Restaurants in Florence

Today I would like to share with you my favorite restaurants in Florence.

Il Ristoro Dei Perditempo

DSCN0001_3This is the perfect place to stop for a quick lunch while sightseeing the city. From Signoria walk trough the Ponte Vecchio, turn right and walk for 140 meters, on your right you’ll see a small window with a red sign. The bar has a deli case with classic Florentine bar foods such as Pappa al Pomodoro, Ribollita, ravioli, and salads. A wide assortment of Pecorino cheeses from across the Tuscany region are also made available. Step in and seat by the window overlooking the Arno.

Borgo San Jacopo 48r. Tel.: 055 26 45 569

Il Parione

parione2

Located in the heart of city centre in a XIV century building. Two small dining rooms on the main floor and a more rustic dining area in the cellar downstairs. Book in advance. Ideal for dinner.

Our suggestion is a romantic walk by the river after dinner.

Via del Parione, 74 / 76 R. Tel 055 21 40 05

Cibreo

ristorante-cibreo-firenzeCibreo is one of Florence’s best restaurants, serving food, and particularly good fresh fish, cooked with real flair. Menus change daily, and include a lengthy selection of appetisers, first courses (soups and polenta) and main dishes (fish, meat). Desserts are delectable: chocolate cake, cheesecake, and Bavarian cream feature. For half the price, eat at the less formal Cibreo Trattoria, right next door, which serves a limited version of the same menu at communal dining tables, what’s more, you don’t have to book.

Via A. Del Verrocchio. Tel.:  055 2341100.

Vinandro

vinandroThis tiny place is a must if you stay in Florence longer than one day. On the main square of Fiesole just a few seats to enjoy genuine and typical Tuscan food. Book in advance.

Piazza Mino da Fiesole 33 – Fiesole. Tel.: 055 59 121

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Osteria da Gagliano – Sarteano

When you step into Gagliano you enter one of our favourite Restaurants.

Not only is it known for fantastic food but for its wonderful atmosphere and personable host: Giuliano whose natural charm makes you feel like he is a long term friend.

Located in the upper square in Sarteano, the Osteria is a real jewel: the bricks and stone walls, the display of Tuscan wines, the distinctive lighting, the rustic chairs and tableware create the perfect atmosphere to savour the delicious dishes made by Angela Olmi.

Osteria da Gagliano is member of the Slowfood organisation and the menu varies throughout the year as  the dishes are prepared with local seasonal produce.

Some of our personal favourite dishes are:

Pecorino and truffle cake, dried plum with “Lardo di colonnata”,  leek and saffron cake, spelt with pecorino and pears, “Pici” with “Cinta Senese” ragout and rosemary “pesto”, dried salt cod with leeks, stewed wild boar, rabbit with “Lardo di Colonnata” and fennel. Delicious desserts include: hot custard with pears, red wine and cinnamon, white chocolate and coffee mousse, chocolate and pears cake with pecorino sauce and much, much more…

As with many Osteria and Trattoria, the tables are a little cramped but we see it as a bonus as you almost always end up talking to your neighbours and discovering more things to do and places to see.

The Cantina is well furnished and the house wine “vino dell casa” is very good and affordable.

The Osteria only has seating for 25, therefore we highly recommend to book in advance.

Via Roma, 5 – 53047 Sarteano (SI), Italy

Tel.: 0578 268022 – Closed Tuesday

Informal eating overlooking the Arno

Il Ristoro Dei Perditempo – Florence

A couple of years ago, I was organizing a Florentine wedding with British wedding planner Sarah Haywood for a lovely couple from Hong Kong. After a morning of hard work and wedding planning, we managed to take the afternoon off to tour around Florence, and that’s when we discovered Il Ristoro Dei Perditempo.

We had just crossed Ponte Vecchio and started walking down to Borgo San Jacopo when we spotted a small window with a sofa in front.

On the window there was a red sign that read “Ristoro dei Perditempo”, which literally means “refreshments for time-wasters”.

We decided to stop and we were tempted to sit on the outside sofa but when we stepped in to ask for the menu we saw the lovely dining area with the large window overlooking the Arno and Ponte Vecchio and we decided to sit there.

 

We spent almost two hours in that spot chatting away as we sampled delicious selections of cold cuts, pecorino and soups.

The “Ristoro” is the perfect place to stop for a quick lunch while touring the city and its bar features a superb selection of Florentine bar food such as pappa al pomodoro, ribollita, ravioli, and salads, not to mention a wide assortment of pecorino cheeses from across Tuscany.

