One of the first things we learned in Italy is to start every conversation in Italian, especially at restaurants and cafes. It’s respectful, but it also makes the people working at the restaurant or cafe more inclined to point out the best things on the menu. Case in point? When we sat down at Trattoria Cammillo in Florence and my dear sister struck up a convo in what little Italian she knew – our servers’ face lit up and he immediately flipped through the menu, pointing out which ingredients were freshest. His recommendation for Fritto il Cervello e Fiori di Zucca sounded lovely, but there was one word that none of us recognized: Cervello. Turns out, the dish was fried veal brains and fried zucchini flowers. A little apprehensive, but following our adventure travel rule of trusting your server’s suggestions, she ordered it with a (large) glass of white wine.
Fun fact about Brittany Zeinstra – 75% of her diet growing up consisted of peanut butter and cheese, and we used to have to bribe her to finish a meal. Now the chick is ordering fried brains in Italian like a foodie pro and putting the rest of us to shame. Because I ordered a truffle pasta with peas. It’s aight though, she can win this adventurous battle 😉
She was admittedly apprehensive at first, but she loved it.
Another area to trust your servers is with their wine suggestions. They know a thing or two about their local wines, and even the house blends are phenomenal. You’ll also be sitting, chatting and enjoying your meal for a while, so go with the bottle or pitcher instead of ordering by the glass.