About 2 weeks into my Florence adventure, I met someone I should have known years ago, Bob Blesse, the retired Director of the Black Rock Press and Professor of Art at the University of Nevada, Reno where I taught for 21 years. Bob had heard about a new cafe in Florence and invited me to meet him, along with his wife Vicki Davies, for aperitivo (appetizers and drinks) at what was to become one of my favorite spots in Florence, the JT Caffe’.
Bob Blesse enjoying aperitivo at JT Caffe’
Located on Piazza Pitti, directly across from the Palace at numbers 32-33R, the JT Caffe’ opened in April, 2014, the brain child of fashion designer Jennifer Tattanelli, the daughter of an American photographer (some of her photos adorn the walls) and an Italian artisan leather designer. Her delightful boutique CASINI FIRENZE, which started as an expansion of her father’s artisan leather work business and now includes Jennifer’s head to toe designs, is located right next door. http://www.jennifertattanelli.it/. While Bob, Vicki and I had a delightful time that evening, I had no idea how much I would come to love the JT Caffe’.
The JT Caffe’ was built over the top of a 700 year old street with overlooking terraces. Jennifer incorporated the street, covered by a glass viewing window, and the brick terraces into a very modern fusion of steel, couches, pillows, fireplaces, and delicious food.
The delicious food is the product of the loving hands and amazing skill of Chef Marzia. Her specialty is fresh made pasta which she makes from scratch several times throughout the day. Their menu changes regularly based on what is fresh and available and everything I have tried is delicious.
Chef Marzia, Marco, a waiter who specializes in food and wine pairings, dessert, cappuccino, and me
With the delightful Caterina, waitress extraordinaire, who is expert on the menu and fluent in 4 languages. She always has suggestions for what I might try next.
Whether you come for breakfast, lunch, aperitivo, or full dinner, the food is guaranteed to delight your palate as the friendly and helpful staff make you feel at home.
Some of my favorites:
For breakfast – Crescent with nutella and fresh fruit and a cappuccino
For an appetizer – Chicken liver pate’, cucumber and fennel slices, olives, and spiced olive oil – I did not know I liked chicken liver pate’. I DO! At least theirs.
Spaghetti with beef and spinach
Cappellacci stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese and spinach, topped with sage butter
Desserts: Chocolate torte and cappuccino – Chocolate – need I say more – You may have noticed that each cup of cappuccino has a different look. Each person who prepares it here has their own signature style. All are very tasty, but, of course, I’m partial to the one with chocolate laced through it.
Tiramisu – I should note that I am not generally a fan of tiramisu. I just don’t like the coffee flavor. But Caterina talked me into trying it. Light, a gentle flavor, delicious!
They are also known for their vanilla gelato and balsamic vinegar. I would never have thought to pair vinegar and ice cream. It is amazing! Tart, tangy, sweet, a delight to the tongue.
Should you make it to Florence, the walk to the “Oltrarno” the other side of the Ponte Vecchio (the bridge over the Arno River famous for gold merchants) from the Duomo and Piazza Signoria is well worth your time to visit this Florentine gem. A gentle, flat, 15 minute walk from the Duomo, the JT Caffe’ will not disappoint.