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Oltrarno/San Frediano: Il Santo Bevitore

Via di S. Spirito 64/66r , Phone: 055 211264

Reviewed by: jan55612 from MN, review #3690

When: 2010

Innovative food in a lively atmosphere in the Oltrarno.

We went to Il Santo Bevitore twice during our four week stay in Florence in October/November 2010. We enjoyed the creative food and the lively, if somewhat noisy, atmosphere.

We had three courses, plus wine, on each visit. The cost, per person for three courses is in the 40-45 euro range, depending upon your wine selection. Over the course of two visits (one with another couple) we sampled a large selection of items from the menu, including Coscio di coniglio ripeno di prugne con tortino di patate pomodora e verza, millefoglie di melanzane viola con pomodora confit e basilico, risotto mantecato agli spinaci, pinoli ed uvetta con foglie di mazzancolla curda, quaglia in crosta di pane con passato di sedano rapa e mazzetto, and others, including several wonderful desserts.

I really enjoyed everything we tried. The service was good and the delivery of food was well timed. It was crowded on each visit (one on a Tuesday, one on a Wednesday), so we were glad we had made reservations.

Reviewed by: WestSussexBird from England, review #2385

When: 2007

Good quality food. Pleasant, spacious atmosphere. Very good value.

This restaurant has a "bib gourmand" rating in the Michelin red guide where it is described as "centrally located in the San Frediano quarter just across the Arno. The cuisine is in the Tuscan tradition with some interesting touches of creativity."

Michelin's "bib" is supposed to mean that the restaurant serves "good food at a moderate price" and so it proved in this case. We arrived at about 1.15 on a Friday at the end of March. The restaurant was busy but we were shown straight to a table. There was a buzz of Italian conversation and so far as we were aware there were no other non-Italians there. The tables were good-sized and well-spaced and the atmosphere was very pleasant.

Although we think that an "a la carte" menu was displayed outside as well as a short menu for the day we were offered only the menu for the day when we sat down. This presented 3 choices of starters, 3 main courses and just one dessert. We chose crema di fagioli con crostini profumati al tartufo (bean soup with tasty croutons) and risotto ai carciofi mantecato al pecorino fresco (artichoke risotto) for starters; the third option was trivelli al tonno fresco con pomodorini pachino e peperoni gialli profumati al finochietto. For our second course we chose frittata di pancetta e cipolle su letto d'insalata (bacon and onion omelette on lettuce) and tagliata di manzo al timo con piselli (thick slices of beef with peas); the third option was calamari in inzimino. The single dessert was torta al nocciole e cioccolata, which we think was a walnut sponge cake.

Although the choice was limited the menu suited us very well. The food was quite simple but very tasty, with the exception of the cake which was pleasant but ordinary. Apart from the dessert, it was one of the best meals we had in Florence.

There was a wide choice of wine by the glass from 3 euros up.

The first and second course options all cost between 6 and 7 euros each; the cake was 4 euros. Two starters, two second courses, one slice of cake, two coffees, water (fizzy, in a carafe) and one glass of wine, with a cover charge of 2 euros each, came to a total of 42.50 euros. Very good value.

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

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