Panini Girl

My obsessions-Italy and Cooking

December 30, 2012


Crostini, Crostone, Bruschette-Oh My!

A few days ago I was gifted some “almost’ stale bread from a cafe located a few doors down from my job. Not everyone would readily accept over the hill bread, but I happily grabbed two loaves and knew I could find a use for them. The heartier multigrain loaf would be perfect for toast topped with just about anything-butter, jam, peanut butter or sharp cheddar from Vermont. The ciabatta got me thinking about grilled bread and in an instant I was transported back to two of my favorite Italian eateries.

Screen shot 2012-12-29 at 8.44.36 AM

Both are classified as enotecas and yes, the wine selection is clearly the star. That being said, the simple food offered at both places won me over in an instant. The first is located in the Oltrarno area of Florence (on the other side of the Arno river). Bar Fuori Porta has a special place in my heart as we discovered it on our first trip to Italy. At the time, not understanding the language, we didn’t have a clue to the difference between the selections on their menu but somehow we muddled through and enjoyed each and every bite.

Screen shot 2012-12-28 at 12.22.50 PM

La Torre di Gnicche is located right off Arezzo’s Piazza Grande. It would be easy to miss this unassuming small spot and it took me a few walks by before I ventured in. As with Bar Fuori Porta, the wine list is extensive and the menu highlights crostini, crostone, bruschette, formaggi (cheeses) and affettati (sliced meats like prosciutto, salami). I happily sat down to a plate of grilled bread topped with sauteed mushrooms and fontina cheese. I went back for more the following day.


So what did I do with my stale bread? Grilled it, topped it with burrata cheese and some cherry tomatoes that I had roasted in the oven. A drizzle of olive oil, a dollop of caper pesto and along with a glass of barbera it was almost as if we were somewhere in Italy.

8 thoughts on “Crostini, Crostone, Bruschette-Oh My!

  1. That looks sooooo good. You do make the best bruschetta that I’ve ever tasted…my first food memory from you is your grilled bread w/ fresh tomato bruschetta topping…one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.

  2. Sounds delicious!

  3. Exactly Janie. When you recreate dishes you’ve loved from places you love and use all that passion chances are you’re going to get pretty close to the real thing. I love recreating moments like that…. Buon anno di cuore. xx

  4. I’ve been trying all day to log onto Yahoo to send you an email but there’s a problem. Just wanted to wish you a Happy New Year so am doing it here! Will be seeing you in italy in the Autumn Bx

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: