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Santa Maria Novella: Il Profeta

Borgo Ognissanti, 93r , Phone: 055.212265

Reviewed by: hoftraveler from VA, review #2932

When: 2008

Small, informal trattoria known for bistecca fiorentina and for somewhat modernized versions of Renaissance Tuscan dishes.

We returned to Il Profeta with high expectations, having dined there a number of years ago (1999). In large part our expectations were met. The service was friendly and welcoming.

We began with the tasty Delizie de Caterina de Medici, said to be an authentic Renaissance recipe involving tagliatelle, asparagus, prawns, fume di pesce (fish demiglace), and caviar, accompanied by a pleasant Vernaccia di San Gimignano. The bistecca fiorentina that followed was a good specimen of the genre, but unfortunately had been cooked to medium when we'd asked for rare (al sangue). We should have sent it back, as the padrone informed us when after the meal we mentioned our disappointment, but it was delicious nontheless. The Chianti Classico Riserva "Il Grigio de San Felice" 2004, from a maker previously unknown to us, was excellent. To finish, we split a chocolate zabaglione that left nothing to be desired.

The bill for two, including service, water, and 1-1/2 bottles of wine, was 130 euro.

Reviewed by: doug from FL, review #1256

When: 2005

Outstandingly prepared dishes from the old, traditional, Tuscan menus.

A friend recommended this restaurant - in that they featured Tuscan recipes prepared in the old style. We started out with a antipasto that featured bruschetta with olive oil so flavorful that you wanted more of it.

The primi featured old Tuscan dishes; one prepared in cheese bowl with special pasta inside and a cream sauce that was to die for. I had another pasta with mushrooms and cream sauce that, between the two, my wife and I couldn't decide which we liked better. For secondi, she had asparagus that she claimed were the best she had ever eaten and I had the Trippa, an old Tuscan favorite. The tripe was so tender is melted in your mouth and had a flavor that had me mmmm'ing on every bite! For dolce, my wife had the tiramisu which had to be the best ever and my pears in wine were the perfect end to my meal. We topped it off with coffee and limoncello. Coupled with house wine and water, the bill for the two of use was 113 but worth it.

The restaurant is small so reservations are recommended and I suggest you ask for Claudio - who works with his wife in running the place. He is a character all in his self! If you park at the Europa Garage (the most expensive in Florence) Il Profeta is just down the street and is the perfect way to finish off you day!

Reviewed by: colleenk from MA, review #1346

When: 2004

Friendly restaurant that caters to tourits

Directions: www.ristoranteilprofeta.com

We ate at this restaurant twice on this trip to Florence. Once because it was highly recommended by a well traveled friend of a friend, the other because it was closest to our car rental return and we were too tired to go elsewhere. This restaurant seems to attract a lot of Americans, perhaps because of its proximity to hotels that do the same, such as the Excelsior. This doesn't make it a bad restaurant, I just prefer to see more locals. That being said, our meals were quite good with typical Tuscan fare.

The insalata mista was dressed with the most wonderful tasting olive oil, (Galardi Olio made in Fiesole), that I asked if I could buy a bottle, which I did for 12. I had a pasta dish that was good if not outstanding. On my second visit, I had the bistecca alla Fiorenta that was very good with a nice spinach in garlic and olive oil. The tiramisu was excellent. At the next table, a group of Americans had an outstanding looking "tasting menu" - that may be the way to order in this restaurant. The owner/waiters were very welcoming and were most accommodating in their menu suggestions. We were treated as old friends on our second visit.

This was a nice meal for a moderate price but it did not live up to the very high recommendation we'd received, nor would I go out of my way to eat here with so many other great restaurants to choose from in Florence.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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