 

From Signoria walk trough the Ponte Vecchio, turn right and walk for 140 meters, on your right you’ll see a small window with a red sign.

Borgo San Jacopo 48r. Tel.: 055 26 45 569

Eat like locals in Pienza

Osteria Sette di Vino – Pienza

Pienza has its share of lovely restaurants but whenever we are there, whether it is for business or pleasure, we make stop off at Sette di Vino which offers superb casual dining in a relaxed and traditional environment.

Sette di Vino is a tiny Trattoria and winery just off the main Piazza, and has a lovely outside dining area which is a perfect al-fresco dining option, and great for ‘people watching’. Luciano is on hand to recite the menu and help with dining suggestions and wine pairing whilst you take in your quaint surroundings.

Sette di Vino is not your typical Italian restaurant: there’s no pasta, pizza or steaks on the menu – instead there is a wonderful selection of crostini, soups, salads, sausages, cold cuts as well as local and seasonal cheeses – this makes a trip to Osteria Sette di Vino a truly unique experience and that’s why we keep going back.

We highly recommend to book as the locals go here and often you arrive and find all the tables with the “Riservato” (booked) tag on.

Piazza di Spagna 1 – Pienza (SI) Tel.: 0578 74 90 92

Closed on Wednesdays.

Great food in a tiny hamlet

Luca & Simona

Osteria Spirito di…Vino

Fonte Vetriana – Sarteano

Spirito di…Vino is a family owned Osteria located in a small hamlet 10 minutes away from Sarteano.

This old stable has been restored with great attention to detail to create a cozy and warm Tuscan atmosphere. Chef Simona prepares delicious dishes using local and seasonal products.

Our favorite appetizers include the Tagliere with pecorino and cold cuts and the Crostoni, toasted bread with pecorino cheese, tomatoes and lardo and our favourite main course is the Chianina Tagliata with lardo and pecorino seasoned in grotto.

If you’re visiting during the summer season, the delicious gnocchi with burrata and pachino tomatoes is a must try, whilst Simona’s tasty onion and pecorino soups are great warmers during the cooler early spring and autumnal months.

Chef Simona is the ‘Queen of desserts’ so make sure you save some room to try her famous Tiramisù with vin santo or perhaps her chocolate cake with orange and mascarpone. Whichever delicious dessert you chose, we’re sure it will leave you wanting more.  Your host Luca will guide you through the menu and will be delighted to suggest the best wine for the dish you choose.

The Osteria also has an amazing selection of dessert wines. If you opt for a chocolate dessert, try the “Recioto” wine…You will be blown away!

Via San Giuliano – Casa Bebi, 7 – Loc. Fonte Vetriana – Sarteano (SI)  Tel.: 0578 238005 Closed: Tuesdays
Seats up to 30 guests

Food and wine in Montalcino

Osteria Osticcio – Montalcino  

Just off the Piazza del Popolo is Osteria Osticcio, a lovely family run restaurant, which is a must stop for those who appreciate great food and wine.

The owner Tullio is very passionate about his restaurant and wine shop, and is always happy to host impromptu wine tastings, sharing his expertise and his love for Tuscan cuisine.

 

Whilst at Osteria Osticco take the time to savour a plate of salami and pecorino cheese whist enjoying amazing views of  val D’orcia framed magnificently through the restaurant’s large windows. We’ve tried many things on the menu, and can thoroughly recommend the chicken liver patè canapés, fried vegetables from the owner’s garden, spaghetti with anchovies, olives and cappers, sienese cinta pork salami and prosciutto with donzellette (fried bread) and chocolate fondue with fresh fruits for dessert.

Plus the meal isn’t complete unless you try one of their specialty coffees which are served in a mocha cup with freshly whipped cream and hand-made chocolates.   Osteria Osticcio is ideal for people wanting to spend time enjoying freshly prepared Tuscan foods.

When visiting the restaurant, ask if you can have one of the tables next to the large windows so that you can properly appreciate the stunning scenery. Additionally, if you are looking for a dining experience with a difference, then why not arrange for a private wine and olive oil tasting at your table.

The downstairs dining area can accommodate groups of up to 20 people.

The Osteria is closed on Thursdays all day from November 1st to March 31st and is open on Thursdays for lunch only from April 1st to October 31st.

Via Giacomo Matteotti, 23 – Montalcino (Siena) Tel.: 0577 848271