Zuppa e Bollito = Zeb Gastronomia. Zeb stands for soup and boiled meat, the traditional dishes of Tuscan cooking and is a little gem run by a son and his mother, Alberto and Giuseppina, in the old Quartiere, neighborhood, of San Niccolo in Florence.
If you are not looking for it, you could almost miss it. This piccolo “small” restaurant is just a short walk from Piazzale Michelangelo which makes it a great stop for lunch before or after watching the sunset over the Arno and Duomo. Normally we like eating at little trattorie with a lot of character but this place is different (in a good way), the decor is simple and contemporary. One long table curves around with communal seating (almost like a sushi bar) allowing you to watch the food preparation. There is very limited seating too which makes it unique and special, almost like you are at the kitchen counter, dining in their home.
What initially attracted me to Zeb was knowing it was a mother-son duo preparing and serving the food together. Alberto and Giueseppina are sharing the food and recipes of their mothers and grandmothers (with a modern twist), passed down generation after generation. Each day, they prepare a menu (written on a chalkboard) based on what they picked up at the market, fresh and in-season.
We had the pappardelle al ragu di cinghiale “wild boar” and taglioni al tartufo “thin noodles with truffle”, but make sure to try the house speciality of bollito, gently simmered beef with a little chili sauce and salsa verde. Bon appettit!
- It is also a deli and store with a wonderful selection of of local wines, Tuscan sliced meats, and cheeses. Stop by on your way up to Piazzale Michaelangelo to pick up a picnic and/or bottle of wine.
- Zeb is better for a solo meal or a party of two due to the counter seating.
- Alberto can be a little gruff, not the warmest personality but if you leave your judgement for the food, you will not be disappointed.
Via San Miniato, 2 rosso,