There’s a new place in town…! Fuoco Matto is a restaurant that was opened earlier this spring, by a couple of friends of mine in the heart of Florence. At the evening of the inauguration they offered food and wine, plus other drinks for free, and it was so crowded it was almost difficult to even enter the place. They even had a table where some of the staff prepared fresh pasta by hand. The owners and the staff are really nice and friendly, so you should defintely try it out if you pass by Florence this summer. During the last couple of months it has become our favourite place to hang out. The food is not typical Florentine though, but rather a mix of food with Calabrian and Spanish influences mostly. They also do pizzas, so there are som Neapolitan influences too. Read on to find out more about Fuoco Matto. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter in the right column here, to get all the latest news about wine & food!
The people behind Fuoco Matto
Carlo Nigro owns Fuoco Matto together with Saverio Laurenzano and some other partners. If you go there for dinner you will most certainly encounter Carlo or Saverio, being there to take care of you and ensure that your dinner experience will be the best possible. The chef Matteo di Monte has created a menu together with Carlo & Co. with a mix of dishes with Calabrian, Tuscan or a more general Italian influence. There is also a Spanish influence in decor as well as on the menu. This is due to the fact that Carlo’s Spanish wife Susana has been in charge of the interior design of the restaurant, as well as the choice of Spanish ham (Iberico de Bellota Cebo) among the appetizers on the menu.
Usually when we go there for dinner we end up chatting with Matteo, the chef. One evening he told us that he actually started out studying psycology at the university, but then realized he spent more time cooking and thinking about recipes than studying. Therefore, he one day decided to completely change course in life, abandoning the university studies to start an apprenticeship in a restaurant. He ended up working with some renowned chefs before Fuoco Matto. It is always a pleasure talking to him, and he always gives us great advice about where to eat well and find interesting wine bars/enoteche in other Italian cities.
Some of the noteworthy first courses are of course the Maccheroni al Ferretto with ‘Nduja (a spicy pork sausage from Calabria) and Burrata or the more Tuscan inspired dish of Pasta with Tuscan cacio cheese, pepper and licorice from Amarelli. However, one of my favourites is the pasta dish in the photo above, namely Mezzi paccheri with ragú bianco, aubergine and rosemary.
They also have a good selection of second courses. My favourite, which is currently not on the menu any longer, is the Duck breast with cream of smoked aubergines, because it was prepared in a very similar way to how my mother cook duck breast back home in Sweden.
They also have pizzas on the menu, where you can find, for example, a Margherita or Caprese, a Margherita DOP (with mozzarella di bufala DOP), their own Pizza Matta (with three kinds of cheese and leek) or the very yummy Panuozzo.
When it comes to dessert, they have a wide selection of home made desserts every evening. Some of them are often made by Carlo himself. The tiramisú is a bit different than a normal tiramisú and a creation of Matteo, according to his own taste. Try it out and discover why Matteo’s tiramisú is different from others. 🙂
Often we end the evening with an amaro, i.e. a kind of digestive liquor such as an Amaro del Capo, a liquorice based amaro, a limoncello or any other of their selection of liquors.
Have you already had dinner at Fuoco Matto? You should definitely stop by there if you are going to Florence, as you will feel just like at home and be able to taste food from several corners of Italy, not only Tuscany. And the restaurant is right in the centre of Florence. Have fun!
Written by Katarina Andersson.