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Christina Slaton

Topo Gigio Ristorante

Italian  in  Old Town
Christina Slaton

We’re trying to find a way around saying Topo Gigio “feels like Italy,” but we just can’t. Topo Gigio feels exactly like the trattoria around the corner from your homestay in Florence - the one you strolled into drunk seven days a week while giving America a bad name.

Topo Gigio is a small neighborhood spot that serves traditional Italian food with gusto. In Old Town that doesn’t mean cheap prices, but they more than make up for it with white tablecloths, a casual vibe, and accommodating staff. Altogether, it’s what makes Topo Gigio the wrong place for no one. Dinner with your family? Perfect. First date? Even better. There’s something about the atmosphere that makes everyone purple-toothed and giggly no matter who you’re with.

The food is traditionally Italian, which doesn’t sound unique, but in this case that’s a good thing. You won’t find any oily ground beef or super cheesy “Italian fare.” Instead, the mozzarella is fresh, and the vegetables actually taste like vegetables. There’s also a fantastic seafood selection, which, unbeknownst to Olive Garden, is actually a thing in Tuscany.

And what good is a charming Italian restaurant without throwing around the term al fresco? Luckily, Topo Gigio has a great patio to sip wine on during the summer, plus a heated inner garden area in the colder months that makes it one of our favorite semi-outdoor situations year round.

People from Florence probably hate us all, but you’re always welcome at Topo Gigio.

Food Rundown

Steamed Mussels and Clams with Calabrese Sausage

The only thing better than mussels are mussels with house-cured hot sausage. It also wins the longest name contest.

Linguine alla “Vic Damone”

For transparency’s sake, we Googled “Who is Vic Damone.” He’s a singer, and his pasta is light and delicious. We’re officially fans.

Saltimbocca alla Parmigiana

Veal wrapped in prosciutto, which is basically a heart attack wrapped in happiness. The parmigana version is served with red sauce and melted cheese. It’s delicious.

Saltimbocca alla Romana

Same idea as above, but wit a sage white wine sauce instead of red sauce and cheese. Pick your poison, they’re both delicious.

Whitefish al Limone e Capperi

A fancy name for Lake Superior Whitefish. Rich, delicate, and simply prepared.


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