Sometimes we get so caught up on trying to only have local food on our travels that we forget that these cities that we are visiting are also homes to their own emerging social and cultural trends. So on a sunny afternoon in Florence, while on the search for a lovely osteria to settle down for lunch - we nearly gave this place a miss when we saw its hip concrete walls and chalkboard menu.
But something clicked when we peered through the windows and saw delicious little plates of seafood being served. And in we went.
The staff were hip - no doubt - I couldn't stop staring at the samurai-haired bartender with his cuffed pants and loafers. The setting was clean and easy and the all-seafood menu had us wanting to order everything.
The items were just simple seafood dishes given a light modern twist. This place is meant for friends to have easy conversations over good wine (they do have a good list) while nibbling on some good nosh. Nothing fancy and heavy. They let the freshness of the seafood be the star.
Everything can be ordered in half portions and the very trendy fish burgers and seafood paninis are hotcakes from what we saw. The upstairs of the restaurant retains the fresco-ed ceiling of the original structure giving it a little Florentine charm.
Via del Proconsolo, Florence, Italy.