Via de'Macci 122R, Florence, 50122
- Recommended for:
- Culture vultures, Foodies, Seasoned travellers, No fuss
Expert review of Cibreino
Celebrated Florentine chef Fabio Picchi’s flagship restaurant Cibreo is deservedly internationally renowned, but prices are high, the ambience is a bit stuffy for some and the place is full of tourists, albeit of the well-heeled variety. I prefer its casual offshoot next door where the locals (and tourists in the know) go for the very same food without the frills and complimentary extras. The bill will come in at around a third of what they’re paying on the other side of the kitchen.
Picchi’s punchy cooking is firmly entrenched in the earthy traditions of Florentine cucina povera (poor man’s food) but uses top-notch seasonal ingredients. Meticulous research has unearthed oddities such as stuffed chicken neck and rabbit cooked in intense dolceforte (with chocolate), while other dishes are a little more mainstream. There’s no pasta on the menu; starters are mainly velvety soups or, one of my favourite dishes, polenta dressed with a puddle of herby melted butter. I also love the inzimino, a sweet stew made from cuttlefish and Swiss chard. Space for dessert is essential as they are exquisite; try the famous flourless chocolate cake or, another favourite, cheesecake tooped with bitter orange compote.
This feels like a typically rustic, no-frills trattoria with bare wood tables and strings of dried peperoncini hanging over the bar counter. There’s not a lot of space and the place is always lively.
It's courteous and efficient. Remember that this is the casual off-shoot of a posh restaurant, so the staff have alot to live up to.
It's just metres from the excellent Sant’Ambrogio food market in the lively north-eastern reaches of the Santa Croce neighbourhood.
A three-course meal for two comes in at around 55 euros excluding wine.
You can’t book here. Turn up early for either lunch or dinner if you don’t want to queue.
More information on Cibreino:
- Price guide:
- Italian, Traditional
- Via de'Macci 122R, Florence, 50122
- No telephone.
- Lunch, Dinner
- Opening times:
- Tue-Sat 12.45-2.30pm, 7-11pm. Closed Sundays and Mondays.
- Accepts Credit Cards:
- Not possible