Need Florence advice.
In early January I'll be on a two week Italy tour with my students and with six other faculty members. I always take the group out once for dinner, on me, and this trip that will be in Florence. Sostanza would be perfect, I think, except that I don't really want to carry that much cash for a meal (how much cash would it be these days, anyway?) So either talk me into Sostanza, or suggest an alternative. Moderate price point definitely a plus.
Thanks in advance.
It sounds like a pretty big group, although you don't say how many students you are.
One place that I like to go to with big groups is All'Antico Ristoro dei Cambi. It's moderately priced, great simple, rustic food, and I find their back room very good for bigger groups. It's in the San Frediando neighborhood.
A simiilar sort of place is Antica Mescita San Nicolo. Very casual, and they have a great room sort of downstairs, that is built into the foundations of a 10th century church. Vaulted ceilings and long wooden tables makes it fun for groups. I love the mixed antipasti (including great crostini) which is an easy thing to start with for a group. This is located in San Nicolo, again on the 'other' side of the Arno, but way on the other end of town from Cambi.
Both restaurants are about a 10-15 minute walk from the Ponte Vecchio, but nice walks.
Hope this helps!
re: jen kalb
Sorry I wasn't clearer. We are 8 faculty and 24 undergraduates, but it's only dinner for 8, budget around $50 or so. The students can fend for themselves that night, and the faculty can celebrate the temporary absence of students. So it's just dinner for 8, all geezers or semi-geezers. Does that change your recommendation, Elizabeth, and does it offer some ideas, Jen? Thanks.
First of all, Sostanza is my favourite in my own town Florence... the people telling you have truth! anyway you can also try another 2 trattoria in the centre, both in San Lorenzo sq:Trattoria Mario (for lunch)very typical ones, you can't reserve, just go there about 12.30 and ask for the table, maybe you will wait a little but the service it's very fast! Give your name to Fabio (one of the owner) and look at the menu in meantime...i'll raccomend "the braciola rifatta and the stracotto" with white beans. No credit cards, no coffee, no pizza but a very florentine lunch!!
and Osteria Pepò (for dinner):absolutely try coccoli with ham and stracchino, pappa al pomodoro, polpette di filetto al pomodoro, bollito misto with home made salse and fritto misto!!
enjoy! both cheaper than Sostanza...
Thanks to all; we ended up at Sostanza. Early seating, but we were the only Americans. Nine diners, various primi, but mostly tortellini in brodo or in sugo, six bistecca portions, which the house offered in different temperatures, two butter chickens, one other plate, meringue with fragola-del-bosca, or whatever you call 'em in Italian, four decent bottles of Montalcino, some coffees, 55€/pp. Great choice, great meal. Thanks for your help.