Florence, Italy: BEST Dinner Tour in the City
The Glass Dining Room at "Walkabout Estate"
Tuscan Views at Walkabout Estate
These vampires are sophisticated, sexy, and deadly
Guide: Angel Fuentes
Chef: Isak Lystad
Pecorino "Flan" (Course #1)
Baked Crespelle (Course #2)
Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Course #3)
When visiting Florence, this tour is a MUST.
I have toured and dined all over Italy, and this experience was so pleasant that I am compelled to share it with my readers...
It was a brisk evening in April as I make my way to the Walkabout Office on Via Vinegia 23/r.
A small group of people are standing around as our guide (Angel Fuentes) checks everyone in. At promptly 7 pm, we take a short walk to our private coach.
Our destination is the Walkabout Estate, located near the iconic Torre del Gallo. The short drive is scenic and when we arrive, everyone whips out their cameras and cell phones to capture the stunning views.
The evening air is fresh and fragrant with spring blooms. Olive groves, cypress trees, and lush, green hills are exactly what people want to see when they visit Tuscany.
The Walkabout Estate edifices and the outside decor are brimming with the rustic elegance one expects in Tuscany.
Big ceramic pots overflowing with colorful flowers, a well-tended vegetable garden, and an old water pump are just some of the thoughtful features added for our visual pleasure.
After taking plenty of photos and emitting "oohs" and "ahhs" over the surrounding natural beauty, the group is ushered into a huge professional kitchen where Chef Isak Lystad awaits. He greets us with a smile, a tasty aperitivo (cheese, olives, sun-dried tomato), and a Negroni Sbagliato.
The group is relaxed and happy by this point. I hear a few people chuckling softly as we meander outside with our drinks.
Ten minutes later, Angel leads us inside the glass dining room where we may continue enjoying the Tuscan views. Everyone is hungry and eager for the dinner to begin.
Angel (a certified sommelier in 3 countries) pours the first wine: Chianti Classico. Robert Parker, the famous US wine critic, gave this particular vintage 91 points.
Our knowledgeable guide proceeds to explain how to properly appreciate the wine's bouquet and flavor before our first course arrives: a velvety peccorino "flan" accompanied by prosciutto crudo and crisped sage leaves (served with salsa verde sauce).
Angel then pours our second wine, Carmignano, which received 92 points by Robert Parker. It compliments our second course: oven baked crespelle.
Chef Isak delicately laced the ricotta-spinach filling with lemon and nutmeg, and the Parmesan topping boasts a nice crunch (served with a tangy tomato sauce).
By the time Angel pours our last wine, Brunello di Montalcino- which received 85 points by Robert Parker- I am a bit tipsy. We all are, in fact.
The magic of fine Italian food and wine has taken effect and people are laughing, talking, and exchanging contact information.
Chef Isak enters the dining room to parade the raw Chianina steaks (the only breed used for the famous Bistecca alla Fiorentina) before cooking them to perfection.
The tender, flavorful meat, served with a side of roasted vegetables, goes well with the superior wine.
We are satiated and happy after the last course. I hear people say "I cannot eat another bite," yet we all make room for a decadent dessert and a delightfully refreshing liqueur made from lemon verbena (to help with digestion, of course).
Coffee and cookies are the final items to arrive at the table. Some people manage to fit them in, while others lean back and fondly rub their bellies.
CONCLUSION: the food, mini sommelier class, and the pleasant company (nice group) made this an exceptional evening. It is a special treat to escape the crowded city center of Florence and enjoy a quiet gastronomic feast surrounded by nature and sociable people.
The price of the "Taste Tuscany: Wine and Dine" tour is extremely reasonable for the quality and quantity of food and wine provided.
NOTE: There is also a short tour of Florence by night after the meal.
To book this tour, click the link: Wine and Dine Tour
As always, thank you for reading!
C. De Melo
Author & Artist