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Florence restaurant musts for chef staying for 6 days early september

mattbr77 Aug 11, 2012 07:47 PM

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!!

  1. k
    kschill Aug 21, 2012 05:11 AM

    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
      jen kalb Aug 21, 2012 06:05 AM

      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

    2. Diva Aug 19, 2012 10:45 PM

      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 must.do go to one of the markets, san lorenzo or san ambrogio.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Diva
        mattbr77 Aug 20, 2012 06:58 AM

        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
          jen kalb Aug 20, 2012 07:49 AM

          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. minchilli Aug 12, 2012 09:58 AM

        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
          mattbr77 Aug 14, 2012 06:08 PM

          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
            meljohns Aug 19, 2012 12:18 PM

            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
              mattbr77 Aug 20, 2012 06:54 AM

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

            2. re: mattbr77
              Longing for Italy Aug 20, 2012 11:21 AM

              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
                jen kalb Aug 20, 2012 11:30 AM

                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
                  Longing for Italy Aug 20, 2012 11:48 AM

                  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
                chattys82 Sep 24, 2012 01:01 PM

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

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