Dining with the Friars at La Leggenda dei Frati, Florence

If someone is going to say that I'll be dining at an establishment that had some legendary friars, I would have really scratched my head and wonder what the experience would be all about. Unsure of what to expect after a short uphill climb to La Leggenda dei Frati, Italian for Legend of the Friars, I came out more knowledgeable about the story and cuisine at this Michelin-recommended restaurant in Florence - and was able to pronounce the name of the restaurant properly, thereafter.

A simple yet delectable egg dish surrounded with vegetables from the garden.
Michelin recommended
A surprise dinner at La Leggenda dei Frati.
Legend has it that three friars collected the best sprouts from their garden and fruits of their vines and prepared a lunch made with the best treasures of their land. They ate and drank so much that they began to sing and dance non-stop until late into the night. Just imagine how fun that would be.

Located in Villa Bardini, a 17th century villa with an expansive view of the city, today the "new" Legend of the Friars is serving 75% of its meals with an authentic farm-to-table experience coming from the botanical garden behind the building. Executive chef Erez Ohayon from Tel Aviv explains proudly how they grow their ingredients, particularly coriander, peppercorn, and basil, hinting on what was awaiting for us in the dining table later that night.

Let's Make Some Pici, Please
I never knew that the pasta used for the famous caccio e pepe is actually called pici until our mini-pasta making session with Chef Filippo Saporito at their cooking school also located inside the Villa Bardini. Pici, a fatter version of a spaghetti, is molded by rolling our palms back and forth - the same motion as a rolling pin. Not only was it a great learning experience, but also Chef Filippo shared why he ended up moving to Florence and opening a restaurant in a historic building.

Chuckling as I follow my instructor because I was doing it wrong!
Chef Filippo's boisterous laughter demonstrates his love for his restaurant and his craft.
Vegetarian Menu for the Win
The surprise vegetarian menu for the night certainly didn't disappoint. It was fun seeing those peppercorns, basil and other ingredients from the garden appearing on our plates for that evening. As expected, each dish is prepared with detail and care and paired perfectly with Italian wines, namely the Anno Domini 1126 Cinciano Bianco 2017 and the Castello di Fosini Pinot Nero 2017.

fine dining
Starting off with a glass of prosecco, an Italian tradition, and sumptuous crackers.
Because this dining experience was a surprise, I just wish that the wait staff spoke a little louder and articulated the ingredients clearer. Since we could barely hear them and with no dinner menu to refer to, I missed some ingredients in my notes. My apologies in advance if I mislabeled them incorrectly. #foodbloggerproblems

seaweed cracker
Appetizers starting off with the flavorful wasabi puff and seaweed cracker.
Kefir yogurt cucumber caviar. Love the pop of the cucumber caviar.
Fresh pasta with shaved parmesan and almond crumble providing a mixed, crunchy texture.
food styling
Roasted onions with cheese and mustard seeds. Reminiscent of Israeli cuisine roasted cauliflower. 
Rosso - an amalgamation of rhubarb, strawberries, kefir and coconut.  
Can't complain with these petit fours. We also got a take home box (not in photos) filled with jellies. 
After our 2 hour or so adventure in the dining room, we ventured to the rooftop of the villa to soak in the night views of the Arno River, ending the day with a high note. 
night view in Florence
Night view at Villa Bardini.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary dining experience in exchange for an honest review.

You Might Also Like