Via delle Terme 51R, Florence, 50123
- Recommended for:
- Business travellers, Honeymooners, Mature travellers, Romance, Special occasions
Expert review of Oliviero
Dinner at Oliviero is a real evening out to me. It's a ‘grown up’ sort of a restaurant that has made few concessions in terms of its décor and atmosphere to contemporary culture, the food, however, has not been caught in the same time warp and is very good indeed. It was once a favoured haunt of the likes of Maria Callas and Sophia Loren and still has a certain air of glamorous past times which all adds to the special occasion feel of the place. Note that Oliviero stays open until midnight, unusual for a proper restaurant in Florence.
There are two à la carte menus, the first offering traditional choices such as ribollita, porcini mushroom risotto and a fabulous bistecca alla fiorentina and the second offering dishes with a more contemporary slant. I chose from the latter the last time I ate here and enjoyed a delicate tartare of sea bass, tuna and salmon with a tart citrus dressing, followed by caramelised port fillet with sesame seeds and a mustard dressing. The wine list is a serious volume that includes the best of Tuscany and beyond.
The discreet entrance with its revolving door, wood-panelled bar with (silent) grand piano, pastel colour scheme and rather formal service all hark back to the days of La Dolce Vita when, apart from Loren and Callas, Ella Fitzgerald, Burt Lancaster and Fellini ate here. Until very recently, there was even an elderly signora to take your coat. It’s all a bit hushed, so don’t come here for a raucous evening out, but do think about it for a romantic tete-a-tete along with a fine meal.
Waiters wear white jackets and pull your chair out for you; I have a feeling they may even give you a little stool for your handbag. It’s that sort of place.
It's on an atmospheric cobbled side street that leads from Piazza Santa Trinità to the Ponte Vecchio.
At around 50 euros per head for three courses, food only, the prices here are not excessive given the quality of the food although the final bill will be influenced by your choice of wine.
More information on Oliviero:
- Price guide:
- Italian, Modern, Steak, Traditional
- Via delle Terme 51R, Florence, 50123
- 055 287 643
- Opening times:
- Mon-Sat 7.30pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
- Accepts Credit Cards:
- Always essential