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Florence Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations


mogsob
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Sostanza, as noted above is a superb steak house known for its bisteca fiorentina. This is the oldest operating restaurant in Florence located on a narrow street just behind the Excelsior. There are only 10 or 12 tables and everyone is cramped together in the small room. Americans tend to be seated with other Americans for what is a very real adventure in dining unlike anything in the States. In back is a closet size kitchen with a grill and butcher's block where steaks are cut fresh. Three inch thick steaks are pounded and then grilled over grates (wood?) for ten or more minutes. Sides include two kinds of beans and spinach with olive oil. The best dessert is a "meringue cake" which is off the menu but extraordinarily fattening and good.

The steaks ARE comparable to Luger's, they are legitimately THAT good. Also, even with the dollar so weak to the Euro, a relative bargain. Wine is limited but very fairly priced. Although most steaks are listed as individual cuts, as noted above, they will grill especially thick 3" + steaks on request. A very REAL find that you MUST reserve for, at least a week in advance even for a weeknight.

I also like Il Pizzaiola also mentioned above.

Still, with visits to about 25 to 30 restaurants over the years in Florence, Sostanza is the one that I would and have returned to every time. Along with Venice's Alle Testiere, for the money and for the style, experiences and excellence that is unique to Italy and cannot be found on this side of the Atlantic.

Edited by Joe H (log)
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  • 4 weeks later...

just got back from tuscany and had some wonderful meals, as alwyas, in florence. of note (and to reiterate):

quattro leoni:

my sister frequented this trattoria when living in florence about 2 years ago. apprently, back then, it was a favorite among locals and food people in the know. when we went last week, the walls were plastered with famous diners who had been there so i'm guessing its been a bit mainstreamed by now...that said, its bar none my favorite place to eat in florence 3 years standing. they're righfully famous for their fiocchetti di pere con salsa di taleggio e asparagi (little pasta purses stuffed with taleggio and pears topped with aspargus spears and a light cream sauce) which to me borders on dessert in its decadence. their peposo, beef stewed in chianti with tons of black peppercorns, is fall apart delicious in its simplicity and the peppercorns have acheived quite the perfect texture from the hours of cooking. i've had their cinghiale con la polenta serveral times and still think its the best i've ever had in tuscany. the most shockingly wonderful dish, on our last visit, was the grilled chicken. our waiter told us it was butterflied thigh marinated for an hour and then grilled a bit. i tend not to order chicken (and this actually wasn't my dish) but have to highly recommend this dish. amazing. last thing i have to push is a hot antipasto: baked artichokes with bresola and, i think, tallegio. i hate using this word in reference to food but i must here: it was simply sublime. ambience is great: tucked back in the altroarno on a little piazza with big wood beams, brick interior. my dad kept calling it 'funky', which i'm not sure is the totally accurate term but it is cozy and homey for sure.

pane e vino

this restaurant is mentioned in several guide books and recent reviews have been quite good, for good reason. although i tend to like florence's more casual places (trattoria style, boccadama, etc) and this one's a tad fancier with white table clothes and funky modern place settings (or at lest the plates), i really enjoyed our dinner here, especially the primi and antipasti. two people at our table got an incedibly decadent ravioli primi stuffed with leeks and breasola in what could be the perfect cream sauce with dots of pured sundried tomatoes (which they seem to really like here). i went what could be deemed the non-traditional route and started with an arugala salad with strips of sundried tomatos and chunks of burrata dressed perfectly with olio nuovo, which i think may be the way to do a salad. my secondo was rabbit stuffed with the ubiquitous porchetta and a fennel gratin. i tend to stear away from rabbit but loved this dish. very rich, very wonderful. the vegetarian entree, a mozeralla/eggplant terrine type thing, was also excellent. if you're looking for something a bit more upscale but not pretentious, pane e vino's quite a good option.

pugi

this isn't a restaurtant or trattoria or even a sit down place. just a forno/pizzeria place on piazza san marco (they have another spot now nearby, smaller with less hours). i'm obsessed with anything this place makes. go and get whatever comes out of the oven while you're there. salty wonderful foccia like crust. i seriously go straight from the aiport to pugi when i can.

last little bit of advice: anytime a pasta is stuffed with taleggio, get it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello!

