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“One great evening in Florence!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Bottega del Buon Caffe - MOVED

La Bottega del Buon Caffe
Via Pacinotti 42/R, 50132 Florence, Italy
+39 055 553 5677
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Price range: $39 - $106
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Entertaining clients, Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Doing business
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Description: At La Bottega del Buon Caffe we have been producing seasonal authentic Florentine dishes for years. Yet, the summer of 2014 marks the start of a new era as the Buon Caffe team launch a selection of exciting new organic and gourmet concepts. In collaboration with the restaurant's new owners, Claus and Jeanette Thottrup, Buon Caffe's head chef, Antonello Sardi, has successfully developed fresh and innovative gourmet menus which are now available both at lunch and dinner. With the emphasis on natural locally sourced ingredients, Buon Caffe offers authentic Tuscan food that creatively combines the best of classic and contemporary cuisine. Authenticity and honesty is at the heart of all we create at Buon Caffe and our menus are created individually according to the season. Today's catch of fresh fish is delivered from the Mediterranean daily, free-range meats are supplied by local artisan farmers and our vegetables, fruit, herbs and honey are bought from our farm in the country. Respecting our Florentine location our menus are designed to reflect the region's unique gastronomic heritage and vibrant culinary culture.
los gatos
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“One great evening in Florence!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

So, if you’re looking for traditional Florentine food, you’re going to be disappointed here. However, if you’re a true “foodie,” looking for the art of the cuisine, you will be delighted. Chef Francesco and his team create dishes, pairings and meals that take the freshest ingredients from traditional Italian fare and present guests with a magical dining experience.

Antonio, the food service manager at the Villa Tolomei, referred us to La Bottega del Buon Caffe. We asked him for an upscale restaurant with a great chef, fresh ingredients, a respectable wine list of boutique labels and a place where we might be the only table speaking English. The team, including Chef Francesco himself, greeted my family warmly at arrival with a sparkling, crisp glass of Prosecco and offered us our choice of tables. We sat and perused the menu while enjoying a “liquid pizza,” a sensational, sweet tomato water shot full of crunchy bread crumbs and a small, fresh mozzarella bite on the side.

We chose to forego the set menu in order to try as many dishes as possible. Appetizers included the beef tartar topped with olive oil ice cream, three preparations of foie gras, and lightly steamed shrimp atop an avocado and fresh tomato “guacamole.” The precision and attention to detail of the presentation is impeccable. For example, the shrimp were tightly aligned on the bed of tomato and the underlying avocado and all were arranged in a perfect circle positioned in the center of a dark gray slate serving tray. The stark contrast of the bold colors against the almost black serving dish was beautiful.

Next, the pastas arrived. After having pasta everyday for a week, I passed on pasta but my family would never skip this course. Both a ravioli dish dressed with grilled octopus and a chickpea flour spaghetti dressed with cod fish were delicious and meticulously prepared from scratch.

Finally, the main courses were served. We enjoyed grilled duck breast, prosciutto- wrapped pheasant and, the piece d’ résistance, grilled octopus on a thick, scrumptious section of grilled eggplant. This was arguably the best octopus that I’ve ever eaten. And, given my propensity to order octopus when it is offered, there was some pretty stiff competition for that type of commendation. Boiled before broiled, it was tender and seasoned to perfection. Delicious!
Although we had a wine in mind when ordering, we tapped the expert to recommend a bold red from a local, small volume vineyard wine to try. After all, when in Rome, do as the Romans do but when in Florence, drink as the Tuscans drink! We ordered the 2007 Testamatta, Italian for “hot headed,” from Fiesole. Wine maker Bibi Graetz has been identified as a fast up and comer in the region and the winery sits just about 8 kilometers outside of Florence. The wine was lovely. It started big, bold and robust but mellowed throughout the meal leaving us with a beautiful satiny finish. We enjoyed it so much that we asked about whether it might be possible to visit the vineyard on the following day. By the end of the meal, Chef Francesco came to inform us that he made a call and everything was set for us to visit at our leisure. Try to find attention and service like that from a restaurant full of tourists in Florence!

My son cleared away a dark chocolate flan so fast that we didn’t get a bite but, as he’s not a fan of vanilla, he left the rich, creamy homemade gelato that was intended to complement it. My husband and I each tasted it and then turned our attention to the two local glasses of Grappa that sat before us. Both local distilleries, Grappa represents the best way to close out such a gratifying dining experience in Italy.

There are several reviews that indicate the restaurant is too expensive, too small and takes too long to serve its customers but I would beg to differ. We are from California and the prices were not different than those we find at fine dining in the US, roughly $100 per person. With respect to the time required to finish a meal, this is about the Italian experience. Why would you want to rush it? Sit back and enjoy. If you don’t have time to dine, then don’t try to do so. Grab a quick dinner at any of the 100s of wonderful bistros, pizzerias, and tourist restaurants that line the streets in Florence. There are many excellent ones from which to choose.

A beautiful evening of fabulous food, excellent service and enjoyable conversation – life really doesn’t get better.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

154 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    115
    27
    6
    5
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
philly
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“great food,beautiful crowd, fun evening”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

Were we thrilled when the concierge at JK Place suggested this restaurant in an upscale neighborhood out of central Florence. It was the best meal we had in Florence. First the place was funky and cool in its décor. The ambience immediately made my wife and I smile. When we were greeted at the door we were made so welcome. We received a welcome drink and appetizer. The waiter was so friendly we wanted him to join us for a drink. It seems like a local restaurant from the crowd, many of whom seemed to know the staff. The place filled up with handsome men and truly beautiful women. It was a lively crowd but the room was not burdened with noise. The food was creative, so fresh and each dish more delicious than the next. Our two hours there were so enjoyable. I only wish this great restaurant was here in Philly. You will need a taxi if you are staying in Central Florence but it is well worth the journey.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Best food we've ever eaten!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2013 via mobile

Five of us ate here tonight and all agreed it was the best food we've ever eaten. Quaint atmosphere, excellent wait staff and excellent food. We had the Classics of the Bistro menu with wine pairings. Small portions with exquisite taste. Can't describe how perfect the meal was. We even received a small surprise at the end of our meal.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glen Cove, New York
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Highlight of our trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

Our Uffizi guide recommended this restaurant. According to him, we should go to a restaurant where they don't speak English. This one was a 15-minute taxi ride and light years away from tourists! We were the only English-speaking customers. We got the earliest reservation at 7:30pm and were the first customers. The owner, Antonio, was a delight. He recommended the tasting dinner with the wine pairing and, since this was our last night in Florence, we agreed. It was one of the best meals we have ever eaten and worth every euro! Antonio explained every course and every wine and each one was better than the last. Although we've been married for 45 years, this felt like a honeymoon dinner, it was that good!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Gourmet experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

We chose this off the beaten track restaurant for a 60th birthday celebration and weren't disappointed. We were warmly welcomed by the friendly staff and chose the six course tasting menu with wines to match. The food was simply excellent, the wines expertly chosen and the atmosphere of the restaurant relaxing and unpretentious. A real find.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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