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One Amazing Meal in Florence

Greetings Chowhounders:

Great board. I've really enjoyed reading the posts. So, we will be spending 2 nights in Florence. This is actually our 5th trip to the city. AND - I cannot recall one meal we've ever had in this city. I do recall sitting on a balcony of our hotel watching the sun go down over the Arno on perfect evening - eating various meats, cheeses, sun dried tomatoes and several bottles of wine. One of our greatest meals that trip.

I would really like to eat an amazing unforgettable meal one evening while we are there. We are big time foodie and wine people. So - if you had one night and you had to eat only one meal in Florence - what is it?? I intend to go eat it. Thanks for the help.

Best -

Jeff

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  1. Certainly a Michelin two-star meal would be memorable and Florence offers that in the form of Enoteca Pinchiorri.

    I'll add that during a week's stay in Florence we passed the restaurant nightly and noted that the folks were uniformly ultra-coiffed and jewelry-laden. Not a single person pulled up in a taxi and no one walked to the door. Luxury cars and limo service were the norm. If you travel with the appropriate uniform or if you don't mind dining in a place where your clothes clearly identify you as a tourist, then go for it. Enoteca Pinchiorri clearly qualifies as amazing and unforgettable!

    1 Reply
    1. My wife and I had dinner a Enoteca Pinchiorri and Villa San Michele. Both were outstanding but the view from Villa San Michele would be my choice if I only had one night in Florence.

      1. wondering what you mean by an unforgettable meal? over the top elegance? creativity?quintessential tuscan food, for example a great steak or a delicious bowl of soup? Most restaurants worth their salt in Florence will have the fine tuscan wines.

        4 Replies
        1. re: jen kalb

          Read posts on this Italy board for Teatro del Sale. Not in the league of Pinchiorri, but a most interesting dining experience and a show in the same room after dinner.

          1. re: CJT

            Thanks for the posts. In regards to unforgettable - I think I would classify it as just the overall experience. Ambiance, Food, Service. My personal mission in life is to find and experience as many unrepeatable life experiences as possible. Many of those have revolved around food and wine in my 38 years. Thanks for the help.

            Jeff.

            1. re: jsnyder262

              Hi Jeff,

              Certainly sounds like Enoteca Pinchiorri would be an unforgettable life experience!!!

              1. re: Tuscanlover

                Jeff,

                Have you been yet? Did you go to the "rip off palace"? If so, how did you find it?

        2. one of my faves in firenze is Zibibbo..they have a website..

          1. Try I Latini, located near the church of santa croce. They seat at 7 and yiou'll need to reserve AND show up 1/2 hour before to wait outside. it is a large, raucous place where the menu changes frequently. the food is from local sources and the owner makes the wine. You wil be seated family style and the waiters will bring out the traditional affetate and a few other things, before verbally offering you a choice of 3-4 things, all very good and all very local. The place is colorful and entertaining. I resisted going here for a long time because I ad heard it was a "tourist joint", but now I go each time I am in the city (about once a year) and I highly recommend it This pl;ace has been around for many decades--- long before the travel crush to Italy.. yes.. every place in Florence has been "discovered".With the advent of mass travel and the internet, there are no secret gems anymore (sigh....)
            For a great lunch try Trattoria mario.

            2 Replies
            1. re: raspano

              the topic is One Amazing Meal in Florence , il latini,???? not imho

              1. re: intrepid

                Not only is Raspano out of touch in recommending I Latini for an AMAZING meal, he doesn't even know where it is located. I Latini is nowhere near Santa Croce but is even west of the Uffizi. And he goes there at least once a year? How does he find the restaurant if he doesn't even know where Santa Croce is?

            2. Although I'm sure the food at Enoteca Pinchiorri (via Ghibellina) is excellent, I would not spend my one night there - you will pay something like 200 euros a person (that's a $600+ dinner for 2!), and I have heard that you may not get great service if you are obviously a tourist (ie don't speak Italian, etc). I think the same may be true for Cibreo, which has a great reputation for its food, but not a great track record in terms of service to tourists. Cibreo's Teatro del Sale (via dei Macci, i think) is a great place for dinner, but has a different atmosphere than a formal restaurant - if you were staying for a week, I would say that's a must-do, but not for one night. Same for i Latini.

              There are lots of good restaurants in Florence, but in my opinion not many great restaurants. We have had a great meal at La Giostra (on Borgo Pinti). Also a great Bistecca Fiorentina at Cafe Italiano (near Vivoli Gelateria). Also delicious, and in the end where I would send you for your one amazing meal is Trattoria Garga (not far from Santa Maria Novella). We have been there several times - it has superb food (italian, but not standard/boring italian), a fun atmosphere and, although slightly pricey, won't break the bank. It's been around for a long time, and was very popular with the "in" crowd a while back. Not so trendy now - now it's more of a classic favorite. Give it a try.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ellene

                Welcome to Chowhound, Ellene, great post.

                Trattoria Garga is a new name for me, and sounds interesting. When you say it is Italian, do you mean Tuscan or something else? What sort of dishes would you find there?

                1. re: jen kalb

                  They serve some purely Tuscan dishes, but all with a sort of gourmet/creative touch. For example, I have had this dish 2 times: veal with sliced avocado and truffle sauce. The veal was tender, the avocado perfectly ripe and truffles - as always - delicious! I think my favorite dish (a primo piatto) I had there was the pasta with calamari in a light tomato sauce with a touch of orange - fresh tasting and delish!

                  The have a website here: http://www.garga.it/trattoria-1.html -- the testimonials page has a lot of info...

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                  Trattoria Garga
                  Via del Moro, 48r, Florence, Tuscany 50123, IT