I will be visiting Florence for the first time in a few weeks. My main purpose for this trip is to visit Apicius Cooking School and see what it's like and learn more about their programs. I will have one and 1/2 days free to wander around the city. I will be traveling alone (I am female - I've been to Rome before and didn't find it intimidating but I travelled with my best friend).

So far I've learned that Florence is pretty much like any European city, relatively safe for women. And that I should try the Florentine steak as well. I am planning on checking out the main market in the early morning.

I would greatly appreciate any hints/tips/advice the eG community could give me in the following areas:

1. Does anyone know of the Apicius Cooking School?

-If so, what are your opinions on it? I am looking at the Food Communications program. My main worry is that since the school's not accredited my degree will not hold as much value. (I want do work in the food industry and thought this would be a good stepping stone)

-Anyone with personal experience, I would love to hear your story!

2.What quality cheap eats suggestions would you have around the city? I'm not looking for a glamour spot - give me a hole in the wall with great food at a reasonable price and I'm happy. Food above decor! :biggrin:

3.What should I eat/buy foodwise? What are the food experiences I MUST have while I'm there? (I can't hold my liqour to save my life so wine's not high on my list! :laugh:)

4. What is the ONE thing I must do while I'm there?

I apologize for the long post!

Thank you in advance for your help!

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Hello!

I will be visiting Florence for the first time in a few weeks.  My main purpose for this trip is to visit Apicius Cooking School and see what it's like and learn more about their programs.  I will have one and 1/2 days free to wander around the city.  I will be traveling alone (I am female - I've been to Rome before and didn't find it intimidating but I travelled with my best friend).

.....

Hi!

I can't help you with the school, but maybe Divina, our resident Fiorentina :smile:, can help.

Regarding eating spots, what to buy and so on, have a look at the past threads in the forum. Just to give you a few pointers: there's the pinned Florence and Siena restaurants thread, How to really visit FIrenze written by our own Pan, a thread about Firenze as meat eaters paradise and more.

One thing I would not miss is Mercato centrale and the lampredotto sandwich sold there, at least if you like offal.

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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Lampredotto is the fourth stomach (the acid or true stomach), I love it.

For an actual hole in the wall place I would not miss I Fratellini (2 blocks from Piazza della Signoria, off Via Calzaiuoli, Near the Duomo), which is a fiaschiteria that sells wonderful panini and wine from a doorway. You stand in the street taking in the vibe, drinking cheap wine and munching excellent panini. Porchetta is good, as is the truffled pecorino with rocket and the wild boar salami. A few Euros of pure joy.

Apart from the cental market, don't miss mercato Sant' Ambrogio (Near St. Croce), there is a small restuarant/dinner inside that does cheap and cheerful meals (Farro salad is good).

The piazza at S. Spirito offers some good cheap options (has not been as good in recent years).

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Ciao!

I am flying back to Florence tomorrow..

I haven't heard really good things about Apicius.. but it is sort of the only game in town.. for someone that wants to come and study for any period of time.

Do you already have any culinary experience?

There are real chefs teaching in the school... but it is still new..

I have lived in Flroence for 20 years ( came as a single woman travelling alone.. it is very safe)

there is a dining guide on my site..and I would be glad to meet with you and see if I can help!

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Really? What things have you heard about Apicius? Please, do tell! I need all the help I can get.

No, I don't have former culinary training. I grew up in my parents' Chinese restaurant.

I was looking at their food marketing program in particular, not their culinary program because I do not want to be a chef per se but I want to do something related to food. My background is in marketing.

I would appreciate meeting up with you! Perhaps we can PM and discuss?

Thank you, divina!!!!

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I quess I don't know why someone would come to Florence to study marketing.. when America is the home of marketing!

I do understand using school as an excuse to live in Florence though!

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America is the home of marketing but the school offers a program in food marketing. They teach you food styling, food photography and gear the program to the food industry. I thought with my background that this program would be a good stepping stone.

