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Mar 3, 2014 10:29 AM

Some questions for a quick trip to Florence

We haven't been to Florence for a few years, but used to visit every year. We had some favorites, but aren't sure they've held up. We will only be in town for two dinners, and one or two lunches.

I am very hungry for Bistecca all Fiorentina, but probably won't want to eat it for lunch.

We are staying behind the Duomo, and on such a short visit, probably want to eat more, rather than less central.

I have a very long list of where we have eaten in the past, but I'm thinking we want to try new places.

After reading everything here and the blogs, I'm narrowing our two dinners down to Sostanza and Cipolla Rossa. I'll probably have more questions but these are things I'm wondering about.

At Sostanza, I don't think I'm entranced by their other offerings. I don't like eggs at all, so the artichoke omelet/souffle dish is out for me. I also don't like meat filled pastas. Can anyone recommend another appetizer or first course there?

Also, do you think 50 euro per kg for bistecca is average, or expensive?

Last Sostanza question: since I don't like eggs, their meringue based dessert doesn't appeal. Are there other dessert offerings?

We will consider any other suggestions for our bistecca dinner.

And on to Cipolla Rossa: is the spaghetti with red wine always on the menu, or must one ask? How is their bistecca?

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  1. Hopefully someone replies - the answers will help me out as well. Please post a report when you return!

    1. I thought you might like to look at this entry in Elizabeth Minchelli's blog - including the fragment of a very typical looking menu . Seems like there are a fair number of other offerings if you want to stay away from eggs there.It would actually be great to hear a report on soups, veg or whatever

      ps I am not personally big on italian restaurant desserts, for the most part - especially after a big meat meal - you can always go out and snag a gelato or pastry elsewhere if the simple fruit desserts do not send you.


      1. When we were there last year, we had a couple of great starters - a plate of prosciutto and traditional chicken-liver crostini (forgot the Italian name for them - I can find it if you would like). We also had the butter chicken dish, which we love.

        Although we loved the meringue dessert and the plate of berries, I agree that talking a stroll and having gelato is the best idea after a big meal!

        1. i am a regular at Cipolla Rossa the spaghetti di vino is not always on the menu.

          Steak can be from 45 euro to 65 euro a kilo

          depending on where you go-- and what cow they use-- a steak can be more or less than a kilo-- ask to see it first!

          I adore the steak at Pepo's next door to Mario's trattoria near the Central Market- they have a lovely menu. and some great desserts too! i enjoy their version of a tart tatin-- poached apples with cinnamon and orange zest-- on puff pastry. usually i share

          1 Reply
          1. re: Diva

            Diva, thank you

            I want that darn spaghetti! I'm sorry to hear that it isn't always there; I suppose I could call or stop by. I'm an over-planner so it goes against my grain to "wait and see."

            Is Pepo open for dinner? I like Mario and Sergio nearby, but I won't have a lot of time for lunch.

            And what do you think of Pallottno? We used to eat there but it's been about 6 years since we were in Florence. I remember loving their pappa al pomodoro.

            Any recommendations for a flavorful and tomato-y pappa al pomodoro?

            I hope you don't mind me asking a few more questions; I respect your knowledge and opinion on all things Florentine.

          2. Osteria de' Benci has a very good version of the spaghetti with red wine and garlic. They also have pretty good bistecca fiorentina. They also happen to have delicious roasted chicken. We go to Florence every year, and often put de' Benci on the rotation for that spaghetti with red wine alone.

            1 Reply
            1. re: njberk

              njberk: when we went to Florence every winter, we always ate at Osteria de' Benci; it was a favorite and I loved their meat. I've been trawling the internet as well as Chowhound and haven't seen any recent mentions of OdB. Maybe we will go there.

              So many places I liked seem to get no mention nowadays. Pallottino was also a favorite, despite the slow service.