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Cibrèo, Florence

8/r Via A. del Verrocchio
Tel: 39 055 234 1100's insider take:

Nearly three decades after it first shook up the city's sluggish dining scene, Cibrèo, near Santa Croce, still ranks as one of Florence's top culinary destinations. Fabio Picchi's winning idea was to do refined, top-quality versions of the sort of fare that a Tuscan granny would make. The main restaurant has linen tablecloths, more formal service, amuse-bouche (ricotta soufflé with shaved parmesan), and some gourmet twists to the menu, but if you can do without the frills and are prepared to wait in line (they don't take bookings), the food in the trattoria next door (known as Trattoria Cibrèo) is pretty much the same—and less than half the price. In both places, your server will recite the daily menu: a lengthy selection of first courses (soups and polenta mostly), then on to main dishes (fish, meat, including some innards, and squab). Finish up with a top-notch, if not quite Tuscan, chocolate cake or cheesecake. The most recent addition to the Cibrèo family is the cabaret diner Circolo Teatro del Sale, just across the road at 111/R Via de' Macci (39-055-200-1492). It's a fun alternative to the main restaurant and does an excellent breakfast.

All closed Sundays and Mondays.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.