America may be the home of marketing but Italy is the home to great fashion and gelato!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I lived in Florence for 4 months with a guy from Florence, and needless to say I learned alot about the Florentine restaurants. Above all, the best place we went was called Perseus. There are actually two of them one in Fiesole, and one just outside of the city center. Either one will be easy to get to if you just hop in a taxi and say Perseus. There were no tourists at this restaurant, and it is possible to sit inside or outside. There is usually a pretty long wait, but trust me it's worth it. They have a good wine list, and some very fresh simple pastas (I had Linguini with fresh squash flowers). But the specialty is fiorentina bisitecca. Florentine steak, and this plays know how to do it better than any other. It is tender, and moist, and perfectly seasoned. If you don't want steak they have an assortment of other varoius types of meats. Don't go here if you are a vegetarian though. If you are looking to get off the tourist path and eat authentic food from Firenze this is the place.

Edited by Fiona (log)
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Hi Gastro,

You’ll most likely have a great time in Florence, especially since it sounds like you’re willing to explore off the beaten path. I attended Apicius, though, and would definitely not recommend it, particularly if you're hoping to apply your experience there to a professional slot in the industry. Their marketing is impressive and savvy, but if your experience is anything like mine was (and several of the other people in my classes), you’ll be shocked at the difference between what is advertised, and what you actually encounter. Just be careful not to let your natural excitement about being in Italy color your decision about whether you attend Apicius. I had been gently warned about this by a lackluster review from one of the school’s former students, and really wish now that I’d listened. If you'd like to discuss further via email, feel free to let me know.

Now to the more pleasant part: visiting Florence. This is a blanket statement, but in general, I’d stick more to Oltrarno (on the south side of the Arno) than the more tourist-packed parts of the city. If you want an authentic, Florentine “neighborhood-y” experience, try lunch or dinner at Trattoria Casa Linga, just right around the corner from Piazza Santo Spirito. If you’ve ever eaten at “meat ’n’ three’s” in the southern U.S., the experience is similar; it’s basic food, but tasty, and a lot of fun eating with no one but locals.

Florence isn’t known for its pizza (Naples is), but you’ll find great pizza at Mangiatoia, on Via Romana, just one block past Pitti Palace. They have a restaurant upstairs, but it’s more fun to eat at the little semi-circular bar in front of a wood-burning oven when you first enter. You can get a delicious margarita pizza and a quarter-liter of their sparking house white (fairly good, actually, for house wine) for about 8 euros. Mangiatoia offers very friendly service, was usually filled with locals, and definitely became a favorite haunt. Dante, a block south of Ponte alla Carraia, can be fairly touristy, but has good food, as well. On that same block, try Marino’s, a very friendly, wonderful little pastry shop. On the corner of that same street is a gelato shop that’s out of this world. And if you want to try a very authentic tripperia, definitely have dinner or lunch at Il Magazzino, right on Piazza della Passera. All of these restaurants are in Oltrarno. This is another blanket generalization, but by and large, you’ll basically do well to avoid places with menus in both Italian and English out front; the menus in English more often than not seemed to directly correspond to the quality (and authenticity) of the restaurant’s food.

Another good option that’s definitely fun is Teatro del Salle, which is located on Via de Macci, not far from Santa Croce. The food is amazing, and the experience is definitely memorable; the kitchen has enormous windows that open out to the dining area so you can watch chefs at work, and fresh dishes of roasted meat, fresh cheeses, fresh pasta, beans and marinated vegetables, salads, etc., are constantly brought out to the table, with a giant bellow announcing which dishes are ready that comes from their exec chef in the kitchen door. There’s a $10 membership fee (for one year), but it’s most definitely worth it; you’ll basically be paying 14 euros for lunch that includes as much food as you’d like, as much wine as you’d like, plus coffee and dessert -- with nary a tourist in sight. I’d be hard-pressed to think of a place where you’d get that level of food quality and ambiance for that amount. If you do visit, introduce yourself to Deborah, a very gracious Irish-American woman who serves as a sort of hostess/maitre d’. She has all sorts of information on Florence and the culinary scene. And Teatro del Salle is just about one block from the San Ambrogio market, a fantastic, enormous indoor-outdoor market that’s quite an experience. Makes for a great afternoon.

In response to your question about the one thing you’d need to do in town, it’s hard to narrow it down that much, because I’m not sure what your specific interests are. If I could only list three, though, I’d suggest: Santa Croce, Pitti Palace, and a tiny coffee house called Café degli Artigiani, right at Piazza della Passera. Its owners, Cinzia and Marco, are so welcoming and fun, and if their young son is there, he even helps you with your Italian. If you go in warmer weather, you’ll wind up wiling away hours on their small patio, just people-watching, sipping fantastic coffee drinks, listening to accordianists who stroll by, and watching small kids play in the piazza. It’s great fun, and a wonderful memory.

