(UPDATED APRIL 2017)
Unless you will be munching with your family or friend’s family this Sunday (Pasqua) and Monday (Pasquetta) in Florence, then you might find this post useful. If you happen to be going to someone’s home for Easter, don’t forget to pick up a chocolate egg- preferably from Vestri in Piazza Salvemini if at all possible. You can never have too much chocolate on Easter, right?
Not all restaurants in Florence are closed on Pasqua or Pasquetta, in fact some of them drum up really special menus for the occasion. And not all will have special Easter menus- which I note in my suggestions.
Here are 10+ ideas for valid eateries in Florence worth considering for your Easter Sunday and/or Monday meal. Plus links to dining outside Florence and food blogs to create some Italian Easter food at home.
TIP: If you live in Florence, you probably know the drill of making reservations and that it is a must if you want to eat at the worth-while places. If you don’t speak Italian and are visiting, ask your concierge to make a reservation for you. Most folks can speak enough English on the phone for reservations but I think the best way to avoid headaches and confusion for everyone involved is have an Italian-speaker take care of that:)
Osteria dell’Enoteca- You know the guys from Enoteca Pitti Gola and Cantina, aka the wine bar with the longest name ever? It’s become increasingly difficult to land a seat (even standing space for a drink) at the Enoteca- for good reason! They boast an unbeatable location (smack dab on the doorstep of Palazzo Pitti) but also they are unrivaled in terms of quality and notoriety, as the only address worth eating and drinking at in the Pitti square. And one of the few addresses in Florence for that matter! But now I am happy to see they have opened a whole Osteria to accommodate more bottoms, in the former Santo Graal space on Via Romana and it’s delectable. I recently went to a press lunch, full disclaimer that I was a guest. Although on someone else’s dime, I thoroughly enjoyed the grilled meats they have on offer, as well as the Tuscan vegetable sides (tender potatoes and earthy spicy olive oil tossed greens). They WILL be doing a special menu for a mere 40eu, you’ll have a full course menu including spring favas and pecorino, fresh pasta with lamb ragu, grilled lamb chops and a colomba vin santo tiramisu to end. Most of all, their wine list is superb. Open also on Pasquetta (Easter Monday) Address: Via Romana 70R Reserve: 055-2286019 or email@example.com http://osteriadellenoteca.com/ (the Enoteca is open too!)
Irene Firenze- Curated, delicate and refined but not too fine dishes by Fulvio Pierangelini in the middle of Piazza della Repubblica is the best way to describe Irene. Spring asparagus risotto, paper thin fresh pasta ravioli filled with tangy tomato pappa al pomodoro (a hit) strawberry & rhubarb desserts are some of the items dazzling the Spring menu. Probably the only hotel restaurant I would realistically eat at more than once in Florence- service & wine notable too. Being a hotel restaurant, they will have non-stop hours both Easter Sunday and Pasquetta Monday. Address: Piazza della Repubblica Phone: 055-2735891
Club Culinario Toscano da Osvaldo- There are few restaurants left in Florence in my opinion not doing fluff or garbage. Club Culinario does straightforward, unpretentious soul food and I think everyone should eat there at least once during their Florence love affair, if not many times. They won’t be doing a fixed menu, but some specials involving lamb for sure. You won’t be able to sleep at night without a portion of their fried beef and potato croquettes. Address: Piazza dei Peruzzi, 3R, Phone: 055-217919
Il Barrino- Located in a very Florentine quarter of Beccaria, this is a high quality, casual locals spot for traditional Tuscan with a gourmet twist, as I like to say. They are offering a full course Easter lunch (all inclusive with wine) for just 45eu and will do: appetizers, 2 pastas, 2 mains and of course dolce. 2 mains?! They will be doing a bit of lamb of course and a tasting of bistecca (steak) for those who want the best of both worlds. The pastas seem decadent: pici with ragu and stuffed potato tortelli. They also will be open on Monday only for dinner off the regular menu. Address: Via Gioberti, 71R Phone:055 660565 http://www.ilbarrinofirenze.it/
Culinaria Bistrot-. In general, Culinaria whips up exotic flavored Moroccan fused Tuscan tagines and Italian small plates fare. On Pasqua, they will be doing some lamb specialties and also a great selection fish (pesce spada, polpo, baccala’, etc). Enjoy their wine selections from teeny tiny producers making natural wines. Open both Sunday and Monday! Address: Piazza Torquato Tasso (Oltrarno), 13R Phone:055 229494
