Trattoria Zà Zà – Florence, Italy

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Trattoria Za Za warrants mentions in Florence guidebooks.

Though Trattoria Za Za is recommended in various tourist guidebooks, the food was fantastic. The inside was very quaint, tavern-like, and cozy. I’d recommend a reservation; the place was packed even in the off-season. We started with an artichoke soaked in olive oil. The artichoke was fleshy, soft and went down smooth. The best pasta of the night was with wild boar sauce, a ragù of tomato and ground-up wild boar chunks. Wild boar is a specialty in Florence, and we couldn’t miss the opportunity on our last evening in town to try the hog. For my entrée, I ordered fried chicken, which I had seen on various menus across the region. The plate arrived with small nuggets of chicken fried in a salty batter. The pieces were moist and juicy, but I’d opt for the steak. My sister ordered one of the guidebook’s suggestions, beef steak with Zà Zà sauce, and a side of roasted rosemary potatoes. The steak was quite juicy and tender and had great flavor. The potatoes were roasted to perfection with a light dusting of salt and rosemary. Order a carafe of the house wine to wash down all this wonderful food.

Address: Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 26r, Firenze, Italy 50123
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Eat here at your own risk!!!

I promised the management of this restaurant that I would write this review to warn any customers who might consider eating at this restaurant that the restaurants policy is basically “eat here at your own risk!”.

My wife and I had just arrived in Florence to visit our son who is studying abroad and he suggested we try Trattoria Za Za for lunch. The restaurant was full but we were seated by the hostess in the outdoor (covered) section in the middle of this area and were catching up with our son and having lunch. As we were finishing our meal a young woman approached our table and began begging for money. Needless to say, we were rather taken aback that at a nice establishment they would allow people to come in and beg at the tables. We were looking around for the hostess or wait staff to intercede but no one did (despite approximately 10 wait staff walking around and through the area). We asked the woman to leave and she remained at our table for almost a minute showing us a paper menu and indicating (She did not apparently speak English) that she wanted some food on the menu. At one point she put the menu on the table over my wife’s phone and then picked up the menu and my wife’s the phone (Under the menu) and casually walked off and out of the restaurant. By the time we realized that she had stolen the phone she had left the restaurant. As one can see from the video )Link below) this woman, who was later identified by the staff as a gypsy, walked directly past the hostess to get in and out, was passed by multiple staff of the restaurant and was allowed to stand and beg in their restaurant for some time.

When we realized the phone was gone we immediately notified the staff at the restaurant and were told that they did not think the police would come for the theft of a phone (brand new iPhone) but we insisted. We were then told that the video surveillance could not be accessed until the following day as the person who manages the surveillance cameras was away until then. We insisted someone come and the company sent someone who was able to pull up the video (below) of the woman stealing the phone. While we showed the police they indicated there was little chance that they would apprehend this person or retrieve the phone

While we waited for the police to come and take a report and the video surveillance to be downloaded we were told that the woman was a gypsy and that they have staff members at both entrances to “shoo them away” because “they will steal anything.” When we asked why this woman was allowed in the restaurant to beg at the tables and steal from the customers we were told, ”Italy laws are different than in America. People can come and go wherever they want.” I apprised them freedom of movement is true for many countries in Europe and certainly in America but there are certainly limits to this as well. They followed up by defining that because of these “laws” the restaurant had no responsibility for the theft of the phone. We questioned this policy noting that indeed if they knew there were potential threats, they took efforts to minimize those threats (e.g. their employees are to shoo the gypsies away and they were told to be vigilant for their presence) and that the staff was aware this was a problem that indeed they did have responsibility to their clientele to keep thieves from violating them while they are in their restaurant or, at a minimum, if they cannot control the flow of people or thieves in their restaurant they had a duty to warn potential patrons of this problem so they could act accordingly to protect themselves. They disagreed and indicated that they had no responsibility to protect their customers from this form of violation.

This being the case my wife and I are compelled to write this review and warn as many people who read this that if you eat at this restaurant you have to do so at your own risk as not only will they not protect you from having your valuables stolen, but if it occurs they will take no responsibility.

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