It’s also easy to walk to the train station in Florence and take inexpensive day trips to fun towns like Lucca (you can rent bikes and bike around the city wall that surrounds the city), Siena, Bologna, Parma, and most definitely Cinque Terre, if you have time. I’ve never seen anything more lovely and interesting than this string of five inlets, each one very different from the others.

Florence is definitely a fun city to visit, but I'd carefully consider all options before making a final decision about your choice for school. There are so many great programs out there.

Hope this info helps somewhat--buona fortuna!

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  • 3 months later...

I've been to Florence three times now, each time on the budget of an academic, so I've had to eat cheaply, especially the times I packed along my family. One of the stands in the Mercato market has been mentioned, but there is another one, called (of all things) Porks. I believe it is in the north east corner of the main floor. Very cheap and fresh pastas. If you cross to the south of the Arno and walk west until you pass through the big gates you'll hit the Trattoria Sabatino. Run by a family that makes its own olive oil and wine, it is bright, loud, cheerful, and cheap. I've also had good luck ordering pizza in Florence. We stayed at the Hotel Perseo, just down the street from the duomo, and the staff there happily placed pizza orders for us from a place around the corner. Good stuff.

But you know, the best meals I've have in Italy weren't in Florence, Rome, or Sienna, but in Bergamo. Twice I've stayed in the Hotel Piemontese right across from the train station. Attached to that hotel is a restaurant that is a great deal of fun and very generous with the food. Whenever I think of the perfect pizza, I think of the meal I had there. I'd go there tonight if I could.

Ciao.

Paul B

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  • 1 month later...

Osteria Le Logge

Via del Porrione 33 (just off the Campo)

Siena

Agree totally with the other review here. Superb restaurant, friendly staff, and excellent location.

We had a late lunch and sat outside. To my shame, I can't remember exactly what we ate, but I do remember it was one of the best meals of all our travels around the Orcia Valley. The sommelier was particularly helpful - I asked for a Malvasia from the Veneto, which was on their list but hadn't arrived yet (this was a strange phenomenon I encountered in a number of restaurants on our way round ...) so we had an interesting discussion about this particular wine and eventually took an excellent Sauvignon Blanc.

Will try and find the bill, but from memory it was a reasonable 35 euro a head for 2 courses, wine and water.

Sarah

Sarah

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Osteria di Giovanni via del moro 18

Website

Giovanni Latini of I Latini, left I latini years ago and opend a hotel and restaurant near Certaldo.

1 1/2 years ago he and his family, took over the old Osteria No 1 on via del moro.

Here the guest is king! and you will eat like one.

Traditional Tuscan food at it's best!

They also participate in the Buon Ricordo Plate's and the dish there is a :Lobster Tortelloni (5 of them) with half a lobster..!

reservations a must as this is also popular with Florentines, and much more realxing than eating at I latini which is great for a one time experience., but too Fellini like for locals.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tuscany in early December....

Lucca

I had reserved (online, in Italian using a translation from babelfish.altavista.com) and was looking forward to a 9:30 dinner at Buca di Sant'Antonio. But then we got lost driving from Pisa to Lucca and didn't manage to enter the city gates before 10:30. Buca was closed (I later wrote back to apologize) and the streets of Lucca were eerily empty in off-season. But warm light beckoned from Uffa Baruffa, the only restaurant that seemed to be open. While their kitchen was officially closed, the kind proprietress offered us whatever could be easily prepared and invited us to stay as long as we wanted. We warmed up with steaming bowls of zuppa di farro and a bottle of 2003 Badiola Colline Lucchesi. Then we were brought 2 enormous plates laden with salumi, lardo, parmesan, taleggio and several types of pecorino. We shared a very good tiramisu and the bill came to 55 euros, including cover. This wasn't a life altering meal, but we felt incredibly lucky that the evening had turned out to be so enjoyable.