Il Magazzino- One of the best unique yet traditional trattorias in town, and yes they are known for their offal things which you can find detailed here on Vice Munchies, Il Magazzino is a great spot even for non-offal enthusiasts. I can’t seem to find better gnocchi in town than here and their kale pesto pici pasta are pretty tasty too. They won’t be doing a special menu but will have a couple Pasqua themed items off the menu. Address: Piazza della Passera, 2-3 Phone:055 215969
Essenziale- Speaking of the Santo Graal, former chef Simone Cipriani has a new culinary playground in Piazza Cestello (Oltrarno) where textures and flavors play with memories of classic foods. I haven’t formally reviewed Essenziale on the blog yet but I included them on this 2016’s Hottest New Openings in Florence on Eater. Essenziale will be doing a Pasqua lunch menu and regular menu service for dinner, and Pasquetta Monday will be doing brunch. Menu HERE– they had me at tiramisu french toast. Address: Piazza di Cestello, 3R Phone: 055 247 6956
T’Amero Pasta Bar- This innovative fresh pasta bar with a way cool funky decor and an eclectic chef to match will be doing their classic pasta-based menu for those just wanting a massive bowl of carbs. Address: Piazza Santo Spirito, 11r Phone:055 282596 http://www.tamero.it/
Cibreo- For those of you serious culinarians out there, you might want to visit Cibreo for Easter. They also don’t have a special menu but rest assured that most things that Fabio Picchi (the head chef and mastermind behind the Cibreo empire) is magic and made with quality intent. The philosophy is Tuscan soul food, so expect something hearty but with classic service to match. All four Cibreo branded eateries on the Via De’ Macci strip will be open (the trattoria, ristorante, teatro del sale and the cafe’.) I personally would go for the caffe for the people watching value, the trattoria for simplicity and Teatro del Sale for the experience. Address: Via Andrea del Verrocchio, 8r (well, just for the Ristorante.) Phone:055 234 1100 http://www.edizioniteatrodelsalecibreofirenze.it/ CLOSED MONDAY
Trattoria Cammillo off of Piazza della Passera, this neat Trattoria is pretty high up in my top 10 favorite restaurants in Florence. You can read my review here. I consider this an institutional family-run trattoria with an emphasis on service and ambiance. The dishes (i.e. ribollita, grilled steak and wild boar ragu’ rich pastas) here are icon to the Tuscan culinary repertoire with some comfort food classics from neighboring regions such as Bologna’s tortellini al brodo. If you are hankering for a traditional meal, and not particularly fussed with it being wholly festive in honor of Easter or Pasquetta, Cammillo is a solid choice.
Bonus Tip: Il Santo Bevitore will be open too on both days. Lovely ambiance, consistently good food, small plates kind of modern wine bar type of restaurant. Address: Via di Santo Spirito, 64/66 r, Phone: 055 211264
OUTSIDE OF FLORENCE La Tenda Rossa will be doing some spectacular gastronomic festivities. This women-powered elevated dining team of Natascia Sant’Andrea and Maria Probst are probably one of the very few I trust in Tuscany doing revisited gourmet fine dining, there is incredible creativity with their work and extreme passion, not only for their craft but for products of the territory. They think outside the box from sourcing pollo from eccentric chicken farmer Laura Peri who safeguards heritage varieties and her birds are wholly free-range, not to mention a meticulous selection with feed. To me, this is a huge deal since most commercial chicken farmers rear on corn feed, most of which is GMO. The details make a difference in raw material sourcing at Natascia and Maria get it. These chefs also put on fine pop-up events around the region. Any gastronomic endeavor is not done in vain by these ladies. Don’t miss either their Pasqua lunch menu at their restaurant in Cerbaia or the Pasquetta lunch just 2km from Florence city at Casa Barthel. FULL DETAILS FOR EASTER LUNCH AT LA TENDA ROSSA HERE and FULL DETAILS FOR THE POP-UP PASQUETTA MONDAY LUNCH AT CASA BARTHEL HERE You can also call or e-mail for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org +39 055 826132
There are loads of agriturismi doing Easter lunches, I’ve heard from a few sources that Fattoria Lavacchio in Chianti will be doing a proper Tuscan lunch!
Also, La Locanda di Pietracupa in San Donato in Poggia will be doing a fixed-price menu of elevated Tuscan dishes starring artichokes, edible flowers and fried lamb. http://www.locandapietracupa.it/en/news.html
The local newspaper in English The Florentine did a great post of where to eat around Tuscany for Easter and Pasquetta: http://www.theflorentine.net/food-wine/2017/04/eat-easter-2017-tuscany/
For more information regarding Italian Food Traditions for Easter (with recipes!!!), read up on these beautiful food blogs written by local culinary experts and passionate cooks:
Hot Cross Buns
In your Easter feasting,
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