Sunday, December 07, 2014

FIRENZE Restaurant, thanks to dondayinsma!

A week or so ago, Dondayinsma (see his blog in the blog roll to the right side) reviewed Firenze.

A good friend had suggested we have lunch to discuss the world and other assorted items of interest.

Initially he suggested another restaurant but then emailed back and suggested Firenze.  We had both read
Don Day's review.  Each of us was intrigued and ready to try out the new location.

About a year ago, I had dined at the other location that Firenze had operated from near the Col. San Antonio church in the former Jackie's location.  Notice I say dined.  It was not an eating evening.  The food was too good to say that.  It was definitely a dining experience, which is an infrequent occurrence for me
here in San Miguel.

I had oohed and aahed about the ravioli with sage butter sauce along with the rest of the meal.

Therefore, with great anticipation, I arrived before the restaurant even opened at 1PM on Thursday.
With a pleasant outdoor dining space, it was fine to sit and watch the street traffic until my friend arrived.

Then we entered the restaurant.

But before that happened, two unknown women had arrived about the time I did.  The first woman was a real character.  When the owner told her what the prix fixe menu was, she told him she couldn't eat this and couldn't eat that.  Could she have her caesar salad without croutons as she could not have bread. (The irony is that I saw this same woman eating a croissant on the park bench in the jardin not thirty minutes prior to this!) Then he told them one of the entrees was grouper and he only had two servings left to offer.  The irritating woman wanted only that and the caesar salad without croutons.  He gently explained that he would have to charge her the prix fixe price even though she didn't want the dessert.  She agreed.  So the two of them ordered the grouper.  I had not uttered a word, but in my heart, was disappointed.  Grouper has been a favorite of mine since the first time I ate it in Cozumel.

After I discovered grouper in Cozumel, I came home to Houston and searched out the restaurants that served it.  Only a few back in the 80's.  Not the case today.

Then the women decided they wanted to move inside to eat, next to us as we were in the main dining room.
One of the women said there was a smell and she couldn't eat in this room or outside.........and they left.

Of course when Anthony came to tell us the entrees, I asked for the grouper, with a big smile and an impish grin.  My friend ordered the same.  We also ordered the roasted cauliflower soup with truffle oil.
AND a bottle of delicious merlot.  Fresh, crusty bread was brought while we waited for our soup.

Then remembering the delicious ravioli, we asked if we could have just a tasting of the ravioli which we knew would be at a slight additional cost.
My intention was to photograph each course.  As the ravioli arrived so did the wine.  The last time I had a drink in the middle of the day was probably two years ago at the beach.  

No, I didn't feel a thing.  No I wasn't incapacitated.  I was just lulled into quiet bliss.  The food, the wine, the delightful conversation with my companion who has, in the past, been a world traveler along with an intriguing career. 

We had our grouper served on top of a tiny serving of mashed potatoes and diced vegetables.  Each morsel was savored.  Then came the desserts.  Miniscule, because we had selected the prix fixe, my friend had the panne cotta.  I, of course, had the dollop of molten chocolate cake.  One bite - just enough. It didn't even occur to me that I had not photographed the other soup, the entree or the dessert~~

Even though our portions were smaller then normal, neither of us felt as though we had not had enough food.
We were satiated.  The prix fixe price is 150 pesos for three courses   With the current exchange rate that is about $10.50USD!

The service, of course, was superb.  Between Anthony and Carlos, the head waiter, nothing was left to chance.  There were six other diners for lunch that day!  A goodly number since they have not been open that long.  Anthony did mention that they had been very busy the previous evening.

                        My friend Don and the waiter Anthony at the beginning when we first arrived.

The restaurant is tiny.  If I remember correctly, inside in the dining room is seating for 12 or 14 guests.
I don't remember what the seating capacity is outside.

When we left the restaurant two hours later, the sun was shining, the world was still functioning and I, for sure, was very relaxed from a delicious dining experience and a good merlot wine.