Uffa Baruffa

Corte Campana, 3

Lucca

Tel: 0583 312037

San Gimignano

After a beautiful drive from Lucca, we arrived in San Gimignano and found empty streets and a quiet, sunny morning. Lunch was thoroughly enjoyed at the Osteria del Carcere, following recommendations from Divina Cucina and Slow Food. We started with crostini topped with porcini and cream. To follow, an enormous and filling bowl of riboletta was enough for me, while my husband tackled a plate-sized herb encrusted pork loin (arrista aretina). We drank

Paretaio (sangiovese) Falchini by the glass and each had coffee, with the bill coming to 42 euros.

Osteria del Carcere

Via del Castello, 13

San Gimignano

Tel: 0577 941905

Siena

After seeing empty streets in Lucca and San Gimignano, I didn't bother to reserve for dinner at Hosteria Il Carroccio in Siena. Had I done so, I would have figured out they were closed for renovations. D'oh! Right next door, however, was something calling itself an enoteca (wine bar) and serving what looked to be really good food. So we took a chance at Enoteca Cantina in Piazza and were delighted. The waitress explained that they were "sort of in between an enoteca and osteria right now." Which meant that the pici with duck sauce came with a plastic fork, but was incredible. Especially when paired with the server's recommended wine (a 2003 Viticcio Chianti) which, in her words, "cuts right through the fat." A pici with cabbage, carrots and saffron sauce was less exciting, but the 2000 Fattoi Brunello di Montancino made up for it. Contorni came seperately after the meal, a bright green arugula salad and braised cardoons. Desserts were also paired - sienese almond cookies with vin santo and an apple tart with a white from the Friuli region (my notetaking ability diminished with each glass). This all came to around 40 euros.

Enoteca Cantina in Piazza

Via Casato di Sotto, 24 (near the Campo)

Siena

Tel: 0577 222758

Florence

Saturday turned out to be value day, with two great meals in decidedly unstuffy environments. The well-touted Trattoria Mario next to the Mercado san Lorenzo (Centrale) lived up to its reputation, and I loved the elbows-on-table vibe of the place. We continued the soup habit with a zuppa di ceci (chick peas), and a tuscan bean stew. We were so full after the soup that we risked asking to share a second course (as a former waitress I still find it hard to do this). Our server didn't seem to mind at all, and brought us an extra plate for the osso bucco and kale. With a half liter of wine, our bill came to 23 euros and left us some money to buy pecorino and new olive oil next door at the market. Sigh...

Trattoria Mario

Via Rosina, 2/r

Florence

Tel: 055-218550

Saturday night we went to Cibreo's Teatro del Sale for the communal meal and music performance. I wanted to try this after eating last year at their Cafe and in hopes of breaking out of the restaurant routine. Other threads in this forum describe the experience in detail, but let me just say a little about reserving: Weeks in advance, I wrote to them (again in bad Italian) and asked if it was possible to reserve. A woman said that she would take my name but that I would need to call again on the morning of the reservation in order to confirm. I did this (at 10 am) and was initially told that they don't take email reservations and that they were booked with a waiting list...until I heard someone in the background say my name, grab the phone, and tell me everything was fine. This was Annalisa Passigli, the external relations director for the Teatro. She forgave my pathetic Italian and spoke brilliant English, and I'd recommend that anybody who fumbles with the language just ask for her. On her instruction, we arrived at 7:00 to read and agree to the club rules and pay our membership fee (5 euros each for out-of-towners). Then we paid 24 euros a piece for the meal and entertainment, bringing the total to 58 euros. For this, we had unlimited wine, food, coffee, and a performance that lasted an hour and a half. There are no menus here, rather a communal table onto which heaping portions are dropped after being announced through the window of the visible kitchen. The names went by so quickly that I'm not entirely sure what we ate. The first trip to the table yielded corkscrew pasta with a meat ragu. Then we had what looked like a boiled shin (of a cow?), with various contorni (crispy fried potatoes, chick peas, black eyed peas, spinach). Then back for tripe in tomato sauce, some spit-roasted chicken, and a very thin and delicious vegetable gratin. Wine poured from big wooden boxes and bottled water wash it all down. Dessert offerings included fresh whipped cream and pastry straws with tiny diamonds of rich chocolate cake. Baskets of clementines were also on offer. After coffee, the tables were whisked away and we enjoyed a piano forte/clarinet performance that moved between ragtime and Benny Goodman. The crowd is very mixed. We sat at a table with tattooed young italians for dinner and were surrounded by an older and very bobo crowd during the performance. There surely were other foreigners there, but I didn't detect them. We staggered out around 11, very full, a little baffled, and overall pleased that we had gone. In contrast to their related eateries, the food at Teatro is not showy. They seem to be going for very good, basic ingredients, stretched to feed a crowd for a price that's affordable.

