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Enoteca Pinchiorri, Florence

87 Via Ghibellina
Tel: 39 055 242 777
view web site ›'s insider take:

This elegant, high-class temple to culinary excellence is Florence's best restaurant by a long chalk; it also has the distinction of being one of the most expensive in Italy. Housed inside a Renaissance palazzo just north of Santa Croce, it oozes formal, old-fashioned luxury, though lush flower arrangements and pink tablecloths contrive to lighten the mood. It's the sort of place you need to make an effort for: While it attracts its share of distracted high spenders, there's little point in coming unless you're a committed foodie. Wine buffs will be sent into ecstasy by Giorgio Pinchiorri's personal selection of vintages, which reads like an oenological Who's Who. Pinchiorri's French wife, Annie Féolde, does front-of-house honors and coordinates the 18-strong kitchen brigade, which turns out Italian cuisine of the highest quality. Starters generally take in a couple of variations on foie gras, while the primi might include "double ravioli," stuffed with guinea fowl and burrata (a buttery, almost liquified form of mozzarella from Puglia). Meat, fish, and game share the main-course honors: Preparations like monkfish with almonds and peas stewed in thyme sauce, chicken liver mousse, and balsamic vinegar may sound fussy, but the end result is surprisingly light. Desserts are no disappointment.

Closed Sundays and Mondays; lunch served Thursday to Saturday only.

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