North Italian Comfort Food
Armed with only a recommendation, a description, and the general location of the restaurant—but no actual restaurant name—we found Ristorante Buca dell’Orafo, near the Ponte Vecchio. The small restaurant is below street level off an alley-wide passage close to the Arno River. Even though it’s been there for decades, the current incarnation under chef-owner Giordano Monni delivers wonderful Tuscan basics and seasonally-inspired interpretations of northern Italian specialties. It was the best restaurant recommendation, with the worst directions, I’ve ever been given.