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Fine Dining in Florence

As well as trying some gorgeous trattoria for lunch, Mr S and I also ate in some of Florence’s top fine dining restaurants. My favourite place that we visited was Borgo San Jacopo, or BSJ, which is perched right over the Arno river with a stunning view of the Ponte Vecchio.DSC_1386DSC_1333
It’s also rather special moment when you find a restaurant with a symbol to match your blog name AND your dress and shoes…DSC_1343
We were meeting our friends Dave and Lauren for dinner here and we all immediately loved the modern, elegant interior of the Michelin-starred restaurant. DSC_1345DSC_1358
Portions here are beautifully delicate and Lauren and I both loved this black ink spaghetti with caviar that we enjoyed while taking in the romantic environment of the restaurant and the twinkling candlelight. DSC_1359
Mr S’s spinach and ricotta ravioli in Swiss chard broth was incredible, with the lightest and most delicately made pasta. DSC_1365
Both boys enjoyed a deboned beef rib, a classic plate compared to some of the more inventive options. DSC_1371
And after all the bread and pasta I’d been eating I was pleased for a very light main course of warm ceviche with lobster, sea bass and root vegetables. DSC_1376
While Lauren also loved her smoked trout fillet with red prawns and gin water. DSC_1381
BSJ is the perfect place for an elegant and romantic meal of fine Italian food where everything is of the utmost quality.

Pretty much the opposite of BSJ was Il Cibrèo, the dining room here felt a little like walking into an upmarket family home, in was totally unpretentious, but admittedly a little stuffy.
We visited here on our first night in Florence, fresh from our anxiety over nearly not taking off from the airport, and very ready for some hearty Italian food. As soon as we sat down, our table was covered with small bites and nibbles: parma ham, chicken liver, artichokes…this is not a restaurant where they let you go hungry. DSC_0444DSC_0448
There’s actually no menu, instead the manager drew up a chair and told us what was on offer today… the menu isn’t extensive but you’re sure to find something that you like so we both opted for soup. Hearty warming and delicious, this is one of those ‘just like grandma used to make’ places. You can just imagine an Italian nonna in the kitchen stirring huge bowls of soup for her guests. Actually the chef is Fabio Picchi who was inspired my old Florentine recipes when he created his menu. DSC_0462 DSC_0465
I chose chicken meatballs for my main course and Mr Silver had lamb, both dishes rich and full of flavour. I have to say the food here is heavy but portions aren’t huge so you can still fit in a few courses. Oh, and by the way they don’t serve pasta… you’ve been warned. DSC_0466
There was also a special bread in the shape of a bone, all made freshly in house. DSC_0468 DSC_0469 DSC_0473
A selection of desserts were bought out…I told you it’s like being at grandma’s house…and all were delicious but we were feeling stuffed and couldn’t try too much.

I’d chosen to eat at Il Cibrèo because I’d read so many rave reviews and it came up time and time again as one of the best restaurants in Florence. While the food was excellent I found the atmosphere little stuffy and the food too stodgy. Of course, it’s a matter of taste but personally I preferred Il Palagio and BSJ which were more elegant and glamorous.

Do you have any favourite restaurants in Florence? What’s your favourite Italian food? 


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