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Nove IX
Lungarno Guicciardini, 50100 Florence, Italy
Tel/Fax: 055 2302756

Opening hours
Lunch 12:30-14:30 | Dinner 19:30-23:.30
Open for brunch on Sunday
Open all days for dinner

For information or to reserve:
Official website

Email

Walking through the doors of Nove restaurant, can be a surreal experience for those visiting Florence for the first time or for those who have fallen in love with the city and have lived here for years.  Nove is a Florentine favourite and draws Tuscans from all over the region.

Nove is right across from the Arno river, a very easy walk from most hotels in Florence. In the spring and summer, the restaurant has a beautiful terrace adorned by shimmering lights and Tuscan shrubbery where it is easy to pass hours sipping some of Tuscany' best red vintages.

Inside the doors of Nove, deap shades of mahogany, amber and violet make up Nove's sublime color pallet and the soft and delicate lighting create an intimate and fun atmosphere that has kept both young and old Florentines coming back to enjoy the stylish and sophisticated decor in addition to the creative and fresh cuisine. 

The young and creative chef Damiano  who heads Nove's kitchen, uses both traditional  Tuscan cooking techniques and brings precision, elegance and creativity into every dish on Nove's menu.

In Damiano's kitchen, nothing is compromised.  Every ingredient in every dish is controlled and held to the strictest standard of freshness.

 Taking a glance around the kitchen there is evidence of the artist's trade  everywhere.  From the fresh herbs still in dirt, to swordfish laying on the counter like it had literally just been caught (150 km from the sea in Florence), the kitchen at Nove with all of its stainless steel appliances, seemed like a virtual fish and vegetable market, everything spotlessly clean and gleaming. 

Every night for Damiano must be carefully orchestrated with the timing of each dish sometimes coming down to the second.  Nothing is left to chance.

The presentation of each dish is truly a work of art on to its own.  At first I was nervous that the photos would not do the dishes’ presentation or flavour justice, but within a few seconds, I became naturally inspired and tried to reflect in the photos not only what I saw and smelled but the Chef’s passion as his art was displayed on the pure white porcelain plates shaped like a painter’s pallete. 

 The salamander was heating up to braise the halibut while the water was beginning to boil the hand made pasta, the fresh tuna was being carefully sliced to serve raw on the bed of greens and the variety of sauces were also beginning their journey to be thickened to be elegantly painted or poured on to their respective dishes.  It takes a great amount of concentration to ensure each dish is served at its peek, knowing that if this balance is not achieved; the Chef would have to start all over.  There is not a second of down time in this busy kitchen because with five hundred dishes being served on busy nights, every second counts.   

The ingredients are as fresh as possible as mentioned earlier but something I learned that one may not know, unless they asked of course, that the Black Cod, one of Nove’s most popular dishes (and after tasting it, I now know why), is flown into Florence from Alaska specially at the Chef’s request.  The owners of Nove know that the food is what keeps customers coming back and if it takes flying in fish half way around the world to serve the best, then that is exactly what they will do. 

 Now not all ingredients need to be flown in, take for instance the beef.  The 50-kilogram side of beef, something the Florentines farmers are famous for, was perched atop the butcher block lay waiting to be carved into any size that is ordered because nothing on the menu is carved, cooked or prepared until ordered.  Although your steak can be ordered in the traditional medium-rare fashion, Florentine Chef’s prefer to let the taste of the organic beef come out by searing both sides of the beef and leaving the centre rare in the middle so you can fully appreciate its natural flavour.  You won’t find steak like this anywhere else in Italy, so I say, when in Florence, do as the Florentines do…and order the bistecca rare. 

 If “turf” is not something you crave then Nove has wide variety of “surf” on the menu, as in, shrimp, scallops, clams, tuna, salmon, scampi, halibut, calamari and more if you can believe it!  You can have an Antipasti, Primi and Secondi plates and not have the same seafood twice.  The Antipasti selection is a “misti” (mix) of traditional Tuscan favorites, Asian and Southwestern influenced dishes as well.  You can try the Chef’s version of salmon carpacio with wasabi or sea bass with jalapenos if you are feeling exotic.   Whatever you choose though, all are sure to please.  I recommend as a Primi piati the scampi on the bed of linguini.  The whimsical presentation will make you smile and the taste will have you wanting more!  As a Secondi piatti, you would be negligent in not trying the Alaskan Black Cod, even if you have had it before, you have not had it at Nove, a truly five star plate.  

I assure anyone who makes a reservation at Nove, that there is something on their extensive menu to satisfy and inspire your taste buds. As with many things in life, once you've had the best its difficult to go back and like the city of Florence itself, Nove will most certainly leave an indelible impression on you for years to come. 

For information or to reserve: Email

Reviewed by Jesse Andrews and Dario Aubin Photographer,  VisitsItaly.com