During the group’s stay in Tuscany, they dined at Ristorante Mamma Gina. For over 60 years the restaurant has been serving the finest in Tuscan dishes, with an accomplished and dedicated staff. Believe it or not, no one has been there for less than 15 years and Mamma Gina promised to bring a fitting end to the group’s time in the historic and vibrant city of Florence.
Located at 37R Borgo S. Jacopo, near the famed Ponte Vecchio, the ristorante is minutes away from the Palazzo Pitti and the Arno River, in a palazzo dating back to the 15th century. The first impression the group encountered was how friendly the staff was. Their server was quite funny and that set a wonderful tone for the entire evening in the warm and inviting dining room. The traditional Tuscan fare featured many fish and seafood dishes, both as appetizers and as main courses. There were also many offerings that featured delicious porcini mushrooms and that was a fine way to start the meal. Both their Polenta Grigliata con Porcini and Crostini alla Toscana were flavorful starters. The octopus, shrimp and artichokes appetizer was as fresh as one could imagine.
A treat not to be missed while traveling in Tuscany is one of the comfort foods of the region – tagliatelle with wild boar sauce. But the spinach ravioli with ricotta and cream of mushrooms is also delicious. Standouts for the main course included the Florentine Steak. Often, you will find that like a porterhouse, it is only prepared for two; but that is not the case at Mamma Gina’s. The steak for one was perfect, using exceptional ingredients.
The toughest decision at Mamma Gina’s was choosing among the many outstanding local wines offered. Any connoisseur would have a smile from ear to ear reading through their wine list. The restaurant’s wine cellar also acts as a wine shop and has over 60 varieties from Tuscany alone. From Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di Montepulciano to classic Chianti, there were numerous selections to complement every dish.
The hearty main selections also included two exceptional veal dishes. Chef Antonio’s veal rib was tender and expertly seasoned, while the Tuscan veal Ossobuco with porcini mushrooms was nothing short of perfection.
In addition to the scrumptious offerings on the dessert cart, there were two that are a must to try – the semifreddo with hot chocolate and coffee semifreddo. Each had the consistency of a frozen mousse and just as the Publisher’s Tour group found in all of the dishes, the freshness of the ingredients shined through. The restaurant is very popular, so when in Florence, make sure to book reservations at Trattoria Mamma Gina and you will enjoy the finest of Tuscan hospitality, cuisine and wines.