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Suggestions needed for spectacular restaurant in Florence

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Dec 14th, 2012, 05:09 PM
  #1
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Suggestions needed for spectacular restaurant in Florence

Family will be in Florence for a big birthday, in late April, and are looking for suggestions for a great meal in a beautiful setting. E 800, all in, for two. Wine will not play a leading role.

Any recommendations from those who have actually eaten in the restaurants would be much appreciated.
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Dec 14th, 2012, 05:35 PM
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I don't think it is possible to spend that kind of money in Florence for dinner for two unless you spend the majority of it on wine.

It sounds like -- but correct me if I'm wrong -- that you are more interested in the setting than the cuisine. (If you are more interested in the cuisine, do you want a creative inventive menu or a traditional Fiorentini meal?)

Do you want a view of Florence from the hills or do you want to stay in the heart of town?
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Dec 14th, 2012, 10:59 PM
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We went to a wedding a few years ago at Villa San Michele in Fiesole. I have no idea what dinner for two there would cost (other than a lot), but if the weather in late April is warm enough to sit on the hotel's Loggia I can't imagine a more lovely setting.

The 3-Michelin-stars Enoteca Pinchiorri may be considered the 'best' restaurant in Florence and is probably the most expensive. I think you could get close to spending 800 euros on food there. Starters, pasti and main courses each run 80-100 euros, and there are seasonal tasting menus that run 250 euros per person. Even desserts are 25-50 euros. The wine list is a book... with page numbers but no prices. This kind of dining is not my thing, but I do know people who plan trips around Michelin restaurants and have eaten at this place more than once.

I think the restaurant in the Four Seasons has one Michelin star.

But it does depend on what your goal/priority is for this evening. And do read reviews carefully because not everyone thinks Michelin gets it right. And FWIW, I think the decor of the Enoteca Pinchiorri could be in a restaurant almost anywhere in the world. It does not say 'Florence' or even 'Italy' to me.
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Dec 15th, 2012, 02:11 AM
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The wine book at Enoteca Pinchiorri has prices (sample page)

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...dfe9&id=900125

It's possible if you order a la carte you can rack up a bill of 800e without wine making up the bulk of your tab, but you'd need to work at it. Most people opt for the tasting menus (6 courses 225e, 8 courses 275e last I checked) . I'm not sure why anyone would order a la carte at Enoteca Pinchiorri, given that the whole point would be to put oneself in the hands of the chef's inspiration that night. Moreover, one of biggest attractions of Enoteca Pinchiorri is its wine cellar. (hence the name).

Here's a report from somebody who dined in a party of 3 and spent 1300e with wine total.

http://arthurhungry.com/blog/2011/1/...inchiorri.html

I don't think many people other than Michelin followers consider Enoteca Pinchiorri the "best" restaurant in Florence, which isn't to say the food is bad but that "best" is such a meaningless category in a city like Florence, where so many people come looking for different kinds of dining experiences. It might be the EP is the best of the Michelin-starred choices (Il Palagio at the 4 Seasons and Ora d'Aria in Firenze each have a star to EP's 3). But none of those restaurants may have what you want as a birthday in Florence, Italy.
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Dec 15th, 2012, 03:46 AM
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Another vote for Villa San Michele
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Dec 15th, 2012, 09:53 AM
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Thanks, everyone, for their input.

Not my trip but my youngest sis and her husband.

This is their first trip to Italy and they are looking for spectacular food, a beautiful setting and a memorable evening. Doesn't have to be Michelin starred, they are not Michelin followers. And they don't have to spend E 800 but are willing to splurge.

I am guessing they would want to experience traditional Florentine food, rather than fusion/updated.

They are staying at the Four Seasons so I think a restaurant elsewhere would be in order.

Like the idea of Villa San Michele in Fiesole for them and I take it Enoteca Pinchiorri is in Florence itself?

Any other suggestions?
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Dec 15th, 2012, 10:54 AM
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I've not stayed at the Four Seasons but had sunday lunch there as my "splurge" on my last trip - they do a wonderful open kitchen full buffet sunday lunch with wine included for about €80 each. if they are there on a sunday they should definitely do this. [need to book]

