Category Archives: Fine Dining

Florence: An Insider’s Guide to All That’s Delicious

One of the Realtors who work in my office has been giving out a May 2000 copy of Bon Appétit magazine to all his friends every time one of them goes to Italy. In particular, they are instructed to read the article “Florence: An Insider’s Guide to All That’s Delicious”. His claims is that this is the perfect guide to eating in Florence, and in 14 years it has not been topped by any other information or guide he has ever read. High praise! I found this fascinating, and the copy of the magazine is quite a relic in and of itself. It’s lovingly worn and taped back together after at least 6 international flights, and I’m sure at this point this magazine has done some extensive sight-seeing.

Which is why I thought it needed to go digital . My god, what if something happened to it? What if it was left in a hotel, or the back of a plane seat?

So what I have done is scanned the article in it’s completion (Click Here to View) and also broken it down as a quickly view-able guide to actually finding a place to eat in Florence. Wherever possible I have include a link and map to easily find the location in Florence as well. Divertiti!

Breakfast

Rivoire – Piazza della Signoria, 5, 50122 Firenze – Hot Chocolate, Pastry, sandwiches

Cennini – Ponte Vecchio – Custard filled brioche, budino di riso, cappuccino

Mid Morning Snacks

Procacci – Via Tornabuoni, 64r, Firenze  – Prosecco, cheeses, charcuterie, sandwiches

I Due Fratellini – Via dei Cimatori, 38, 50122 Firenze – Chianti, anchovies marinated in olive oil, crostini, mozzarella and tomato sandwiches

Lunch

Trattoria Belle Donne – Via delle Belle Donne, 16, 50123 Firenze – Daily Menus

Cantinetta dei Verrazzano – Via dei Tavolini, 18/r, 50122 Firenze – Cheeses, cured meats. crostini

Caffè Cibrèo – Via Andrea del Verrocchio, 5r, 50122 Firenze – High end dining

Il Pizzaiuolo – Via dè Macci, 113, 50122 Firenze – Pizza, seafood

Buca dell’Orafo – Via dei Girolami, 28, Firenze – Tuscan seasonal simplicity

Cantinetta Antinori – Piazza Antinori, 3, 50123 Firenze – Luxe lunch

The Market

Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio –  Piazza Ghiberti, Florence – Held every morning (except holidays) from 7:00 am to 2:00pm, partly open, with benches clothing, fruit and vegetables and food

Kids

Ringo’s Bar – Borgo San Jacopo, 19, 50125 Firenze – Organic burgers, desserts

Afternoon Tea

Osteria del Caffè Italiano – Via Isola delle Stinche, 11R-13R, 50122 Firenze – Proper tea, sweets, desserts

Dolci & Dolcezze – Piazza Cesare Beccaria, 8-red, 50121 Firenze – Tarts and Treats

Vivoli – Via Dell’Isola delle Stinche, 7r, 50122 Firenze – Gelato

Drinks

Hotel Lungarno – Borgo San Jacopo, 14, 50125 Firenze – Arno River views, aperitivo

Le Volpi e l’Uva – Piazza dei Rossi, 1, 50125 Firenze – Small producer wines, local and imported cheeses

Dinner

Garga – Via San Zanobi, 33, 50129 Firenze – Art Gallery and Trattoria

Caffè Concerto Paszkowski – Piazza della Repubblica, 35r, Firenze – Modern interpretations of classic dishes

Cavolo Nero Bistrot – Via Guelfa, 100, 50124 Firenze – Romantic courtyard, traditional and modern tuscan

Trattoria IL GUSCIO – Via dell’Orto, 49, 50124 Firenze – Classic Florentine ambiance, simple food

Trattoria 4 Leoni – Via dè Vellutini, 1r, 50125 Firenze –  Bustling, youthful, modern menu

Al Tranvai – Piazza Torquato Tasso, 14r, 50124 Firenze – Quiet anti-tourist trap

*Notes; It is remarkable how few of the restaurants from the original 2000 article have gone out of business. I could only determine a few; Baldovino, Latte & Co., Trattoria Pasquini, and Beccofino – are all closed. Please also note that I cannot personally recommend any of the above restaurants as I have never been to Florence 😦

Guilt Inducing, but not how you would think…

I feel bad even telling you about how good my meal was on Friday. I’m sure that the mass majority of folks were BBQing something up or having a bit of take out or god forbid having a really mediocre meal out. I was at Cin Cin on Robson being treated like a Queen and loving it.
What’s lovely is that if you didn’t know, you would think you were in for a fairly standard Italian meal. The place is not ostentatious, except for the address. It’s nicely lit and decorated but does not feel like a designer has been heavy handed. You know it’s special when you open the menu. There are some really different items like Sablefish, Rabbit, Lamb Shanks, Veal Cheeks. I don’t even want to use the description they give in this review, because I think there is a little bit of magic when you sit down and look at things and think “ooooh, that sounds nice…”
We had an astoundingly good antipasti course with marinated mushrooms, spot prawns, shaved ham, crostini, shaved fennel, all sorts of lovely thing. I’ll explain to you what happened for me anyway. I put a little marinated mushroom in my mouth and the world slowed down for a minute while I chewed. That’s how good this was. There was a detailed discussion as to what was used to season the prawns as well as they were insanely good. I think, and I may be wrong, that it was just salt and a little parsley to finish. the flavor was all from the prawn itself and haw awesome that was, and the open wood oven used to cook them which infused them with this beautiful beach holiday flavor.
I ordered the Gnocchi with Fraser Canyon White Rabbit, Pancetta and Pearl Onion. I love gnocchi, however those shelf stable packets of them will never be quite the same. This gnocchi went in my mouth and I though “aha, THAT’S what gnocchi is supposed to taste like.” It was like a perfect pillow of mashed potato, suspended by nothing, waiting to dissolve into ones mouth carrying along a bit of melting rabbit for the ride. It was just full on sexy.
Sexier still is the attention to making you feel like a celebrity. There are waiters who’s sole function it is to make sure you never run out of little crusty rolls and tapenade, and when you get up to go to the washroom your napkin is perfectly folded and waiting for you. The bathroom is, when you get there, spotless, and has crisp little while towels rolled up for your hands and (oh the details!) the hand soap is designer and you can tell.
The only fault that could be found, and i mean the only fault, found at great effort I’m sure by one of the ladies in our party, was that her Irish Coffee was served in a tall ceramic mug instead of a glass coffee mug thing. I thought that this was a bit like kicking Brad Pitt out of bed for being too handsome, but whatever. Some people need imperfection.
I think that a table on the balcony at Cin Cin on a summer night could be the most romantic night out in the city, hands down. I highly recommend it. Life is beautiful again.