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Mar 2, 2010 10:49 AM

FLR: Sostanza, Cibreo Trattoria, Baldini, others?

Thanks to this board, I have my VCE eats ready: | Florence & Venice Food-tinerary

However, I left FLR open thinking that as long as I stay away from touristy spots, we'll be fine. But as I get closer to our trip, I'm rethinking that and am now looking for midrange & pizza spots for our three dinners (lunches will be sandwiches & cheese shops). For good, local fare, would Sostanza, Cibreo & Trattoria and Baldini work? For pizza, should we go to Pizzaiola or Funiculi? Is the Teatro de Sale gimmicky?

Also, for gelato, is Badiani the one to go to? Sounds like while Grom is organic, it's too corporate....

Any other thoughts or recommendations? Thank you! =)

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  1. One of your lunches should be at Nerbone in the Mercato Centrale. In addition to the boiled meat sandwiches, they offer good pasta, soups, and other dishes at very low prices. Their ribollita was a good as any other I've eaten in Florence. For your dinners, DO go to Sostanza for both bistecca fiorentina AND the butter sauce chicken. As for your question about Teatro del Sale, I'm not sure what you mean by gimmicky. The food we had there was excellent, tremendously varied in all categories, offered in buffet style which allows you to return for more of whaqt you especially like, and wine and sparkling water are included in the price. Teatro del Sale offers both lunch and dinner: perhaps the fact that they have musical or theatrical presentations after many dinners (check their schedule to find out what is on for that evening) might be "gimmicky" but go for the food. If you don't like the show afterward, leave then after you have eaten. Alternatively, go there for lunch when it's all about the meal, with no shows (and lower in cost).
    Another suggestion for "good local fare" is Vini e Vecchi Sapori Via dei Magazzini 3/R just off the Piazza della Signoria. Very small place with good home cooking worth trying.

    14 Replies
    1. re: CJT

      Just received Teatro del Sale's weekly e-mail on what entertainment they have scheduled for this week. They also inform us that on Thursday and/or Friday, they will be serving "leer fish" (also known as garrick, in the jack family) in broth, grilled, with pasta, in a stew, and they will also be serving meat, cheeses, and dessert. Not sure if this is only for dinner or if they will offer it for lunch as well. Frequently when they have special meals, a good winery will provide bottles of its wine to be served at the meal at no extra charge above the basic meal price (not listed on this week's announcement).
      I write this to show you the place is not gimmicky but offers lunches and dinners with food you are not likely to fnd elsewhere in Florence. Our experience in dining there was quite meorable and we hope to return this year in December.

      1. re: CJT

        Thank you for your insight. I *am* planning to go to Sostanza for the bistecca fiorentina & butter sauce chicken I've read frequently here on the boards.

        Often on these boards, places with buffets and entertainment are often more about the entertainment than food...but your response has changed my mind. We will make that one of our meals. Thank you. =)

        1. re: OCAnn

          Umm, a fiorentina weighs in at about a kilo and feeds two people, possibly three. It's not really mid-range either, at around 40 Euro.

          1. re: zerlina

            Thank you for the tip on how much the fiorentina feeds! (This is something we never would have known!) We are will be a group of three, with possibly a fourth, so maybe the fiorentina & chicken will work without going overboard?

            1. re: zerlina

              At Sostanza, you can get bistecca fiorentina for one. My wife and I easily finished ours. I would also make reservations, and bring cash. No credit cards. And if you can't get in, go to Centopovere down the block.

              1. re: petergreen

                Yes, I always manage to finish mine, too!

          2. re: CJT

            I had wanted to make the point that Cibreo and Teatro del Sole were under common ownership to the OP - then I found this comment by Emily Wise Miller.

            Wondered if anyone had any thoughts on what she says.

            1. re: jen kalb

              Very interesting! I guess I'll be nixing Cibreo Trattoria for Teatro del Sale!

              1. re: OCAnn

                Teatro REQUIRES reservations for dinner but not for lunch. When you get there, you have to join the Club to dine, but it is (was?) only 5 Euros per person for "foreigners". Based on a report by a previous poster, you might want to find out when you reserve if there is a show that night; other poster got there and found there was no show and virtually no-one there just for dinner.

                You probably would be wise to make a reservation for Sostanza also, depending on what night you are going there. We went without reserving on a weekday evening at 7:45 and had a table right away; by the time we finished, the place was getting very busy. If you find the steak and chicken not enough for your party to eat, try their other dishes, such as the artichoke omelette.

                1. re: CJT

                  Yes, thank you, I saw that post about it being closed for that poster and the 5E membership. BTW, I signed up for their email newsletter after your post. =)

                  Since neither restaruant appear to have email, I'll have to make reservations via phone once I get there. Again, thank you for the advice!

                    1. re: jen kalb

                      Thank you; I wasn't sure whether that email would work for Teatro del Sale or not. Will give it a try!

                      1. re: OCAnn

                        Didn't know this website existed and found it interesting. You get a sense of what the interior is like - dining area, kitchen preparations (which you see through windows in the dining area), tables set up for dining, seats set up for shows. is probably how you can make reservations in advance (or ask your hotel concierge to call for you). Place is closed Sunday and Monday.
                        When you first enter, you come into the store where they sell foods, glassware, clothing, etc. - that's where you sign up to become members. After you are members, you can avail yourselves of the lounge area where there are nice leather chairs and sofas, plus access to coffe and tea (complimentary). It's your club now.

                        1. re: CJT

                          Here is a video that gives a good idea of what Teatro del Sale is like:

                          I've been several times and really love it.