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Florence, Italy: Trattoria I' Raddi- Serving the CHEAPEST lunch in the city (2 euro)
2,00 euro Lunch Menu
For lovers of the Renaissance, Florence, and the Medici.
Crostini of Butter and Anchovies
Penne al Pomodoro
Arista Tonnato con Insalata
Friendly Table Companions
I Didn't Believe it At First...
A real sit down lunch in Florence, inside a trattoria for two euro? No way. Before leaving for San Francisco, my friend, Charlotte, assured me that it was true. Trattoria I'Raddi- a little hidden gem tucked away in a side street of the Oltrarno- offers a full menu of delicious first and second courses and a couple of 2,00 euro lunch specials from Monday through Friday.
Curious, I decided to check it out one day after doing a tour, only to discover that it was closed (it was about 2:30pm). There it was- two menu items: potatoes with octopus and spaghetti, both for only 2,00 euro! Further investigation was necessary, so I recruited my friend Toni to come with me. The menu boasted three items for that unbelievable low price, so we got all three. I was skeptical at first, but then I noticed that the place was packed with locals and EVERYONE was ordering the 2,00 euro items, so the food must be good.
When our orders arrived, we were pleasantly surprised. The antipasto was good, but the anchovies could have been cut into bigger chunks in my opinion. My pasta was decorated with a sprig of fresh rosemary and the sauce was carefully prepared with onion and spices (not just canned tomato sauce dumped into pasta). Toni's arista was on a bed of fresh lettuce, not wilted, as was the "tonnato" sauce, which is basically mayonnaise with a bit of tuna. By the way, this is something neither of us understands: the Tuscans refuse to sprinkle cheese on seafood pasta or risotto, but tonnato over pork and roast beef is okay. Strange. Toni, ever curious, decided to ask the four gentlemen seated across from us and soon we were all engaged in a lively, funny conversation. NOTE: Unless you call in advance to reserve, you will be seated at a communal table with others, which can be great fun.
We ordered a half liter of house red wine (good) and natural spring water. I sarcastically thought that the bread & cover charge was going to be ridiculously high to compensate for the 2,00 lunch, but to my continued surprise, there was no cover for lunch. The total bill for the both of us came out to only 10,00 euro!!! Wow! It's hard to beat that price in the historical city center of Florence, where one can pay more than that for a simple plate of pasta.
During the week, I'Raddi also offers fixed dinner menus for only 16,00 euro per person and you can choose from a few first and second courses, wine and water included. No specials offered on weekends. I did flip through the menu and there were some very interesting and traditional items, like Roman Artichokes cooked Jewish style (yum), along with roasted meats and pasta dishes. Prices range from 8,00 - 14,00 euro. Very reasonable.
My husband is a bit envious that I took Toni instead of him, so I promised him we would check out the weekday dinner special. This eatery is definitely worth your time if you come visit, so make a point of it. As always, thanks for reading!
C. De Melo
Author & Artist