I was given a recommendation from my boyfriend’s brother (who studied abroad in Florence) to go to Antico Noe for lunch. It was only a short walk away from the museum we were touring in the morning, so it was very easy to get to. At first I thought he was suggesting us to go to the mother restaurant right next door, but when I read his email again he told me to get the #9 on the menu (and the main restaurant didn’t have the food labeled by numbers). But right next door was a small sandwich shop that had it’s sandwiches labeled by the number. We ordered a few sandwiches, including the #9 of course. Written on brown paper and practically stabled outside of the front door were our panini choices.
The #9 included: turkey, brie cheese, roast onions, and a spicy sauce. I was hesitant at first because I am not a fan of brie cheese, but I went with his recommendation and ordered it. Just one bite in, I knew I owed him big time! The baguette was so fluffy and crispy I realized that all of the baguettes I have ever had in the U.S were crap. (Here’s what I thought a baguette was really like: hard, difficult to chew, mostly thick crust, difficult to slice… so not what it really is.) It was also fresh right out of the oven so it was perfectly warmed but not soggy. I was also happily surprised when I realized that I really do enjoy brie cheese when it is paired with other ingredients. Would I ever buy a brick of brie and slice it and put it on crackers? No way. But since I returned home to the U.S I have bought brie and added it to my sandwich for lunch.
Another sandwich that we ordered included: pork sausage (yup, I ate pork), spinach, egg plant, and pecorino cheese. It took a bit longer for them to prepare this sandwich because they cooked the pork sausage nice and fresh. But I was surprised when I admitted that this one was my favorite sandwich out of them all (the #9 was almost tied for 1st place). The spinach was perfectly cooked and the pecorino cheese added a powerful flavor when mixed with the pork.
When I go back to Florence, I plan to eat all of my lunches here at this little sandwich bistro. Located right under this small arch-way, we sat outside in the shade and people watched as we waited for our paninis to be prepared. Until I return… I’ll dream of the decadent (yet simplistic too) ingredients held together between the most heavily, crispy, soft, fluffy, warm baguette.