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Mar 15, 2014 10:48 AM

Florence - need some help to finalise plans

We're having a 4 night trip to the city in May. I've searched the board (and other boards) and am pretty sure we want to eat at Cibreo and Sostanza - both sound exactly the sort of places we like.

That leaves me with two nights, one of which is a Sunday (as I know Cibreo and Sonstanza are both closed). My shortlist, so far, has the following on it:

Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco (which I quite fancy coz I like wild boar)

Il Latini

Osteria di Giovanni

Trattoria La Casalinga (I know this is also closed Sunday)

Cipolla Rossa

All of these seem to offer decent Tuscan food. Can you offer me any help to whittle these down to just the two (like are the open Sunday) or, indeed, suggest somewhere that I've missed.

If it helps with locations, we're staying near the Ponte Vecchio.


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  1. Of those you mentioned, I've eaten at Sostanza, Casalinga and Cipolla Rossa. I love Sostanza, especially the butter chicken. Casalinga was a perennial favorite when my kids were younger--casual and family-friendly, also convenient if you're going to the Brancacci Chapel. I had one very good lunch at Cipolla Rossa when we were in Florence on a holiday--it was one of the few places open, and they are indeed open Sundays.

    For lunches Mon.-Sat., I'm very fond of Trattoria daSergio, and the location is great, just behind San Lorenzo. Another recent find is Coquinarius, which is one of the few places close to Il Duomo that is worth eating. It's really more an enoteca, but you can definitely have a light meal. It's also open continuously throughout the afternoon and evening, including Sundays, so if you have your Sunday dinner around 1:00 or so, this would be a good spot to have a light snack Sunday evening.

    A bit further away, but a place I've always liked is La Vecchia Bettola. I couldn't seem to find a website, so I don't know about Sunday openings. They are on Viale Vasco Pratolini.

    1. Last time I was in Florence, I had my most wonderful pasta of the entire trip at Buca dell' Orafo. A Buca is a basement restaurant, and this one is not far from the base of the Ponte Vecchio. It was a ragu with wild boar, and it was heavenly. It is one of my favorite places in Florence, and I make it a point to eat there every time I go to Florence. It doesn't get mentioned a lot, but that's ok since I see a lot of locals there as well as the inevitable tourists.

      1. On our very first trip to Florence 28 years ago, the white boar made a huge impression on us, but much less so last year. I think you can pass on it. We like Cafe & Trattoria Cibreo a lot, as well as their Teatro del Sale. Haven't been to Ristorante Cibreo in a long time, but sure it's also still very good. One of our favorites in Florence is Zeb, although it's a very upscale lunch counter, probably better for lunch than dinner. Trattoria Casalinga was good, as was Vechia Bettola (both simple and downscale, totally unlike Cibreo).

        We do enjoy Buca Del Orafo as well.

        1. If you don't get to Florence much and you need to pick stand out places to go, I think you've done well choosing Cibreo (the more formal restaurant, not the Trat., I assume?) and Sostanza (think steak and butter chicken). As they are not at all similar, I get the feeling that "the sort of places (you) like" is pretty open, so I'll recommend La Cucina del Garga as a place you might also like to try. During our month stay last summer, it was one of the places we made sure to go back to a couple of times and really enjoyed. We also really liked Zeb (the place DavyTheFatBoy recommended here already) but, be aware, this is a modernistic counter type place but with food that is anything but. Very nice for lunch. If you like a bustling old school type of place with lots of traditional cooking, you really can't beat Trat. La Casalinga. However, go in remembering that this is not a fancy place and, in my opinion, they don't spend much time thinking about anything other than cooking the food and getting it to the table. Again, we went back twice & love the place. They accept reservations, which will get you thru the line at the door of folks who didn't think to make one. They do traditional pastas very well and we loved the bollito misto and the farina arrosto (roast guinea fowl). Beware - large portions.

          Have a great time.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Steve R

            faraona? glad it was good - the few versions we have had over the years have always been disappointingly dry. I think we need to check out La Casalinga.

            1. re: jen kalb

              Good point. They have roast chicken as well and my wife and I debated trying the guinea fowl. Since the pastas were substantial and we were ordering 2 mains (boy, we order & eat too much!) we figured we'd be fine if it turned out poorly. The one we were served was not dry at all. It was, however, huge, and that may have helped, as the breast and legs were thick and less likely to dry out during roasting. This explanation from a dedicated non-cook, so take it for what its worth. Bottom line: very nice dish, which may or may not be repeated, so no warranty implied. :-)

              1. re: Steve R

                its interesting that they seem to do poultry, not all that common in Italy