that doesn't solve the special dinner problem of course, but it's something they should enjoy as part of their trip!
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Dec 15th, 2012, 01:07 PM
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Villa San Michele, sitting outside on the little uncovered terrace off the loggia overlooking Florence. Don't remember what we ate but the experience was memorable.
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Dec 15th, 2012, 01:11 PM
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Enoteca Pinchiorri was easily one of the most disappointing dining experiences I've ever had. Outdated food, pretentious service, and tacky decor. In response to the question - it is in Florence.
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Dec 15th, 2012, 01:40 PM
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We had a wonderful time, with lots of delicious, beautiful food and drink at Golden View Restaurant, which is right on the Arno (river) just a half-block upstream from the Ponte Vecchio on the Oltrarno side. It's very modern, has several rooms, with big windows looking onto the river, the back of the bridge, and the Uffizi on the opposite bank. They play jazz in the evening (I don't know if it is every evening) We were a little surprised that it was so good considering its location in the heart of the tourist area, and with the English name, but we really liked it. And the service was friendly and attentive, but not hovering. You should make a reservation in advance and specify the occasion and ask for a window table.
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Dec 15th, 2012, 04:57 PM
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I should add that the full name of the restaurant is Golden View Open Bar. It is on Via de Bardi. You can look at reviews, including mine, on TripAdvisor.
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Dec 16th, 2012, 12:20 AM
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Charnees - looks as if people either love or hate the Golden View. any idea why it provokes such widely differing views?
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Dec 16th, 2012, 04:15 AM
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For a more traditional Tuscan menu in a spectacular setting, reserve well in advance for the riverside terrace of Borgo San Jacopo

http://www.lungarnocollection.com/en...an-jacopo.html


They also might consider Alle Murate for its food and frescoed rooms:

http://www.allemurate.it/?lang=eng
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Dec 16th, 2012, 08:04 AM
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both of those look lovely, etp. I particularly like San Jacopo - they have some very reasonable fixed price menus for example, including New Year's Brunch at €75.

linda - rather than splurge such a lot on one meal, if i were your sis and hubby I'd spread myselves around a bit, taking advantage of offers like the ones above.

given they apparently don't like to drink much, they could eat pretty well for less than €200 at least once a day!
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Dec 16th, 2012, 04:20 PM
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annhig, it appears to me that only a few people on TA did not like Golden View, which is not surprising. There are always some people who don't like a place for one reason or another. Some of it depends on people's expectations. I can only speak for my experience going there twice in October. We loved it.

One person complained that the portions were not very big. Well, that was true, but we were quite full when we left the place. If you want to have huge plates of food, even if it is too much food, then this restaurant is not for you. We liked it because there was NOT too much food, and everything was delicious.
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Dec 17th, 2012, 11:13 AM
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I would also suggest that they read the Firenze posts on chowhound.com's Italy forum, and maybe egullet.com too. There are people on both that have a lot to offer on top dining spots. Not that Fodorites don't, but often, serious restaurant lovers head to those forums.
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Dec 18th, 2012, 04:20 PM
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Sorry for the delay in responding, family crises.

Had a quick look at the websites of the Borgo San Jacopo, Alla Murate and Golden View and I think they would really enjoy them along with the Villa San Michele.

"linda - rather than splurge such a lot on one meal, if i were your sis and hubby I'd spread myselves around a bit, taking advantage of offers like the ones above."

Ann, I would do the same but they have had a horrendous couple of years and really want to have a memorable celebratory dinner.

Thanks, everyone, again for your suggestions.

I'll start another thread but if you feel like it, I need recommendations for hotels in Rome and Venice, spacious, capping at E 700 per night. They are not interested in apartments, and the hotel in Venice should have some kind of canal view. I thought of the Luna Baglioni in Venice and am stumped for Rome (their budget is what I would spend in five nights). Thoughts?
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Dec 19th, 2012, 06:10 AM
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I think you need to start another thread that mentions luxury hotels and Rome and Venice in the title, because right now no one knows you are looking for that information.

When you post the new thread, you'll probably get more helpful answer if you describe what kind of experience your relatives are looking for in Rome. There are luxury hotels near luxury shopping, or that are secluded and have great views but you need to take taxis. There are luxury hotels right in the middle of the tourist quarter around piazza Navona, or there are modern design hotels with suites, spas and pools, or Michelin restaurants. So some hint about the priorities will get you better answers.
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Dec 19th, 2012, 06:33 AM
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It's vry nice of you to do the leg work. Any chance you can get your relatives to join the forum and participate in the discussion?

There are lots of options for restaurants and luxury hotels but until we have some feedback, it is hard to make suggestions. Do they have a hotel in Florence? Knowing where they will stay there might help frame suggestions for Venice and Rome.
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Dec 19th, 2012, 07:14 AM
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Linda

I think you need to decide if you wish to abide with your original posting or not.

In its spirit I suggested Villa San Michele which is truly magical - the view and the connection with Michelangelo etc. If you just want exceptional food there are alternatives but the "magia" of the Fiesole location is missing.

A number of suggestions don't seem to meet your original posting. I checked out the Golden View for example - after living over 30 years in Italy I would never evr choose a restaurant with such a name especially in Florence. I also studied the menu and quite frankly it is aimed at the tourist market. I don't think this is what you are after. The menu is a mish mash of Florentine and other dishes aimed at the tourist. The big giveaway is Spaghetti bolognese - this is NOT an Italian dish!

Consider these restaurants if food is the main consideration

http://www.zebgastronomia.com/index2.html

http://www.oradariaristorante.com/en/odahome_en.html
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