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

Trattoria Mario
Restaurants and bars
Open: Lunch Mon - Fri
Price: Moderate

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +39 55 218550
Address: Via Rosina, 2/R, Mercato Centrale
Florence, 50123
Country: Italy
Food Style: Italian

We didn't know what to expect from our visit to Trattoria Mario. It is quite close to the Mercato Centrale which is ring-barked by tacky stalls selling second-rate leather products to gullible tourists. Also, when you make your way into the restaurant you hear lots of English/American voices.
You are seated at family style tables. We shared a table with people from Germany and the United States. The people from the United States had Mario on a list that they wanted to tick off. The people from Germany were interested in the quality of the Bistecca.
We were happy, however, to immerse ourselves in the atmosphere. The waiting staff seemed genuinely pleased that we had chosen to dine there and were anxious to hear what we thought of the food.
Chunks of robust, saltless bread (as is the norm in this part of Italy) were placed on the table. Our orders were taken rapidly. The waiter seemed delighted when we deferred to the chef and asked for our Bistecca to be cooked to the degree of 'doneness' that he thought was best for that cut of meat.
We started with a minestrone of vegetables and white beans which was very comforting. A companion dish of tortelloni with ragu was very, very good with the ragu being richly flavoured and multi-dimensional.
And then the giant bistecca Fiorentina was brought to the table with much ceremony. It seemed impossibly large but somehow we managed to devour every last morsel. It was perfectly seasoned, cooked rare but not so rare that the fibres had not broken down. This was a memorable example of how to cook meat.
This was a lovely meal in a bustling, busy, almost frenetic atmosphere tempered by solicitous waiting staff.
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