Group Dining in Florence Italy

Oct 13th, 2014, 09:23 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 2
Group Dining in Florence Italy

Hi Looking for a good restaurant to take our son, currently studying abroad in Florence, and his roomies to dinner when we visit in November 2014. We are staying at the Plaza Hotel Luchessi and he lives on Via Pilastri. Not too pricey but not a dive either. Fun casual atmosphere. We will probably have 8-10 people total.

Thanks for any recommendations.

lisatwolf is offline  
Oct 13th, 2014, 10:44 AM
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Have you asked YOUR SON?
Dukey1 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2014, 11:08 AM
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Please do not be a rowdy group ruining the evening for everyone sitting near you. Florence is a real hazard zone for this type of behaviour.

Bitter, moi?
tarquin is offline  
Oct 13th, 2014, 01:57 PM
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I seem to remember someone here posting an account of a great meal they had with a student son/daughter at the cafe of the Rinascente department store in Florence.

they open til 9pm every night so far as i can see.

tarquin- this is a parent or parents entertaining one adult child, not a group of potentially rowdy youngsters.
annhig is offline  
Oct 13th, 2014, 06:37 PM
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No, this is a parent who says they are going to be hosting their son and his roommates, party of 8-10.

We have not been to Florence in many years, hope someone here has some ideas for you.
socaltraveler is offline  
Oct 13th, 2014, 08:30 PM
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I've received some nice help from this forum when planning a trip earlier this year but it seems like for every post a person makes there will be a bunch of snarky pointless replies solely to belittle the poster/their relatives/travel companions, etc.

We had dinner last month at Enoteca Boccadama and the food, chianti and service were all outstanding. It's in front of the Santa Croce, which glows beautifully at night. I ordered a lasagna and my friend ordered a ravioli and we both loved our meals. I can't remember what else we ate, but there were nothing but positives for our experience there, so I recommend trying that. Prices were decent too for such good quality food.
LR220 is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 02:33 AM
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I considered my comment to be more of a gentle reminder than outright snarkiness.

Florence is a hotspot for groups of young persons, invariably American, who feel no reticence about loud talking, coke-swilling, boisterous behaviour which ruins the evening for anyone sitting near them.

And then there was the evening at an expensive restaurant in Rome where our neighbouring diners read aloud from Rick Steve and argued about money, I assume believing that no one could understand them. The waiter was apologetic but could not move us. Perhaps I am extra sensitive because I too am American.
tarquin is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 04:47 AM
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Consider Cammillo, a trattoria on the Oltrarno that has been around since the Sixties, probably longer. Excellent food, great waiters, good atmosphere.

I understand what the other responders are talking about, though-- once at the Odeon Cinema, I saw a group of students put their dirty bare feet up on the lemon velvet seatbacks. I still regret not going over and giving them what-for.
colonna is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 05:37 AM
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tarquin- you clearly haven't met any groups of italian or french students/pupils on your travels.

I'm not suggesting that british ones are any better either.

but I'm not prepared to assume that the OP's offspring and his mates are rowdy and temper my advice accordingly.
annhig is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 08:34 AM
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The assumption itself is pointless so the comments following it are pointless. But at Venice a middle-aged British woman put her feet on her husbands lap at the restaurant (probably thought it was fine as we were all seated on the patio) and a young couple in their 30s felt the need to feed the pigeons at a restaurant the next morning. So there is no need to remind the OP about dining etiquette because of her dining companions ages.
LR220 is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 06:42 PM
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I would gladly trade an entire college class for some of the asinine middle-aged (charitably speaking) couples who have been seated in Italian restaurants near me, loud-mouthing. I agree that too many of the comments made on Fodor's about younger people are just -- yes -- bitter.

I have eaten at the Rinascente department store and the food is terrible. I also think the 9pm close puts it in the kiddie corner or the seniors corner. Dinner starts at 8.30 for most of us in Italy.

How long will the students have been studying in Florence before you arrive? Are they all foreign students or will some be Italians? If they are all foreign, they might be amused with the idea of eating something other than Tuscan food (Chinese? Mexican?) If your son thinks everybody would like Italian, he probably knows a place that treats students well -- and if he comes up empty, I suggest Del Fagioli, which is not too far from his place. November means you will probably need to eat indoors and this place is cozy but can handle 10 with a reservation. Has homemade desserts, marvelous potato-stuffed ravioli, hearty beef dishes and new olive oil in November.
sandralist is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 09:23 PM
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Hi Lisa
I recommend "Enoteca Pinchiorri" (you can find a description on the Michelin restaurant guide)
amazing authentic Florentine/Italian cuisine
kind regards
PaolaCanale is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 11:11 PM
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My favorite is Zibbibo. Best cacio e pepe!

Olio e Convivium is also very good. Ask for a table by the kitchen
cafegoddess is online now  
Oct 15th, 2014, 04:32 AM
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Wow. First, thank you posters who kindly suggested some options. I have never posted on this site before and felt like I was being taken to task for something. Dukey1, I HAVE asked my son and he has checked into some places. Just thought other travelers might also have some ideas and he is there in school not with a lot of money or time to dine out often. Tarquin, please don't assume the worst about people you do not know. I can assure you that not all 20 something's are "rowdy" with the intention of ruining a dining experience for other customers. Actually, if you met this group you would be impressed by their manners and might enjoy the conversation. In fact my son is acutely aware of the behavior of SOME American students in Florence and he has found many of the Italian people to be somewhat unwelcoming because, as always, the few have ruined it for the many who are there to experience the Italian way of life while they are living in Florence. Unfortunate for him.

lisatwolf is offline  
Oct 15th, 2014, 05:58 AM
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Lisa, it sounds as if your son has had some of the same experiences I have had.

I think Paoli on via dei Tavolini is a good place serving traditional Florentine food and large enough to make a big table for your group.
tarquin is offline  
Oct 15th, 2014, 06:26 AM
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Our son was did his semester abroad in Florence three years ago and we had many fabulous memorable meals with his friends. My recs are all in the Oltrano (the 'left bank' of the river, because my son lived there and we prefered to be away from the tourist madness.

All of these are easy walking distance from the center area, except Pandemonio:

Splurge - Trattoria Quattro Leone (sit outside, our best meal in Florence); Pandomonio (this is more of a trek, but worth it for home cooking - sit in the garden room, meet Mama)

More neighborhoody - Trattoria Il Carmine - serious local food, great for groups on the patio, just noticed on tripadvisor that people have complained about the waiters being rude - we found the opposite, lots of laughter and fun with our server

Casual - Gusta Pizza (exceptional, very reasonable, arguably the best pizza in Florence) All the kids know about Gusta, so it might not be as special for them, but we had an excellent dinner with our son and his friends.

For dessert, stroll over to Gelateria la Carraia
crosscheck is offline  
Oct 15th, 2014, 07:20 AM
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please don't let some of the resident curmudgeons put you off fodors. you will get some wonderful advice here, as well as some that you could well do without, this thread being a prime example.

The art is not to take it personally and to reply graciously, just as you have done.

please come back and tell us how the evening went - even if it was a disaster we'd really like the know.
annhig is offline  
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