by Melinda Gallo

Sushi on Monday

For our fifth anniversary Dave and I wanted to go out for sushi. I looked at my list of sushi places here in Florence and only a few are open tonight. Our first choice, Eito, is closed on Mondays. We decided to go to Wabi Sabi in viale dei Mille near the stadio (football stadium).

Because the sushi restaurant is not close to our house, we decided to take a taxi. I never know the appropriate etiquette when I call for a taxi. They answer the phone and I give them my address. I don't tell them I want a taxi per se. Then they put me on hold and come back to tell me how long it'll be for the taxi to arrive and its name and number, like "Napoli 22". Just a few months ago I used to call and not even say anything. Possibly with the "privacy" issues they've been changing in Italy, they can no longer take my address from my phone number.

They told me that the taxi would arrive in six minutes, but by the time we got downstairs, he was turning the corner. He pulled up and was talking on the phone. "Aspetta, sì?" (Wait, yes?), he said to me and I rattled off the address of the sushi place. He must have been a little distracted by his phone call because many people honked and yelled at him. I don't find that the taxi drivers are that crazy here, but our driver was quite quirky.

The taxi driver dropped us off across the street from Wabi Sabi. We had to cross the viale (large avenue). We walked past their large terrace outside. When I called earlier today, I asked the woman if I really needed a prenotazione (reservation) and she said, "Sarebbe meglio." (It'd be better). When we arrived a little after 8PM, there were only two other customers seated and a crowd of waiting staff in the halls.

The hostess showed us to our table in the corner. It was an odd way to sit with both of us looking at the wall. I was hoping for something better since the restaurant was empty.

Simone told me not to go to this sushi restaurant because it's owned and run by Chinese, but I am determined to try all the sushi restaurants in Florence.

We looked at the menus rather quickly and decided on lots of tonno (tuna) and anguilla (eel). The waitress came up and entered our sushi order in a hand-held device, like a Palm pilot. I was impressed.

The sushi came out quickly. I sipped my hot sake and ate with gusto. More and more plates came out and I began to wonder if I didn't order too much. We had to stop ourselves and left a few pieces on the plate. I was surprised at how good it was; the fish and rice were all fresh. Dave and I sat back in our chairs and decided that it was good enough for us to come back.

So now we know where to get our sushi fix on Mondays!

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