2016 starred restaurants in Florence
The six starred restaurants in Florence
Continuing in its yearly tradition, the Michelin Guide has announced its 2016 oracle of top restaurants “worth doing a de-tour for”, with several surprises in store for some of Tuscany’s finest eateries.
The first of these - Borgo San Jacopo, part of the Ferragamo family’s Lungarno Collection - is to be found in Florence, just steps from the Ponte Vecchio and proud recipient of its first star.
Such fantastic recognition comes little more than a year after the arrival of Peter Brunel. He joined the Lungarno Collection in July 2014 as Executive Chef overseeing the group’s three restaurants and in autumn the same year, the first all-Brunel menu was served in the gourmet Borgo San Jacopo restaurant. It featuring a number of his great classics, like purple cabbage risotto and potato spaghetti (flour free), which is now classed as his signature dish.
Let’s have a look at each of Florence’s six Michelin-starred restaurants:
Enoteca Pinchiorri ***
This Florentine eatery has reached almost legendary status, led for its entire forty year history by Annie Feolde and Giorgio Pinchiorri and once again securing the highest number of stars. The menu excels in both taste and ingredients, presenting dishes which have become classics such as double ravioli with burrata cheese and guinea-fowl or pancetta-wrapped giant prawns with bean and spelt soup. It is accompanied by a wine cellar boasting more than 400 labels, including some of the finest in the world, with singular tastings and two wine lists, one Italian one and one International one . The kitchen team is headed by Italo Bassi and Riccardo Monco. (Via Ghibellina, 87, ph. +39 055 24777 – 24757)
Borgo San Jacopo *N
In a breathtaking location by the river Arno and Ponte Vecchio and under the reins of Peter Brunel since summer 2014, Borgo San Jacopo serves the marvels of international cuisine alongside a selection of great Italian classics, revisited with a highly original and very personal twist, which also extends to the gluten-free menu. An absolute must is the potato spaghetti, a complex dish made using raw, peeled potatoes cooked in brine and held at a temperature that stabilizes the starch. They are then used to make fine spaghetti which are tossed in oil and dressed with zabaione made from Paolo Parisi’s eggs and guanciale (cured pig’s jowl) from Siena. (Borgo San Jacopo, 62 - ph. 055 281661)
Il Palagio *
The restaurant of the Four Seasons Hotel Florence and holder of a Michelin star since 2011, is set against the very wonderful backdrop of Palazzo della Gherardesca and, in the summer months, also framed by the eponymous garden. The chef is multiple award-winning Vito Mollica who recommends hand-made pici pasta, hare and Tonka broad beans, grilled scampi with Jerusalem artichokes, Iberian guanciale (cured pig’s jowl) and hazelnut oil. The wine list extends to some five hundred labels. (Borgo Pinti, 99 - ph. +30 055 2626450).
La Bottega del Buon Caffè *
Chef Antonello Sardi saw his Michelin star confirmed for the second year running, an honour due in part to his passion for cooking, for local ingredients and his amazing imagination. He sources many of his ingredients from the restaurant’s own Tuscan farm. Dishes absolutely not to be missed are the Creme brûlée à la Foie gras, red Tropean onion ice cream and pan brioche loafs, as well as the smoked monkfish ravioli and mullet roe (Lungarno Benvenuto Cellini, 69/r - ph. +39 055 2321583).
Ora d’aria *
Michelin-starred since 2011 and serving (also) tapas at lunch and haute cuisine for dinner, the Ora d’aria also offers two tasting menus and an à la carte selection. It’s most distinctive dishes are roast pigeon etouffè with apple and chicory and venison steak. All are put together with the skill of Tuscan chef Marco Stabile, the 42-year-old child prodigy in the kitchen (Via dei Georgofili, 11/r -ph. +39 055 2001699).
Winter Garden by Caino *
The 2015 Michelin Guide awarded the restaurant in Florence’s St. Regis Hotel its first star, in recognition of the original take on haute cuisine practiced by the Executive Chef Michele Griglio and his team under the supervision of Valeria Piccini, in their successful fusion of local spirit and time-worn tradition. Opened in July 2013, the restaurant very quickly became a city centre haunt for the city’s most discerning foodies (Piazza Ognissanti, 1 - ph. +30 055 27163770).
To learn about the new Michelin stars of Tuscany, click here.