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Birthday dinner in Florence

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Mar 20th, 2014, 09:41 PM
  #1
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Birthday dinner in Florence

DH and I often travel in the fall so I have enjoyed many wonderful birthday dinners or lunches away from home. DH doesn't usually like a fuss for his birthday but we will be spending his in Florence this spring. I am looking for a lunch or dinner spot with good simple food (doesn't care for fussy or fancy food or dressing up either), a comfortable room and maybe a view. Our hotel is near the train station and seems very central so walking distance is also desirable. Also DH has never been to Italy and my only trip was more than 30 years ago. Thank you in advance for sharing suggestions with me.
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Mar 20th, 2014, 10:25 PM
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Could you be more specific about what you and your husband like to eat and what the budget is?

There tends to be a big difference in ambience in Florence eateries when it comes to lunch and dinner. Do you think you would prefer to relax over a long lunch or will you be eager to be back out on the streets sightseeing?

Almost every place in Florence with a view of any note has higher prices. In springtime it is tricky to count of good weather to be enjoying a view. Better to focus on the interior atmosphere and the menu. Would you prefer someplace intimate and quiet or convivial?
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Mar 21st, 2014, 03:04 AM
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Dinner at Angiolino's on via Santo Spirito is a tradition with us. It's atmospheric and the bistecca fiorentina is very good.

www.trattoriaangiolino.it
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Mar 21st, 2014, 03:51 AM
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I think he wants to eat what Tarquinius suggested. Bistecca Fiorentina can be the best steak in the world. You can eat it in a trattoria (and why not the one recommended by Tarquin?) or there is a place I have not been, I think a lunch place near the market, that is a cavernous hall filled with tourists, businessmen, and market workers eating great steak. Does that ring a bell with anyone?

Personally, I would be inclined to try it both kinds of places!
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Mar 21st, 2014, 05:54 AM
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There are really no views near the train station, and even top restaurants may have less than confortable spaces. Three advices: Belcore, near the station, the area around is not nice but the restaurant is, the food is fancy but still affordable. Osteria di Giovanni, still within walking area from the station, good food and atmospheric, more expensive. Toscanella, near palazzo Pitti, so about 15-20 minutes walking from the station area, recently got an interesting renovation job, good quality/price ratio (but cheaper at lunch than at dinner time).
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Mar 21st, 2014, 06:26 AM
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We haven't eaten at either if these yet, will be doing so next week. Great comments about them, so we have made reservation at both. We don't usually make specific plans for meals while in Europe, preferring to walk about and see what grabs our fancy.

Cipolla Rossa and trattoria il Sostanza
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Mar 21st, 2014, 09:26 AM
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I know a great many men (and women) who have tried bistecca Fiorentini while in Tuscany and would never eat it again. Properly prepared it is served "bloody" and served in an enormous multi-kilo portion (it is often shared). Before you commit to a place on the basis that it serves bistecca you might want to look and see what else is on the menu and generally read reviews if the occasion is important.
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Mar 21st, 2014, 09:34 AM
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Here's a picture of one order of bistecca Fiorentina

http://tinyurl.com/p5q9ca5
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Mar 21st, 2014, 10:51 AM
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Looks delicious, though I would share.

Some people like it that way. I would share this portion, of course.

I am not a Texan, but in my experience, this would be considered " medium rare" in Texas and perhaps "au point" in Paris.

I am not a huge haunter of steak houses, but this would be sort of level 2 most places, with a red, warm center. A stage 1 steak would be "blue" with a cool, uncooked center. Stage 3 would have a pink center, and reputable restaurants will not cook them to brownish gray.

Maybe the OP's DH would not like a big slab o' meat like this, but he might like it a lot.
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Mar 21st, 2014, 11:06 AM
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if the OP and her DH can't stomach an full bistecca, the trattoria recommended by Tarquin also has on its menu filet of beef and lamb steaks, which might be more palatable, and also allow for sampling of some of their other specialities.
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Mar 21st, 2014, 11:55 AM
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I recommend Zibbibo. Very good and simple. Take bus number 14C or take a ten minute taxi ride. They have the best cacio e pepe!
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Mar 21st, 2014, 06:38 PM
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Two years ago I stayed in Florence for the first 2 weeks of May. Had lunch with a terrific view up on the roof --- yes, roof --- of a department store in/at the Piazza di/del Repubblica. I think everybody in town knows about it. My experience there was good.
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Mar 21st, 2014, 08:46 PM
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cafegoddess- you know that one is on my list! I could it pasta w cacio e pepe every single day!
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Mar 22nd, 2014, 05:05 AM
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One of the highlights of our trip to Florence was buying food and eating it right in the central market,http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction...e_Tuscany.html
The onsite food, ready to go was amazing, with a wealth of choice and sitting at a small side bar, like a local, we totally enjoyed both the food and atmosphere.
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Mar 22nd, 2014, 12:27 PM
  #15
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" . . .if the OP and her DH can't stomach an full bistecca"

I'm afraid this is true annhig. One look was enough so I appreciate the photo Sandralist. I did not know that was a popular dish or would have mentioned we rarely eat beef and stick primarily to fish and poultry. Of course we'll be having pasta in Italy.

As for price DH would normally keep the entre under $30 each but an exception is in order this time. I will be looking at the other suggestions and appreciate everyone sharing them.
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Mar 22nd, 2014, 03:08 PM
  #16
 
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Neither fish or poultry figure much into Tuscan cooking -- and they are more inclined to eat soup than eat pasta.

How about something special that doesn't feature a restaurant or a sit down meal? Do you like cocktails?

http://www.cntraveller.com/news/2013...rrace-florence

http://www.westinflorence.com/en/gallery/bar

https://www.walkaboutflorence.com/ar...afes-bars-view

or enjoy a wine bar since you are in the heart of wine country

http://www.venere.com/blog/florence-wine-bars/

or maybe book a private tour of just one beautiful place in Florence that might appeal to your husband. It is often difficult to really understand the importance of some historic sight or work of art in Florence with only a guidebook. If your husband has a special interest -- like law or medicine or engineering or mathematics or art or wine or music or gardening -- it is usually possible to find something in Florence that is all about that with a fascinating history. Here is a partial list. There are more

http://www.florence-museum.com/estimate1.php
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Mar 23rd, 2014, 06:21 AM
  #17
 
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http://www.channel4.com/programmes/v.../episode-guide
We watched this episode and it had a luxury place to eat in Fiesole, high above Florence. A birthday splurge perhaps??
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Mar 23rd, 2014, 07:37 PM
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Good simple food? We loved Desco and ate there twice.
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Mar 23rd, 2014, 07:39 PM
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^^ but no view. Just a cozy atmosphere.
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Mar 23rd, 2014, 07:39 PM
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^^ but no view. Just a cozy atmosphere.
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