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Need recommendations for 3 dinners in Florence; also, is Sostanza too "touristy" now??

Sorry, this is a re-post. Too bad I don't know how to remove the old post.

My husband and I will be in Florence 1.5 weeks from now. We will spend Tuesday and Wednesday there (then head down to Chianti/Siena, etc), and then return to Florence on Sunday.

I am planning where to eat. I was going to pick Sostanza for sure, but then I read in two posts that Sostanza is getting too touristy and expensive. Is that true? How expensive?? if we do not go to Sostanza, is there any other restaurants that serve great bistecca alla fiorentina?

For the other two nights, I am debating between these:
- Cipolla Rossa
- Il Santo Bevitore
- Osteria Vini e Vecchi Sapori
- Coquinarius
- Trattoria Mario
- Osteria del Caffe Italiano

Any suggestions?? A bit worried about Sunday, as some restaurants do not open....

For lunch, want to try the lampredotto. Is Nerbone still the best place to go (or one of the best places?)

thanks a lot!!

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Sostanza
Via della Porcellana, 25, 50123, Florence, Tuscany 50123, IT

Trattoria Mario
Via Rosina, 2, Florence, Tuscany , 50123, IT

Il Santo Bevitore
Via Santa Spirito 64r, Florence, Tuscany 50125, IT

Vini e Vecchi Sapori
Via dei Magazzini, 3, Florence, Tuscany 50122, IT

Coquinarius
Via delle Oche, 15, Florence, Tuscany 50122, IT

Nerbone
Via dell'Ariento, 87r, Florence, Tuscany 50100, IT

Cipolla Rossa
Via de' Conti,53, Florence, Toscana 50123, IT

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    1. Yes, Sostanza is decidedly touristy. Better to head to Due G. Great bistecche and great atmosphere.
      Osteria del Caffe Italiano has gone downhill recently, which is too bad. Nice service and room, but very mediocre food.
      Unfortunately Nerbone is not open on Sunday. For tripey things head to Tripperia Il Maggazino, in Piazza della Passera. Love their lampredotto meatbals!
      _______
      www.elizabethminchilli.com

      -----
      Sostanza
      Via della Porcellana, 25, 50123, Florence, Tuscany 50123, IT

      Nerbone
      Via dell'Ariento, 87r, Florence, Tuscany 50100, IT

      1. We had a fantastic lunch at Sostanza in September 2009 and were the only English speaking table there (but I couldn't tell you if the other Italian-speaking tables were tourists or not). If you go, you must try the chicken.

        -----
        Sostanza
        Via della Porcellana, 25, 50123, Florence, Tuscany 50123, IT

        12 Replies
        1. re: ekc

          I first went to Sostanza in 1975. It was touristy (I was a tourist) and expensive then and it is touristy (I am still a tourist) and expensive now. Don't understand what the problem is. I presume you're a tourist and the other tourists there will say about you (and others), there is another tourist speaking English, unless you speak Italian.

          Great bistecca is always expensive. When it is not expensive, it is not great.

          Sostanza is a wonderful place for bistecca. As EKC rightly implied, there are many fewer of "us" at lunch, so you might want to go there then. Same food.

          -----
          Sostanza
          Via della Porcellana, 25, 50123, Florence, Tuscany 50123, IT

          1. re: allende

            I don't mind the other tourists at all. As allende said, we will be tourists too. I was just worried that when a restaurant becomes a tourist trap, it will start declining in quality but still charges the tourists a ton. If Sostanza still serves good quality food, I guess it's fine.
            But I also don't mind going to Due G. It was on my list too.... but just too many good restaurants and too little time.....
            Thanks to all of you for the input!!

            -----
            Sostanza
            Via della Porcellana, 25, 50123, Florence, Tuscany 50123, IT

            1. re: rosespot

              The quality of the food at Sostanza is the same as it was 36 years ago, not better not worse. At least that was our experience at lunch a year and a half ago.

              -----
              Sostanza
              Via della Porcellana, 25, 50123, Florence, Tuscany 50123, IT

              1. re: allende

                Rosespot has aptly elaborately her meaning and reason for asking, but I wanted to add that I do think it is a legitimate question for tourists to ask. I have been in some restaurants in Italy where the presentation of the food is almost a parody of Italian culture, tweaked and heightened to pander to a certain kind of tourist's delight. (Singing waiters, etc.) I don't enjoy dining in such places whatever the food.

                Also -- and this is tricky -- there are some aspects of Italian food culture and Italian restaurant culture that are unique to Italy and its regions (or at least certainly different from what goes on in America around food). So it can be quite educational to sit surrounded by dining Italians rather than dining Americans. Some people just want to use their time in Italy observing Italian customs, including customs about food.

