August 27, 2008

Edible Florence- Cipolla Rossa

Osteria Cipolla Rossa

Preparing for the release of my dining guide Divina Cucina's Edible Florence,
I have been going around to see what is happening in the Florentine dining scene.

For most people, the classics alone would take a month to visit, places that are part of the culinary history of Florence that one MUST go to.

Often visitors are here on weekends, when most of the classics are closed,
so I am researching before going to print.

There are several styles of places to eat,
some have great owners that impost their recipes and the chef is not important.

But some places have chef-owners and when the chef leaves,
the restaurant is not the same without them.

Cipolla Rossa is a surprise.

It was opened by a friend of mine last year, but did not thrill me.

It was recently bought by one of my favorite butchers in the Central Market, Massimo
and he had the wise judgement to partner with two of my favorite chef-owners.

Cipolla Rossa is now run by Federico who created Cinque di Vino, San Casciano.
and Nicola, the original chef and creator of Osteria dei Benci in Florence.
Both have left their old places and put all their energy into
this new venture.

What a treat!

The menu is lovely with some classics and some twists.

Federico was our waiter and as in the style of an osteria
where the host-oste tells you what is on the menu for the day,
he listed off so many great things.
We went for the daily special's which were featuring Porcini!

Lucky us!

We began with a carpaccio of porcini, rich thick slices of fresh porcini,
layered with greens and shaved parmesan cheese.

I had their version of a eggless Carbonara, which is similar to an "Alfredo" sauce which actually only exists at Alfredo's in Rome and is not Italian, but rather a signature dish.

Theirs was made with fresh cream from our local dairy and crisp pieces of guanciale, a sort of bacon made from pork cheeks.

We followed up with the Filetto Alpina, a classic, a beef filet topped with a whole grilled porcini mushroom cap, which is my favorite way to eat porcini
and they cooked the stems as a bed for the beef!
Nice touch!

A lovely salad of red tomatoes, raw red onions and mint was refreshing.
We didn't have room for dessert,
but we did for a fresh piece of pineapple bathed in Maraschino liquore.

We drank a lovely white wine called Pecorino, which is hard to find and
a personal favorite for summer.


I can't wait to go back when the weather changes as they do incredible winter food!
I hear they are going to be doing the boiled beef cart which is so popular as a home meal and I have only had it in restaurants in Bologna and Verona!


Osteria Cipolla Rossa
Via dei Conti, 53/r

Closed Tuesday
Located near the Medici Chapel

We did manage to have a granita after at Carabe!!!


  1. janie6:02 PM

    Wow-now I'm starving. I look forward to reading all of your recommendations-grazie! I made your rice stuffed tomatoes the other day-delicious.

  2. Delicious. I think I need a private food consultation for when we return to Italy!

  3. Anonymous8:50 PM

    We stopped by on our two night stay in Florence and we ended up going back the next night! We never do this!!! It was a truly amazing dining experience. We loved the black truffles over egg and pasta, the porcini salad... The proprietor made us feel so comfortable. Very romantic setting. Afordable. Tucked away on a small side street. Highly recommended.