2016 Michelin starred restaurants in Florence

Fine dining in the Tuscan city

Helen Farrell
December 21, 2015 - 20:12

Italian cuisine has long since been a world favourite, but in recent years chefs in Florence have been achieving a new level of culinary excellence. Here’s our guide to Florence’s six Michelin-starred restaurants: Enoteca Pinchiorri (3 stars), Il Palagio (1 star), Borgo San Jacopo (1 star, new entry for 2016), Ora d’Aria (1 star), La Bottega del Buon Caffè (1 star) and Winter Garden By Caino (1 star).

 

Enoteca Pinchiorri

“The cuisine at this restaurant is a fine balance of classic and modern, taking the best from both styles to create elegant dishes served in a luxurious and cosmopolitan ambience. The wine list here is legendary.”

 

Enoteca Pinchiorri, on via Ghibellina, is the only restaurant in Tuscany to possess three stars. In the words of the 2016 Michelin Guide: ‘The cuisine at this restaurant is a fine balance of classic and modern, taking the best from both styles to create elegant dishes served in a luxurious and cosmopolitan ambience.’ It all began in early 1970s when young sommelier Giorgio Pinchiorri, originally from Modena but Florentine by choice, began and eventually took over the Enoteca Nazionale (National Wine Cellar). Annie Féolde joined him in the kitchen, initially serving snacks alongside the wine. The restaurant excels for its creative dishes, scrupulous attention to detail, the decorative layout of the tables and service in the beautiful 19th-century Palazzo Jacometti-Ciofi. It is particularly commended for its exceptional wine list. Open at dinner only. Tasting menus begin at 225 euro per person, wine excluded.

 

Enoteca Pinchiorri

Via Ghibellina 87, Florence

055 242757

enotecapinchiorri.it

 

Il Palagio, Four Seasons Hotel

The magnificent decor of one of the most impressive palazzi in Florence has been given a more contemporary feel in this restaurant. It offers delicious and carefully prepared reinterpretations of traditional Italian cuisine.”

 

Il Palagio, at Florence’s luxurious Four Seasons Hotel, owes its culinary excellence to executive chef Vito Mollica. Mollica stands firm to the belief that fine dining comes from “knowing the man behind the producer”, something that the chef became acquainted with as a young boy, watching his mother cook in the kitchen of their southern Italian home. The style is traditional but innovative, with dishes that are pleasing to the eye and a balm to the taste buds. Pastry chef Domenico Di Clemente ensures a sweet finish to your meal. In the summer Il Palagio opens its garden terrace for alfresco dining. Tasting menus begin at 110 euro per person, wine excluded.

 

Il Palagio, Four Seasons Florence Hotel

Borgo Pinti 88, 50121 Florence

055 2626450

ilpalagioristorante.it

 

Ora d’aria

“The dining room at this restaurant faces the open-view kitchen, allowing a continuous exchange of dialogue between chefs and diners. The cuisine focuses on mainly Tuscan produce served in dishes that blend traditional skill with contemporary style.”

 

A name with a story, “Hour of Air” refers to the outdoor time in which inmates exercised at the prison beside the restaurant’s previous location. Head chef and co-owner Marco Stabile originally hails from Pontedera in Tuscany and is regarded as one of the region’s rising culinary stars. The restaurant’s à la carte menu presents traditional cuisine with innovative twists. Locally sourced ingredients form the basis of the cuisine: Chianti, truffles, vin santo, chestnuts, cavolo nero. The location is special, too: a stone’s throw from the Uffizi Gallery, the ambience is modern classic with one dining room far from the street and the other in the basement, vaunting sleek white chairs and grey banquettes. Tasting menus begin at 80 euro per person, wine excluded. Open for lunch from Tuesday to Saturday, open for dinner from Monday to Saturday. Closed Sunday.

 

Ora d’aria

Via dei Georgofili 11R, 50122 Florence

055 2001699

oradariaristorante.com

 

La Bottega del Buon Caffè

“La Bottega del Buon Caffè has changed premises for 2015 and is now on the Lungarno, with an outdoor terrace making it perfect for a fine evening. The distinctive creative style of the excellent chef at work in the open-view kitchen remains unchanged.”

 

La Bottega del Buon Caffè’s head chef Antonello Sardi is applauded for his outstanding Florentine cuisine. The restaurant offers an inspiring “Farm to Plate” experience, as chef Sardi dedicates his efforts to using only the freshest ingredients sourced from local farms, butchers and La Bottega del Buon Caffè’s very own kitchen gardens. The dishes are seasonal, each revealing the region’s rich gastronomic culture. Ask to try a sample of one of Buon Caffè’s homemade jams, sauces and honey. Designed by renowned international designer, Jeanette Thottrup, the interior seamlessly combines classic and contemporary design. The restaurant overlooks the romantic river Arno and in the summer offers alfresco dining under the splendour of the San Niccolò tower.

 

La Bottega del Buon Caffè

Lungarno Cellini 69R, 50122 Florence

055 5535677

borgointhecity.com

 

Winter Garden By Caino

“Horse-drawn carriages once entered the old courtyard of the St Regis hotel, now converted into a winter garden. Enjoy delicious dishes from the Maremma created by Valeria Piccini in the luxurious surroundings of one of Florence's most elegant hotels.”

 

The Winter Garden By Caino is the result of the collaboration of legendary duo executive chef Michele Griglio and Valeria Piccini, of two Michelin star restaurant Da Caino in the Tuscan Maremma town of Montemerano. Piccini and Griglio merge tradition with evolved Tuscan cooking styles to bring an elegant seasonal menu, from Tuscan bean soup with porcini and truffle to warm winter panzarella, black cabbage, candied tomato and calamari stuffed with ricotta cheese. Piccini’s freshly baked ricotta bread served with the year’s extra-virgin olive oil is a revelation. The winter garden ambience is decadent and comfortable, aimed at the international traveller and the epicurious. Pasta courses start at 26 euro, mains at 37 euro.

 

Winter Garden By Caino

Piazza Ognissanti 1, 50123 Florence

055 2716

www.stregisflorence.com

 

Borgo San Jacopo

“The flavours of the region have been given a lighter touch in this restaurant, which also offers an excellent wine list of over 600 labels. In summer, treat yourself to dinner on the delightful small terrace overlooking the Arno, where the candlelight is reflected on the surface of the water.”

 

A short distance from the Ponte Vecchio, Borgo San Jacopo forms the very core of Hotel Lungarno and shamelessly vaunts unparalleled views of the world-famous bridge. The restaurant’s recent success (it’s the new entry on our list, gaining a star in December 2015) is down to the dedicated Lungarno Collection team and in particular chef Peter Brunel. The Trentino-born chef handcrafts modern takes on Italy’s regional cuisines. Passion and respect can be felt with every bite, as the chef uses only the finest quality ingredients from the very best food producers. The 7 years risotto, cabbage and apple jus, trout eggs, black truffle is extraordinary in its complex balance of flavours. The restaurant offers an extraordinary wine list of over 500 prestigious labels. A gluten-free menu is also available. Tasting menus begin at 90 euro per person.

 

Borgo San Jacopo

Borgo San Jacopo 62R, 50125 Florence

055 281661

lungarnocollection.com

 

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