                That isn't why rosespot asked, but I'm elaborating additional reasons people might make similar requests in similar words, and why I don't think someone should just be reminded we're all "tourists" when we travel, so what's the problem? People travel -- or become tourists -- for different reasons.

                1. re: barberinibee

                  Nerbone is closed until the 5th of September, however I had an excellent lunch at Pork! in the market today. Sostanza and I due G are both closed for vacation, any recs for great bistecca florentine? Went to Cipolla Rossa last night and it was outstanding (amazing pork w vinegar and onion reccomended by Elizabeth Minchilli), would return for bistecca tonight unless there is another reccomendation?

                  -----
                  Sostanza
                  Via della Porcellana, 25, 50123, Florence, Tuscany 50123, IT

                  Nerbone
                  Via dell'Ariento, 87r, Florence, Tuscany 50100, IT

                  Cipolla Rossa
                  Via de' Conti,53, Florence, Toscana 50123, IT

                  1. re: jessabella617

                    Thanks so much for sharing, jessabella617. Oh, I am so disappointed that Nerbone is closed until Sept 5th! We will totally miss it. By any chance you know when I due G will reopen? Hope someone will respond before you head out for bistecca tonight. Could you please share with me how your experience afterwards? Thanks a ton!!

                    -----
                    Nerbone
                    Via dell'Ariento, 87r, Florence, Tuscany 50100, IT

                    1. re: rosespot

                      According to their phone line, I Due G is closed until Aug 29. On a similar note, Procacci on Tornabuoni is also closed until the end of the month, as is Trattoria Mario.

                      As I'm finding so many places closed, I would love any suggestions for a dinner beyond the usual CH suspects mentioned in this thread. So far I've been to Cipolla Rossa and enjoyed it. So something along those lines open in August would be great. I'm also happy to travel to Oltarno for food. (I'm considering Tripperia Il Maggazino). I have two dinners left. Thanks.

                      -----
                      Cipolla Rossa
                      Via de' Conti,53, Florence, Toscana 50123, IT

                      1. re: wanderlust21

                        I haven't been to Florence yet so take this with a grain of salt! Our trip is in October, and here are some of the restaurants that have come up through my research and aren't already mentioned on this particular thread. Hope this helps a bit! Enjoy, and please provide any reports!

                        Trattoria da Ruggero
                        Via Senese, 89/R
                        055-220-542

                        Enoteca Pitti Gola e Cantina
                        Piazza Pitti 16
                        055-212-704

                        Antica Mescita San Niccolo
                        Via di San Niccolo 60/r
                        055-234-2836

                        Osteria Belle Donne
                        Via delle Belle Donne, 16/R
                        055-238-2609

                        Mangiafuoco Bracerie
                        Via Guelfa 24/R

                        Alla Vecchia Bettola
                        Viale Vasco Pratolini
                        39 055 224158

                        Le Volpi e L'Uva
                        Piazza dei Rossi 1
                        055 239 8132

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                        Alla Vecchia Bettola
                        Viale Vasco Pratolini, 3, Florence, Tuscany 50124, IT

                        Ruggero
                        Via Senese, 89, Florence, Tuscany 50124, IT

                        Mangiafuoco Bracerie
                        Via Guelfa 24, Florence, Toscana 50129, IT

                        1. re: Silverwing

                          Thanks Silverwing! if I happen to dine at any of these places, will sure let you know! And of course will report wherever I end up chow-ing at. :)

                        2. re: wanderlust21

                          here are some places that have been mentioned here or are on our Restaurant database. of these in addition to those already discussed on this thread, of course there are many others.

                          , I am fairly sure Zeb,Da Burde and Osteria di Giovanni are open . The others are not stated to be closed, either on that page or their website, however Very few restaurants are explicit on their websites about their closings - its best if you figure out which ones you are interested in and either walk by or call. The Cibreo group of restaurants is closed over the next week.

                          Le Volpi E L'uva

                          Ossi di Seppia

                          Buca Lapi

                          Osteria de'Benci

                          Coco Lezzone

                          Del Fagioli

                          Cavolo Nero

                          Osteria Personale

                          Zibibbo

                          Cambi

                          13 Gobbi

                          Good luck in your search - look forward to hearing about your dining experiences!

