa’s cathedral was intended to stand vertically. But due to a poorly laid foundation and loose substrate; the tower that has been constructed in 1173 began to lean soon after.

I have to admit it gives you butterflies to see in real a tower that you saw on pictures, movies or even cartoons ….

After our visit to the tower, we took the road for Florence, and checked in at the hotel; Gallery Art Hotel. This hotel that belongs to The Salvatore Ferragamo fashion group, is very modern boutique hotel. It is located just by the Ponte Vecchio… in other words near the action.
The rooms are nice, but as every boutique hotel, you have view on the wall, or on the narrow street… My room was great and big, and my bathroom was as big as my room. But my mom didn’t have that chance, she had a tiny room, and her bathroom was so small that she could shower and go to the toilet at the same time…

As we arrived on Sunday, we really wanted to visit the town, so we ran to see Michelangelo’s David at the Galleria dell’Academia. After waiting in line for 45 minutes (a big advise you can buy your ticket online, so you don’t need to wait as long), we finally saw David, who was portrayed between 1501 and 1504, after his victory over. Funny story there are two more copies of David in Firenze, one in front of the old city hall, and one on a hill overlooking the city.
And off course I had to see all three of them to see if the proportions of their anatomy were correct ;)

That night we went at the Osteria del Porcellino. This restaurant is located since 1969 near Ponte Vecchio. The restaurant is run by Enzo Ferrera, and once again a restaurant that works is a restaurant where the owner is present.
Him and his stuff were really lovely, actually he was so lovely that at a point I thought he was gonna ask for my number.Lol I guess I am Enzo’s type ;)
We have started with the antipasti misti della casa, which was composed of fried brie cheese with truffle oil, some delicious Tuscan cold cuts, and the house crostinis.
Then, off course I had my Bistecca Fiorentina, which is an Italian T-bone steak. It literally melts in your mouth, and I highly advise roasted potatoes to accompany it….

The food was delicious, the staff lovely (especially Enzo), the crowd was composed of lots of tourists and locals actually… the only down part was all these street singers and magicians who annoyed us during dinner. I feel for them, but can’t they hear themselves???? It is more painful than pleasant for us… so we decided to bribe them so they will leave us alone…
It was a perfect evening; I didn’t want to sleep late because I had a date with via Tornabuoni, the high fashion shopping street. I wanted to look fresh for my shopping therapy