Discover the relaxed fine-dining restaurant showcasing Florence's gastronomic arts
With a menu created by Michelin-starred chef, Caffè dell’Oro is a taste of Tuscany in the heart of Florence
Florence is a city renowned for its incredible culture, picturesque buildings and mouthwatering food, but with so much to do and so many places to eat within it’s four historic walls, it can be difficult to know where to start.
After a long morning spent exploring the sights and admiring the many masters housed under the roof of the world-renowned Uffizi gallery it was time to refuel and Caffè dell’Oro, overlooking the Ponte Vecchio, was the perfect place for this.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the centre, but still within reach some of the cities main attractions, this lovely all-day dining venue was the ideal spot to take a break and enjoy a refined yet casual lunch, before perusing the glamorous shops situated on nearby Via de’ Tornabuoni.
Michelin-starred executive chef Peter Brunel designs the bistro-style menus served up at Caffè dell’Oro, and his creative menus feature a variety of light and vibrant reinterpretations of traditional dishes from Italy’s regions. >>
We were seated at a table in the window, offering a view of the riverfront, where we selected our first wine. I was in the mood for something on the fizzy side, so the waitress recommended a glass of Franciacorta. For those more familiar with Prosecco, Franciacorta is another of Italy’s sparkling wines and is more crisp and less sweet than the former. What sets Franciacorta apart from Prosecco is the production process - it is made in the same way as Champagne and using the same grapes.
Happily sipping away on this newfound gem, the waitress brought over a basket of freshly baked bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dipping. I wasn’t expecting much from this as, despite being renowned for their culinary prowess, I had been rather disappointed with the baked goods (bread in particular) in Italy so far. But I couldn’t have been happier to have finally tasted some great bread in Italy - so much so that our bread basket was refilled twice. >>
To begin, we made an unconventional choice and opted for the parmesan sharing board as a starter rather than a dessert. With five specially aged cheeses from 12 - 101 months, this was a real treat and changed my perception on how Parmesan should be eaten - in the UK we wouldn’t think to eat Parmesan or Grana Padano on its own, rather as a topping on pasta dishes, but this is common practice in Italy.
For mains, we both opted for the Tuscan hamburger made with Chianina beef, which melted in the mouth with its delicate combination of flavours. It was a messy affair as the meat pattie was so soft, but well worth it. The beef was paired with an Italian Chianti Classico Reserva, the perfect accompaniment.
Later that evening we paid a visit to sister bar La Terrazza rooftop lounge bar, also part of the Lungarno Collection of hotels and restaurants and a stone’s throw away from Caffe del’Oro. I would highly recommend for the lovely cocktails and unparalleled views over Florence. It is a small and highly sought after space though, so I do recommend reserving a space, even if just for drinks. The perfect place to watch the sun set over this beautiful city.