                          -----
                          Del Fagioli
                          Corso dei Tintori, 47R, Florence, Tuscany 50122, IT

                          Da Burde
                          Via Pistoiense 6r-154N, Florence, Tuscany 50145, IT

                          L'Osteria di Giovanni
                          Via del Moro, 18r,, Florence, Tuscany 50123, IT

                          Trattoria 13 Gobbi
                          Via della Porcellana, 9, Florence, Tuscany 50123, IT

                          Cavolo Nero
                          Via D'Ardiglione, 22/r, Florence, Tuscany 50124, IT

                          Zibibbo
                          Via di Terzollina, 3r, Florence, Tuscany 50139, IT

                          Le Volpi E L'uva
                          Piazza dei Rossi, 1, Florence, Tuscany 50125, IT

                          Coco Lezzone
                          Via Parioncino, 26r, Florence, Tuscany 50123, IT

                          Cambi AKA Antico Ristoro di Cambi
                          Via Sant'Onofrio, 1r, Florence, Tuscany 50124, IT

                          Buca Lapi
                          Via del Trebbio, 1, Florence, Tuscany 50123, IT

                          Osteria de' Benci
                          Via de' Benci 13r, Florence, Tuscany , IT

                          Zeb (Zuppe e Bolliti)
                          Via San Miniato, 2r, Florence, Toscana 50125, IT

                          Osteria Personale
                          Borgo San Frediano, 167r, Florence, Toscana , IT

                          Ossi di Seppia
                          Via di San Niccolo, 48, Florence, Toscana , IT

                          1. re: jen kalb

                            Thanks Jen! I have read many other of your posts and they are very helpful! Really appreciate your suggestions and sharing of experience!

                          2. re: wanderlust21

                            thanks for sharing the information, wanderlust21! I emailed I Due G last night but haven't heard from them, then I learned from jessabella617 this morning that it is closed. We will be in Florence on August 30, 31 and Sept 4, so I guess we can catch it...
                            Thanks so much again!

            2. We have returned from our vacation. Thanks for the suggestions from everyone!
              Just want to give a brief report on the few places we ended up chowing at.

              FLORENCE
              Trattoria I due G (dinner):
              crostini ai fegatini -- good
              pappardelle al cinghiale -- very good
              Bistecca alla Fioretina -- quite good
              Torta della nonna -- good
              The waiter asked us how we would like our steak to be served, and we said "whatever you recommend". So we went with the classic Florentine style -- rare. We were very glad we did. There were a few spots that were more like medium-rare, and they were not as tender as the rare parts. We were glad that we finally got to try it, but we also decided that bistecca wasn't our favorite steak. We both prefer something fattier and more tender (e.g. rib-eye).

              I'trippaio di Sant'ambrogio (lunch)
              lampredotto -- very good, one of his best meals during our trip, according to my husband.
              We walked quite a long way in an attempt to find "Lampredottaro Di Sant'ambrogio", the food truck-like tripe stand in Piazza sant'ambrogio. But it was not open when we got there, and by chance, we found this one inside of the Mercato di Sant' Ambrogio. 3 Euros for a lampredotto, quite a good deal. I only had a bite, liked it okay. My husband really enjoyed it.

              Le volpi e l'uva (before dinner)
              white wine + salumi + crostone -- VERY GOOD

              Osteria Tripperia Il Magazzino (dinner)
              Antipasto del Trippaio (lamprey meatball, beef tongue, grilled cow breast/udder) -- tongue and meatballs were good, but the poppa (breast) had a funny grainy texture that we didn't like too much.
              Guancia di vitello con cipolline in Agrodolce (cheek of veal cooked with onion) -- good
              Coniglio con Bruscettine al Pomodoro (rabbit with bruschetta) -- just okay. Tasted kinda bland.
              The owner had a little attitude, but our server was very nice.

              Pizzeria San Jacopino (lunch)
              We stumbled across this neighborhood restaurant after we checked in to our B&B on the last day. Had Gnocchi with salmon and spinach, and spaghetti alla carbonara. Good solid food and reasonable prices. No tourists at all. Just a lot of families (we went on Sunday).

              Coquinarius (dinner)
              We weren't hungry, so only had the mix of appetizers, a crostone and some wine. Food was okay, but nice atmosphere, and friendly service.