Firenze is located at Recreo 13 near Solutions and closer to Hospicio, then Correo.  There is not a sign on the building as yet........BUT if you look in you'll see table set up in a courtyard.  That's it.

Maybe, just maybe, next time I'll remember to photograph the courses.......



27 comments:

Steve Cotton said...

I now have another place to dine on my next trip to the highlands.

Babs said...

For sure, Steve......and I want to know about the restaurants in La Manzanilla as I ALWAYS eat on the beach at the palapa restaurant of the Dutch woman....need to expand my horizons.

Cheryl said...

Yum! Can't wait to try it.

Tancho said...

And here I though that Patzcuaro was the only town to host classless duets of women who make me want to run screaming from the restaurant apologizing to the world, because the world no longer just revolves for them.
Sounds like a great little place, hope they succeed in spite of patrons who waste their time!

Droelma said...

This only happens to me when I read SMA or Ajijic blogs. I read a price; like 150.- pesos for three tiny bites for lunch and think " wow, not exactly cheap " and then when I read it is only US$ 10.50 it does not sound so bad.
Maybe this is also because I have never made conversions of anything, because I earn pesos and spend them and no other currency. I often find SMA prices a bit high ( like when I read what someone paid to have a car tire repaired ), but I think the food is worth it. Here I miss small restaurants run by creative chefs with all kinds of different food and in 20 years have not found a good Thai, Indian, or Greek restaurant.
But the food you describe sounds delicious. I just would need bigger portions.I am a volume eater and because of it eat only two meals a day and almost never any snacks. I could make a whole meal of the roasted cauliflower soup and the other one with the grouper. With the changing weather we are having those are two excellent meals. And since I have cauliflower in the fridge, I am off to find a recipe....yay !

TakeToTheHighwaydotcom said...

I "dined" at this restaurant two years ago, and it was divine. But then I heard they were having to relocate. I sure am glad to hear they survived the move, because in addition to the delicious food, the owners were so very nice! I will look forward to trying their new location! Thanks!

Babs said...

Tancho, it was all I could do to keep my mouth shut!

Cheryl - the food, the service and the presentation were divine, IMHO.

Take to the Hwy - WE are ALL happy they have a new location. They have been around for about 4 years in various locations. I hope this is THE place for them.....

Babs said...

Droelma, indeed, restaurants in DF in some instances are less expensive. But, when you compare apples to apples, they are about the same.

Now the conversion rate to multiply against the peso to get the US$ is about times 7! Wow, amazing.

Again, it depends on where you go to buy, fix, or get something. The last time I got a tire fixed it cost 20 pesos! It was quite an adventure.......BUT it is still a good tire!

Babs said...

Sorry if I gave the impression that the prix fixe is three tiny bites. It definitely is not! The soup was sizeable, the grouper was more then sufficient, the ravioli was small because we asked for a sampling. Only the dessert was a one bite dessert......it was the size of a large truffle. Just a sweet taste that was perfect! Add crusty French bread and drinks. QUITE a meal.

Droelma said...

In the next half hour I am going to sit down to " roasted cauliflower soup " , which was a cinch to make and together with a slice or two of German bread, some olives and cheese will make a wonderful Sunday evening meal.
Thanks for the inspiration, Barb !

Babs said...

Yummy........and be sure to add a little truffle oil on top if you have it!

Next time I'll get a bowl instead of a cup.......

ENJOY!

Droelma said...

In Mexico City it is next to impossible to get truffle oil, while it seems much easier in San Miguel due to the people general commerce caters to in SMA:
Maybe one of these days I should take a weekend and go shopping there.
I have heard that even Comercial Mexicana has things in SMA you can't get in the capital.
I put a little non of butter in the bowl and it was really delicious !

DanaJ said...

Don Day in SMA and Cupcakes and Crablegs are two of the best blogs for foodie info in San Miguel.

Hansen's was so busy last night, we almost missed out on the smoked prime rib.

