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Dec 30, 2013 11:01 AM

Florence Trip Planning - January 2014

I was just told I am being sent off to Florence in January and I was greatly excited to try all the wonderful foods of this great city till I found out that most of my meals are scheduled for me. I only have 2 meals to myself sadly.

After reading many great threads on CH and seeing how my expense account is not as large as the lovely Four Seasons, I'm hoping to enjoy myself at a moderately upscale restaurant which has vegetable and seafood options. I'm appealing to the expertise of the CH'ers in Italy to help affirm my research and choices.

Sunday Dinner (we get to vote from a list of mediocre places)
- We were given the option of Perseus, Acqua al 2, i'Brindellone, Lungarno 23, Lob's fish, and Danny Rock. The last 2 names almost made me laugh so I researched the first 4. It looks like Acqua al 2 is most favoured among the CH'ers. I'm planning to place my vote for that. The general internet (yelp, tripadvisor) says i'Brindellone is another favourable option. Did I choose well?

Friday Lunch (my choice as I'm solo at this point)
- La Cipolla Rossa - The menu looked great and it was close to the market so I can explore it afterwards. I'll admit that my daughter told me to go to this particular restaurant because she saw Remy on their online site.
- Il Santo Bevitore - I saw this being recommended on here but there was no menu posted online. If anyone can provide a commentary of the types of food (any vegetables or seafood options?), it would be welcomed.
- Osteria Caffe Italiano - This was recommended to me by a co-worker because they know I'm partial towards vegetarian meals. Supposedly the vegetable flan is quite amazing here. It was also mentioned their grilled vegetables and tasting menu is quite nice as well.
- Ora d'aria - I would only consider this for lunch if Osteria Personale would be my Friday dinner and it would be worthwhile

Friday Dinner (my final meal)
- Ora d'aria - The obvious Michelin star recommendation as it's the most affordable of the 3 starred restaurants. I did see the menu and it did appeal to me with it's pesce tasting menu. Unfortunately they didn't list out a price. Does anyone know the general cost?
- Osteria personale - I read about this restaurant several times on this board and a modern take on Italian cuisine would be welcomed. The tasting menu had much appeal to me as well

I'm partial to Ora D'aria as it is more central and best for me to explore more of the town before and afterwards. I'll be walking by myself and though I've been told Florence is quite safe, I prefer to be in a more central spot. Any other recommendations to unearth a better option would be greatly appreciated.

I believe we will be heading to Mario during the week. That might be my only good meal during the week. We are staying near the new area (Novoli near the airport). Are there any places you recommend to sneak to after dinner so I can eat a good snack or even gelato?

Grazie Mille!

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  1. You're confusing forks with stars. Ora D'Aria is a Michelin one star.

    1 Reply
    1. re: allende

      I meant it as there are only 3 restaurants awarded a Michelin star of any level

    2. Here is a link to a photo of the menu of the un-upscale Dei Fagioli in Florence. Hopefully, when you click on the link and then click on the photo itself you will be able to read the writing.

      If not, you might be able to copy the photo from this blog (not mine) and zoom in on your own computer

      As (or if!) you can see, there is quite a variety of options for vegetable eaters. Florence actually has a strong tradition in vegetable dishes and is not strong in fish, so personally I would skip the fish menus in moderately upscale places in favor of places that respect the vegetable tradition and use quality ingredients. From a classic Florentine menu you can easily assemble a vegetable focused meal made up of wonderful seasonal dishes unique the region. This is food you won't get in a restaurant anyplace else in the world (whereas the menus of moderately upscale creative modern takes on food are all beginning to remind me of airports they are fundamentally indistinguishable from one another) . Vegetable dishes in Florence may not be strictly vegetarian, because pork fat is used extensively in the cooking. Also, the menu pictured is from May, so in January I would expect to see different vegetable dishes.

      1 Reply
      1. re: barberinibee

        Wanted to correct the typo I just spotted in my own post, which I can no longer access to edit in the original:

        The name of the restaurant is Del Fagioli.

      2. lobs is actually a very good place to eat. owned by a local restauranteur who has opened many many successful restaurants in Florence. his father was a butcher and they opened two restaurants as a family also. Lobs was inspired by his brother who moved to USA hence the name, and also the look of a Fish shack-- just a block from the central market-- it is one of the few actual fish restaurants in florence- there is another great place called lo skipper, owned by a sicilian chef. i guess you will have a shuttle into town and back? or will you have to take a taxi?

        Carapina gelato is just a block from the ponte vecchio one of my personal favorites-- true artisanal gelato!

        3 Replies
        1. re: Diva

          Thank you so much for your insight! I would have never guessed that Lobs is a great place to eat. Now that I know that, perhaps I can convince my colleagues to head there for a dinner.

          We are using a taxi between the hotel and downtown Florence. I've heard driving and parking is not easy there. I was looking at your blog and wow... wonderful! I wish I had time to take a tour with you ... I only have Friday afternoon to myself before I hop back onto a plane.

          Florence for Foodies has been a wonderful site for me to read. I'm really intrigued by Il Cibrèo and Lo Skipper as well. I'm making my list thanks to your site!

          1. re: Nevy

            Note that Cibreo has a restaurant, a trattoria and a cafe, all are good, prices (and service levels) drop as you go down the list, although we've been served by the chef Fabbio Picchi even in the cafe. He's quite a character. And his Teatro del Sale is a unique and fun experience (dinner & music or theatre), and the food there is quite good and varied, lots of food and a good value.

          2. re: Diva

            I don't remember many details and names of where we ate in Florence, but I remember that gelato.

            Probably a bit more of a hit in September than January, but Yum. . .

          3. The original comment has been removed
            1. Please report back on your final choices and your thoughts as we head there late March.