              Gelato
              I had a lot of gelato from several gelaterias: Festival del Gelato, Perche No, Carabe, Vivoli, and Carapina. I love gelato, so hard to pick just one favorite. I had tiramisu flavor from Perche No, but it tasted more like the real tiramisu dessert (texture-wise) than gelato, so was kinda disappointed. I had mora (blackberry) and Sesamo Croccante (sesame crisp) from Vivoli. Blackberry had way too much seeds in it, so they sorta ruined the texture for me (it was not creamy and smooth). Carapina offers less flavors to choose from, but the lady told me their fruit flavors are only made from fresh seasonal fruits with the addition of a little sugar. I picked the susina (plum) and cocomero (watermelon), they were excellent!! we wanted to go back after dinner on our last day, too bad they were closed. Festival del gelato has the most number of flavors to choose from (50 kinds?), it was hard making up my mind. :) I enjoyed my pear and yogurt gelato from Carabe as well. Smooth and creamy.

              TUSCANY
              Nerbone in Greve in Chianti (lunch)
              I Crostini misti
              il tagliere di salumi misti
              crema fredda di pomodori con stracciatella di burrata (fresh tomato soup)
              everything was good, just a bit on the pricey side. I also asked whether they are the same as the Nerbone in Florence, and was told not.

              Solo Ciccia in Panzano (dinner)
              We decided that the food was good but not phenomenal. But it was definitely a very fun and pleasant evening for us. We did the 7:00 pm seating and our communal table had only tourists. We met some interesting guests on our side of the table, all from the US. :) But they were all a lot of fun, and also shared their own wines bought at local wineries with us. The after dinner drink "party" was a lot of fun as well. We all moved across the street to the butcher shop after coffee and dessert. Then Dario Cecchini, his wife and a staff started pouring enocordial and grappa shots for us. You could have as many shots as you wanted. :)

              Osteria L'Osteria in Siena (lunch)
              Spaghetti dell'Osteria (with tomato, gorgonzola and chili), and pici al cinghiale (wild boar sauce) were both good.

              Antica Trattoria La Toppa in San Donato in Poggio (dinner)
              Ravioli tartufati
              Arista al forno (roast pork)
              stracotto alla chiantigiana (beef stew in Chianti sauce)
              Tiramisu
              Everything was good. It is just two doors down from our B&B. Good food and good value. Friendly owner.

              Ombra della Sera in Volterra (lunch)
              We ordered two pizzas. Good.

              Gelateria di Piazza in San Gimignano -- good

              Ristorante Al Macereto in San Donato in Poggio (dinner)
              We wanted to eat near our B&B, so I found this place on tripadvisor.
              Fried sage (on the house) -- way too greasy
              Linguine anatra e curry (duck and curry sauce) -- good
              Maialino al forno con patete ghiotte (roast suckling pig with potatoes) -- quite good. The skin was not crispy enough though. The potatoes were very good.
              Agnello scottadito (grilled lamb chops) -- good
              This seems like a popular place among the locals as well. We were there on Saturday, and there were two huge birthday parties. One was a family gathering (celebrating a guy's 50th b-day), and the other was a group of young hip kids in their 20s.

              My two cents.

              Again, thank you all!!

              -----
              Coquinarius
              Via delle Oche, 15, Florence, Tuscany 50122, IT

              Perche No
              Via dei Tavolini, 19r, Florence, Tuscany 50122, IT

              Vivoli
              Via dell'Isola delle Stinche, 7, Florence, Tuscany 50122, IT

              Carabe
              Via Ricasoli, 60, Florence, Tuscany 50122, IT

              Nerbone
              Via dell'Ariento, 87r, Florence, Tuscany 50100, IT

              Osteria L'Osteria
              Via dei Rossi, 79, Siena, Tuscany 53100, IT

              Carapina
              Piazza Guglielmo Oberdan,2r, Florence, Toscana 50136, IT

              3 Replies
              1. re: rosespot

                I liked seeing the "VERY GOOD" after Le volpi e l'uva; it is still our favorite hangout in Firenze!

                1. re: Longing for Italy

                  Lucky you, Longing for Italy! My husband and I really enjoyed Le volpi e l'uva. We wish there was one near our neighborhood, haha.

                2. re: rosespot

                  Thanks rosespot for providing so much detail. Very helpful!

                3. Yes Sostanza is touristy. They've got Rob Lowe's signed picture on the wall and everyday there are camera-toting American and Japanese Lux Guide disciples dining there. But I've eaten there 5 times in 4 years (yes I am also a tourist) and it is still my favorite Trattoria in Italy. The Bistecca is amongst the best I've eaten and the butter chicken is no slouch either.

                  Last year we were in Northern Italy with no intention of going near Florence but when we had some free time in Bologna, then decided to drive 2 hours (traffic from Bol-Fir was horrendous with road works and rain) just to have lunch at Sostanza and then drive back having done nothing else in Florence.

                  -----
                  Sostanza
                  Via della Porcellana, 25, 50123, Florence, Tuscany 50123, IT