Barbara Fairchild, former editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, wrote an editorial about summer eating and an appetizer she enjoyed when she was at Ristorante Da Delfina, in Tuscany “her favorite place on the planet.”
When I read that comment I thought wow, us too! I sent her an email telling her so and said that we had lunch there the previous fall. She emailed me back saying how jealous she was and she “needed” to go back really soon.
In the spring of 2007 we travelled to Italy for the first time. I read a little blurb in Bon Appetit earlier in the year saying that Da Delfina was a must visit. It’s in Artimino, not too far from Florence. So, of course we simply had to suss it out. We went for lunch with the two friends we were travelling with. Lunch was outstanding. It was the first time I had eaten farro and the kitchen had made it into a creamy, slightly chewy tomato risotto. The risotto was followed by guinea fowl, roasted on a spit over a wood burning oven; it was delicious. The place itself is so delightfully Tuscan, rustic, but not overly so. Business types drive up from Florence for lunch. The house wine, a Carmignano, is from the area and was really, really good. How we wish we could get it here or better yet, be able to tweak my nose and voila, we would be at Da Delfina enjoying the wine there!
As if by some miracle or a magnet, we were headed back to Italy in the fall of 2008. One day we were out and about in Tuscany and decided to drive to Prato. Well, it did not work out that well. The streets were so narrow that our passenger side mirror was right up against buildings. We thought “this is not a good sign”. So we left without seeing Prato. Oh well, there was an upside to the day. By the time we left Prato we were all thinking” LUNCH”. But where to go? I’m charged with finding a place. Upon checking our handy guidebook I quickly realized we are a stone’s throw from Artimino! Yippee! “Do you guys want to go to Da Delfina, she asks?” Please God, say yes. They do. We go. We have an absolutely wonderful lunch. I just love the atmosphere, it’s so comfortable; the service and food are outstanding. Joe ordered rabbit for his second course. He loved it.
The owner, Carlo, saw us to the door when we were leaving, gave us big hugs and presents. When we were walking to the car one of the wait staff ran after us. Apparently, because Joe had ordered the rabbit he was to receive a “rabbit” plate made for Da Delfina by Ventri. It has a special place in our hearts and in our home. I’d go back in a heartbeat!