Buon Appetito at Trattoria da Tito

I’m spending every evening this month researching restaurants for my guidebooks. Every night, I have a list of a dozen or so places to check, and my treat to myself — when I finish the list — is to enjoy my favorite of the bunch. Here in this candid, alcohol-fueled moment, a chef/owner illustrates how a personality-driven restaurant can be a real winner. Bobo loves his work, and as he told me, “When I stop to be happy, I would quit…that’s a promise.”

Here’s how I wrote Bobo’s place up in my Rick Steves Italy guidebook:

[$$$] Antica Trattoria da Tito, a 10-minute hike from the Accademia along Via San Gallo, is great for a memorable meal with a local crowd and smart-aleck service. The boss, Bobo, serves (theatrically) quality traditional food and lots of wine. While the food is good, there’s no pretense — it’s a noisy playground of Tuscan cuisine. To gorge on a feast of antipasti (cold cuts, cheeses, a few veggies, and bruschetta), consider ordering “fermami” (literally “stop me”) — for €18, Bobo brings you food until you say, “Fermami!” A couple can get fermami for two, desserts, and a nice bottle of wine for around €60 total. Dinner is served in two seatings: 19:30 (more sanity) and 21:30 (less sanity). Reservations are smart (€18 “gran tagliere” — big plate of cheese and meat, show this book for a free after-dinner drink, Mon-Sat 12:30-15:00 & 19:00-23:00, closed Sun, Via San Gallo 112 red, tel. 055-472-475, www.trattoriadatito.it).

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