Italian Restaurant in Florence, Italy: Cibreo Trattoria Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Cibreo Trattoria HeartHeart
Restaurants and bars
Open: Lunch and dinner Tue - Sun
Price: Moderate

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +39 055 234 1100
Address: via dei Macci, 118 R
Country: Italy
Food Style: Italian

The meal we had at Cibreo Trattoria in Florence recently was one of the best we have experienced in Italy.
The Cibreo empire just keeps growing! Not only is there a formal restaurant, there is also the informal trattoria around the corner and the café across the street serving dessert and coffee. Now, another eating venue has opened in the theatre directly across the street from the restaurant.
This review, however, is about our favourite part of the establishment, namely the Trattoria.
We know that it is not a venue that everyone falls in love with. Some don't like the fact that you might be asked to share a table. Some find it a little cramped. Some think that the food is not elegant enough. Still others don't like restaurants that attract so many tourists.
There is no doubt that it does attract a lot of tourists, but we think that the restaurant owners have not been tempted to let their standards slip. In fact, we thought that some of the dishes we tried were exemplary.
When we entered the small room at opening time (10 minutes to 1 precisely) we were seated at a small table in the centre of the room on comfortable wooden chairs. The un-matched tables were set with fresh, yellow flowers and paper place mats. High shelves displayed rows of wine bottles - OK if they turn over quickly, not so good if the wine is a slow mover!
The waiter moved between tables flawlessly switching from Italian to English to French. He told us that a farmer had just delivered some fresh ricotta if we would like to try some. We were delighted to have the opportunity. We were even more delighted when we saw what we were presented with - some ricotta on a plate. No adornment, no embellishment, no artifice! And it didn't need any. It was fresh, flavoursome and silky.
We were also informed that they had some special salsicce crude (raw sausages). Once again we jumped at the opportunity to try them. This time, two thick raw sausages were presented on a plate with some bread to accompany. No other adornment was felt necessary.
We also tried a very good dish of insalata di trippa that had a hint of chilli and a fine soup of mushrooms topped with some good quality olive oil swirls.
Main courses continued the theme of good, honest flavours without any theatrics in the presentation. A simple rooster stew showed how poultry should taste and the chick pea side dish was exemplary. A dish of calamari in inumino was a dark, brooding stew which had been cooked slow and long to ensure that the calamari was meltingly tender and had released its flavour to the rest of the dish.
Accompanying this we chose local with the 2004 Chianti Classico from Castello di Fonterutoli. This dense mixture of Sangiovese, Merlot, Malvasia Nero and Colorino is a complex and interesting wine that accompanied the food well.
We finished with a pear and a chocolate tart each of which was simple and well-made.
We finished our meal very happy with the world. We wish more restaurants had the confidence in their cooking ability and their ingredients to present their food this simply.
We have no hesitation in recommending Cibreo's Trattoria to food lovers.
Review: November 2006
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