Florentine Specialties, Gluten (and Guilt) Free

Chef Simone Bernacchioni strikes a pose in his favorite apron.

The courtyard next to Santa Maria Maggiore will bustle with music and a smorgasbord of gluten-free food-stands on Thursday, July 19 for Quinoa Restaurant’s annual Sagra Senza Glutine. Florentine classics like mouthwatering porchetta and lampredotto panini are now guilt-free, baked with buckwheat and corn flour bread. Pasta, fried seafood, french fries, and hamburgers will tempt even the staunchest health foodies and satisfy many with dietary limitations.

Quinoa was the first 100% gluten-free restaurant in Florence and are certified by the National Celiac Association, which they proudly tout on the front page of their menu and website. Chef Bernacchioni’s commitment to adding playful spins to classic Tuscan cuisine and incorporating contemporary Asian flavors makes for a unique, ever-shifting lineup of dishes. Dairy-free, vegan, and vegetarian options are also offered.

The festival will take to the restaurant’s urban garden and courtyard–an open greenspace full of lush plants amidst renaissance archways and pillars, studded with vibrant red chairs and simple, welcoming wooden tables. The inside of the restaurant is painted green, with an antique china and clock collection making for a cozy vibe.

Festivalgoers can pay as they go for the healthy treats, appreciating free live music as they sample a new take on Tuscan dishes and fresh-crafted sweets and confections. The maximum price range is €6 – 8, with drinks starting at €3. The event runs from 7 to 11 pm at Vicolo di Santa Maria Maggiore, 1.

(tyler bunton)