Teatro del Sale

Via dei Macci, 111/r

Florence

Tel: 055 200 14 92

Annalisa Passigli (External Relations/English) 355/1365323

Can't leave town without a dud, and we found it Sunday for lunch. We tried Osteria dei Pazzi near Santa Croce and were pretty disappointed. My pistachio pasta had no flavor other than butter and cream. While the grilled polenta was quite good, the wild boar sauce was chewy and mediocre, reflecting its roots in the freezer. My husband seized the opportunity for a florentine steak and was underwhelmed. It was also a bit over-priced, at around 60 euros for lunch, given the quality and the atmosphere. On the plus side, it was fun to see the place fill up with the boisterous after-church set.

Osteria dei Pazzi

Via dei Lavatoi, 1/3R on the corner of Via Verdi

Florence

Tel: 055 234 4880

Meg Zimbeck, Paris by Mouth

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Florence: Ristorante Ciro & Sons Via del Giglio 28r in www.ciroandsons.com

What a beautiful place, some kind of modern and old, with candles and it's not too expensive.

San Gemignano: Osteria Chiribiri, don't know the address, because a local pointed us the place to eat a 4 pm, the only place that was open. Great recomendation.

Greve in Chianti: It's a small town between Florence and Siena, it's very beautiful, and I ate at dinner in a Osteria I don't remember the name but it's in the piazza. And If it'happens that you're near saturday morning you should go to the street market.

The best Pappardelle al cinghiale (pasta with wild boar) and Bistecca alla Fiorentina, that was wow!

And a best place to stay in Tuscany to see éverything and rest it's Villa Branca, the villa from the Branca family (from Fernet Branca), a place to dream that you live there and never to return to the city.

www.villabranca.it

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  • 2 weeks later...

A trip to Disneyland-on-the-Arno is a real trial. Pushing your way through mobs of American undergraduates and tour groups all heading for the Tuscan Country Bear Jamboree is an exercise in practicing patience and love for one's fellow man, and I'm not really up to the task.

Still, at least I ate well there, which helped recharge the ol' fellow-man-love batteries (wait. Let me rephrase that...) We had an okay dinner at Sostanza (a good fiorentina, but I've had better in Rome). We had a better dinner at Da Ruggero, on the southern edge of town, past the Porta Romana. I had a first-rate ribollita and a very good bollito misto (brisket and tongue, if I remember right), but the real standout was the carciofini: marble-sized artichoke hearts marinated in oil. They were almost heartbreakingly good, and may have spoiled me for all other artichokes forever.

Also, some very good granita: Sorrento lemon at Grom, and a truly exceptional peach at Carabe.

But hands down the best thing to eat in Florence is the boiled beef sandwich at Nerbone in the Central Market. They open at 7 AM, so you can go for breakfast and lunch. Here's the counter:

gallery_7432_1362_101708.jpg

They advertise themselves as having been in business since 1873, which is plenty of time to perfect their craft. The sandwich is based on a big ol' chunk of beef (brisket, I think), which is cooked in a broth until it gets nice and tender; same deal as a bollito, just in sandwich form. Here's the meat:

gallery_7432_1362_509028.jpg

Nice and fatty, as you can see. They take it out of the broth, slice off a chunk or two, then ask you if you want your roll dunked in the broth. (Need it be said that the correct answer is "yes"?) The beef goes on the roll, is sprinkled with a little salt, slathered with a little green bollito sauce and (if you like, and trust me, you do like) some red pepper sauce. Here's a closeup of the sandwich:

gallery_7432_1362_441946.jpg

That shot is a more than a little pornographic, I know; and I apologize to eGulleteers with more delicate temperaments. But then, this is not a sandwich for the delicate. It's juicy and meaty and a little spicy; really wonderful. It's a top-10 sandwich for sure. Probably a top-5, up there with a muffaletta from the Central Grocery in NOLA or the roast pork Italiano at Tony Luke's in Philadelphia. As impressive a work of art as anything else in Florence.

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