We have had a fabulous, fun, food-filled day in Florence. (This blog does not charge extra for alliteration.) We started the day with breakfast at Rivertown Coffee Company, lunched at On The Rocks, and went back in time almost a century for ice cream at Trowbridge’s. Now it’s time for a late dinner at City Hardware.
City Hardware is located on Court Street, only steps from many of the other eateries participating in Florence Restaurant Week. Next door is sister restaurant Ricatoni’s, which is under the same ownership.
The restaurant has two stories, the downstairs is closed tonight so we dine in the upstairs part of the building. This is probably the better place to sit because there are garage doors which open to give you the feeling of outdoor dining.
Each level has it’s own well-stocked bar. We are pleased to see that one of the draft beer selections is Monday night brewing from Atlanta. We can get that beer anytime at home but we can’t get these:
We sampled the Singing River Doppelmaibock at the Restaurant Week kickoff party at the brewery and tonight we’ll get a full glass. Also on tap, from down the road in Birmingham, is the Spring Street Saison from Avondale Brewing. The Singing River weighs in at a potent 8.2% and reminds us of a nice Belgian double. Close your eyes while drinking the saison and you might think you are drinking a Victory Golden Monkey, a high compliment indeed.
We decide to share an appetizer and an entree. Acting on a prior tip, we order sushi.
At first the sushi seems out of place on this menu, but someone in the kitchen can certainly roll’em with the best of them. Ours comes with tempura shrimp, avocado, crab and cream cheese, all topped with a spicy mayo. It’s sort of like a party of flavors exploding in our mouths! It’s a generous sized roll, perfect for sharing.
Speaking of generous portions, the baby back ribs are a full rack of bodacious BBQ.
The ribs are fall off the bone delectable with the proper amount of sauce already in place. On the menu, the ribs come with coleslaw and fries but we go healthy and opt for the asparagus and Brussels sprouts. We fancy ourselves as sprouts connoisseurs and order them whenever available. These sprouts with bacon and spicy glaze rate right up near the top of our list. They are nicely roasted to just the right softness, the only complaint is that there weren’t more!
Before we go, we should mention what a nice job our server Amy does tonight. Whatever they pay her isn’t enough. She is a real pro who nails all of her menu suggestions. She’s British, so we could listen to her talk all night. For a good story, ask her how she ended up in Florence.
The bottom line on City Hardware: on this day of non-stop eating in Florence, we saved the best for last! A nice building, cold beer, good food, and great service all combined into a pleasant dining experience. Put this high on your list when you eat in Florence.
Disclosure time: Since we are guests of Florence Main Street, we did not pay for our meal at City Hardware or for our hotel room in Florence. Thanks to Christina for the invite and to the Marriott at the Shoals for the excellent hotel accommodations.