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Filipepe, Florence

43 Via San Niccolò
Italy 50125
Tel: 39 055 2001 397
view web site ›'s insider take:

It takes a while to soak in this new Oltrarno contemporary bistro—especially if you come early, when service and atmosphere are both getting up to speed. But as the evening wears on, everything falls into place: the almost frou-frou mix of Tuscan rustic (whitewashed brick walls, exposed beams) and Parisian chic (strong-hued linen drapes, mismatched antique chairs, candles on every table); the efficient, no-nonsense waitstaff; and above all the food, which is more southern Italian than Florentine. The menu is creative without excess: A grissini-skewered lecca lecca (lollipop) of cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, caramelized figs, and buffalo mozzarella was tasty once the "How do I eat this?" challenge was resolved; and the baked monkfish with zucchini flowers on a bed of caper cream with garlic foam, paired with a pear and apple salad, is a delightful one-two punch of savory and sweet. A bonus on warm nights is the tiny interior garden, which seats just 12. The wine list is not large but is gratifyingly well-rounded (at least as far as Italian wine regions go) in a city that sometimes finds it difficult to look beyond Chianti.

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