Reviewed by Darcy
Aubin, Photographer, VisitsItaly.com
Perfect for an intimate dinner
by night or a casual lunch by
day, the Cantina Barbagianni is
conveniently located in the
heart of Florence and has been a
local Florentine favourite for
years. The Cantina Barbagianni
boasts a modern yet traditional
atmosphere on its two levels.
The entrance room is traditional
in décor and immediately creates
a warm and inviting feel for
Make your way down the stairs and you will find
something quite different. Two ancient
cellars provide the perfect ambience for any
occasion; a large gathering or an intimate
dinner for two. The cellars’ modern but
rustic atmosphere creates the perfect backdrop
for its food and extensive wine selection.
The chef combines the freshest local ingredients
with modern flair to create classic seasonal
Tuscan favourites with a twist. The menu
features a wide range of fish, meat, pasta and
other gastronomical delights that will tempt
your taste buds.
My dinner started off with a very traditional
sweet bubbly glass of prosecco and a
complementary trio of chicken salad, ricotta
pudding and mushrooms, a nice way to feel warm
Now all warm inside, I looked to the menu and
ordered the sampler meal number “Duo” as my main
The first plate, again, an impressive trio,
starred a seasonal salad, chicken liver pate and
local mixed meat patty. The presentation
alone was enough to impress me but the flavour
continued to impress. The rocket, walnut
blue cheese salad accompanied with homemade
bread and brie was a nice way to break up the
intense but pleasant flavours of the chicken
liver and the mixed meat patty as I moved from
sample to sample. I could tell this was
the only the start of a magnificent meal.
The second course: potato tortelli with lamb,
cherry tomatoes and white thyme. Don’t let
the delicate presentation fool you, this is one
dish that will satisfy your hunger with its
smooth creamy filling and its perfectly balance
texture. This dish is smooth all the way.
The hand made pasta cooked to perfection wrapped
the creamy potato filling which added all the
substance of a pasta dish should.
This dish was a flawless prelude to the next
dish, a “traditional” pasta; pici with meat
balls and tomatoes.
Pici, a thicker denser version of
spaghetti (if you had to find the closet
relative in the pasts family) and in my opinion,
stands up well to the meat balls nestled within
the maze of thick strands. Again, the homemade
pasta was cooked to perfection and was the
perfect accompaniment to the richness of the
intense flavourful meatballs. A rich
hearty pasta for the pasta lover in you!
The last of the main courses, fricassa veal with
seasonal vegetables and beans. The slow
cooked veal is “pull apart” good! For a
meat dish, this definitely has the delicate
texture which leaves you wanting more, if you
have any room left over that is. I
“struggled” through just fine though.
Florence is famous for its beef and this is one
dish you cannot pass up!
Now for desert! The only way to enjoy
fruit, in my opinion, is with rich, velvety,
warm chocolate! It’s time for some fondue!
What else can I say, except for that it comes
with freshest pineapple, banana, strawberries
At Cantina Barbagianni, they recommended me to
digest my meal with a sweet soulful alcoholic
beverage called Khirani, of course I was
obliged. Complex and rich in flavour, I
was fortunate enough to sip one or two on
glasses of this flavourful delight, ask for it
by name when you go.
Capacity: 60 seated
Entertainment: background music
Major credit cards accepted
Non smoking restaurant
information or to reserve: