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Aug 11, 2012 07:47 PM

Florence restaurant musts for chef staying for 6 days early september

My fiance and I are traveling to Italy for our honeymoon. I am a chef and food will be a focus of our trip. We are staying for 5 nights in Rome, 3 nights in Lerici, and 5 nights in Florence. I have researched Rome, do not have any reservations. I have researched Lerici slightly, and have just begun Florence. I would love any recommendations for 'must eat at' restaurants in Florence in particular, but Rome, Lerici(surrounding villages) would be beneficial as well.

Our plan is to do a few museums and sights in Rome and Florence, but to try and blend in to the city as much as possible and eat and walk around. We really want to try and experience the cities from a local perspective as much as possible while doing some of the main attractions. The main purpose for Lerici is r and r. This being my first posting, and our first trip to Italy together, we would take any suggestions. Thank you for your help!!

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  1. It sounds like you have a great trip planned. What I would suggest is you search these boards for advice on both Florence and Rome, then come back with your short list.Then it will be easier to comment on where you should eat. There have been so many similar discussions, that repeating them here again would be so helpful.

    Look forward to hearing back from you!

    7 Replies
    1. re: minchilli

      Thanks for your quick reply! There is an incredible amount of information on this site...overwhelming! Allright, this is what I've got...

      Rome possible dinners:
      la taverna dei fori imperiali
      alfredo ed ada
      la rosetta
      buca di ripetta
      colline emiliane
      antico arco
      flavio al velavevodetto
      da armando al pantheon

      other Rome restaurants on list:
      roma sparita
      sora magherita
      antico forno roscioli
      taverna romana monti
      da tonino al governo vecchio
      il bacaro
      ristorante la tavernetta
      trattoria de marcello
      trattoria cavalier
      ristorante il fico
      l'asino d'oro
      trattoria monti
      la gensola
      pizzeria remo, dar poeta, pizzeria nerone

      Florence possible dinners:
      la giostra
      osteria del cinghiale bianco
      trattoria mario
      il latina
      santo bevitore

      other Florence restaurants on list:
      trattoria anita
      antico noe
      il fagioli
      tre soldi
      cipolla rosa
      i due g
      la volpe e l'uva
      la casalinga
      cavolo nero
      cammillo trattoria
      ora d'aria
      vine e vecchia sapori

      bonta nascoste
      il senatore

      Cinque Terre
      la laterna
      gianni franzi
      trattoria dal billy
      l'ancora della tortuga
      focaccerio il frontoio
      gambero rosso

      6 days in rome, 6 days in florence, 3 days in lerici, while taking ferry to cinque terre once or twice.
      I welcome any and all thoughts on my lists...Thank you so much! Your opinion is valued

      1. re: mattbr77

        I recently returned from a trip where we were in both Rome and Florence and ate at a few places on your list.

        Colline Emiliane was right next door to our hotel. I liked it but wasn't blown away. Had the roasted veal, which was very tender and good. The dessert was unappetizing, a berry tart that had a ridiculous amount of gelatin holding it together. What annoyed me the most was the obvious rush to turn the tables that tourists were at; I speak a decent amount of Italian so it wasn't like we weren't trying. I liked Hostaria Romana much better and it's just around the corner.

        In Florence we ate at "ino, Vine e Vecchi Sapori and Santo Bevitore, all of which were good, the last two being excellent. We had nice panini at 'ino though I wish we'd been more adventurous (we were really tired). We also had lunch one day at Coquinarius, a very simple chicken liver pate that was delicious.

        I would recommend eating at both Vine e Vecchi Sapori and Santo Bevitore, they're completely different experiences. Vine is tiny, a hand written menu, a charming host, delicious "grandma" style cooking. We loved it. I had a white bean antipasto with anchovy eggs, the duck ragu and the veal stew. Santo was also great- a more modern take on Tuscan food, reminded me of a NYC restaurant. Simple pretty space, attentive service and the only place we ate the entire time I was there where the portion size was small enough to allow us to try a few courses without being completely stuffed. I had an amazing zucchini and cream soup with a haddock crouton that I still think about. My mom had the tomato and bread soup, a more refined take on the classic. I also had a very simple and beautiful rabbit ragu with lemons and olives.

        We didn't go to more upscale places because I was traveling with my mom who had never been over seas so I wanted our experiences to be as "comfortable" as possible.

        1. re: meljohns

          Thank you for your input! I'll be sure to write a review of my trip when I return.

        2. re: mattbr77

          I just returned from my fourth 6-8 week stay in Florence. I'd hope you'd venture beyond the obvious places (although Mario is a must). Places I consistently return to are:
          I due G,
          Cantinetta Antinori
          Le Volpi e l'uva
          Al Tranvai

          1. re: Longing for Italy

            could you tell us more about Al Tranvai? Its a Slowfood place, but I dont think Ive ever seen a report on it here.

            1. re: jen kalb

              I think Al Tranvai was "SlowFood" before there was Slowfood. Very small place, family run, on Piazza Tasso in the Oltrarno. In our times there, we were the only non-locals. Menu on the small blackboard (what's freshest today) and wines on the shelves around you (our first visit, I asked for the wine list--the server just smiled and pointed to the wine bottles).

              Traditional food rules: ribollita, tripe, a melted pecorino fondue, pecorino sfuso, fried Taleggio cheese, small celery "meatballs" breaded and lightly fried, served in a tomato sauce, or a spinach "meatball" seasoned with Parmesan and truffles. Save room for a wonderful torta dei fichi (fig walnut and fennel cake)!

          2. re: mattbr77

            Do you by chance know if Antico Noe is open on Sundays for lunch? Thanks!

        3. have you been to florence before? if not-- trattoria mario's is a classic, lunch only. closed on sun.
          Cibreo is a must- trattoria is half the price of the restaurant-- same food- almost the whole menu- no pasta, no grilled meats but his flavors are incredible. When i take chefs on food tours- it is a go to one of the markets, san lorenzo or san ambrogio.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Diva

            Thanks Diva! I have a co-worker who eats at Cibreo every time he visits Florence. He never said anything about the trattoria, just that the restaurant is pretty upscale. Also, I was reading somewhere about something affiliated with Cibreo that is like a dinner theatre performance thing. I may be mistaken, but do you know anything about this, and is it the trattoria? Thanks!

            1. re: mattbr77

              Cibreo is a multi-dimensional enterprise - there have been a lot of prior posts on Il Teatro del Sale, which serves food from the Cibreo kitchens

              I agree with the recommendation of Da Mario for lunch - steak plus good florentine soups, ragus etc.

          2. From your list-
            Rome: Loved Roscioli-spilt burrata, carbonara and asparagus for lunch. Excellent
            L'asino d'oro- went x2 for 12E lunch deal. Excellent.

            Vini e vecchi sapori- absolutely loved-the food and the whole experience.
            Volpi-great for wine + cheese (didn't have any crostini)
            Mario's for bistecca lunch-sat at communal table with 2 locals-great experience
            Fagioli-most mediorce meal of our 3 week trip.
            Don't miss wandering around Mercato Centrale

            Milky-great meal, excellent anchovies.

            1 Reply
            1. re: kschill

              good to see your report back! wondering what you ate at Del Fagioli - its plain florentine food, but I remember loving my acquacotta and other items there