It's nice to hear about good restaurant operators and I wish all the passionate restaurant operators, like Firenze and Hansen's, continued success. It makes this lil village a better place to be.

Babs said...

Dana J! You're in town......let's hook up Tuesday or Wednesday! Cappuchino or something..152-8375

Babs said...

Droelma, sounds delicious. There is a blog in my blogroll that is a by a food writer, Cristina Potter. If you comment to her, she can tell you where to find truffle oil.....

DanaJ said...

Barbara, already back home in Houston.
United is making it easy these days to return to SMA often, direct flights to QRO from Houston, $325 - $375, sometimes, even last minute fares.
And Aeromexico Houston to BJX Leon, same price range.
Houston friends can now come support the SMA economy, easily.

Babs said...

Wow Dana, thanks for letting me know that. I was trying to figure out how to get my daughter down here for a few days. I'll check Q-town.
Have a great holiday!

postcardsfromsanantonio said...

Babs - We enjoyed two lunches at the former location last February. Loved the view there, but, both times, there was only one other table served. Hopefully, the new spot will put them on the radar screen for more locals.

Marilyn Krichman said...

Babs, I'm so happy you got to the new Firenze on Recreo. I had lunch there last week and it was so good (I had the prix-fixe with the melt-in-your-mouth delicious salmon as the entree_. It's a totally satisfying meal with the wonderful bread (served with large beakers of olive oil and balsamic), the starter and the dessert. Antonio (who, by the way is the owner and chef rather than the waiter and I've never heard him referred to as Anthony so I had to smile at that!) served us a complimentary starter in addition to the soup and a complimentary panna cotta after we had both ordered the molten chocolate cake for dessert. I'm going back tomorrow!!! Can't wait.

Babs said...

Yes, Marilyn I knew Anthony or Antonio (the same thing) was the owner and chef, I should have indicated that. He also was serving on Thursday but Carlos is the head waiter.....It WAS delicious and way more convenient then when it was in Col. San Antonio - well for me at least.
Thanks for posting.

Babs said...

Postcards, it has been a favorite of locals for quite a while and everyone has followed them from their two previous locations.
The only hindrance will be the smallness of the space. Not suitable for large groups.....
I, on the other hand, like small, intimate places. I also like the small menu rather then a multi page one.......Glad you enjoyed it as well.

mike bernhardt said...

Hi Babs,

I came across your delightful blog by accident. I am thankful the life we live delivers unexpected nice little surprises from time to time. We met sailing a long time ago, and on June 12th, 2009 you blogged about one of my hundreds of high school antidotes.
I ain't great on this computer, and if I had your e-mail I would send you an update, one I am sure you'll enjoy.
And like you I am, lovin livin in the moment.

Babs said...

Mike Bernhardt! OMG, I nearly fell over when I saw your name. I thought you were still in Fairhope, Ala.
My email address is babsofsanmiguel@yahoo.com

I have SO MANY photos of our escapades over those fun years. I'd love to reconnect with you and hear about your life! Amazing.

I have a US phone # that I'll give you when you email me! Woo hoo.......They just had Dickens on the Strand last weekend! Remember that?

So looking forward to hearing from you.......

Un gran abrazo, A BIG Hug.
B

geoffrey nolan said...

Wow Babs,
I live just at the top of Hospicio on Barranca so Firenze is definitely on my radar. I walk past it every day and never noticed it. D'oh! Anyway, I've always been one for a hearty lunch. Yummy. I made 10 trillion working part time from my home two hours per month so I'll have plenty of money to splash around there! Not.

Babs said...

Geoffrey Nolan, thanks for posting. Do enjoy Firenze, it is a treat. If you ever want a dutch treat dining companion, let me know, I'd love to return anytime.
I also thoroughly enjoy meeting my readers and hearing about their lives.

geoffrey nolan said...

Babs,

I'd love to meet and break bread one day soon. I don't know how to reach you.

Babs said...

babsofsanmiguel@yahoo.com or 152-8375