When StyleNest paid a recent visit to Florence, a visit to the Caffe Dell’Oro was definitely on our list. Part of the Lungarno Collection, owned and managed by the Ferragamo family, the group of hotels and restaurants stand alone in their own right next to the fashion empire, offering Italian glamour in the form of luxury stays and gourmet food.
Caffe dell’Oro can be found at the Portrait Firenze, one of four Lungarno hotels in the city, plus a collection of private apartments. Situated on the river Arno, Caffe Dell’Oro is the hotel’s signature restaurant and boasts an excellent location just next to the picturesque Ponte Vecchio, offering views of the historic landmark for those lucky enough to have a window seat.
The décor of Caffe Dell’Oro is chic, simple, and modern, much like a Ferragamo collection. The colour palette is a classic combination of soft beige and neutrals, which with heavily dimmed lights at night makes for a romantic Florentine evening. The restaurant doesn’t reveal much about it’s fashionable heritage, but as you head downstairs to the bathrooms don’t forget to take a look at the black and white photos on the wall which show off Ferragamo’s glittering career with many of his famous and glamorous clients.
In the style of an Italian bistro, the restaurant is perhaps more relaxed than its 1 Michelin-starred sister restaurant at the Hotel Lungarno’s Borgo San Jacopo. However, with all dishes looked after by the group’s Michelin starred Chef Peter Brunel, you can still be sure of something special, and the opportunity to taste wines from the Ferragamo family’s own vineyards.
The restaurant also uses 100% Italian ingredients for an authentic experience, but Caffe Dell’Oro is more inventive than simply pasta and pizza. During our evening we had the chance to try herring marinated in soar, which we learnt was the traditional method of preserving fish in vinegar by Venetian fisherman, but had been elevated to a beautifully presented dish with radicchio and edible flowers. As our dining companion was vegetarian he opted for the caprese salad which was the perfect opportunity to try the resaurant’s authentic Italian ingredients and sample tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil at their best.
We were spoilt for choice for our main courses, but pheasant with indulgent truffle was particularly tempting and indulgent, as did trofie pasta with Genovese pesto sauce, a typical dish from the Liguria in Northern Italy. Like our starters, both were absolutely delicious, and lived up to the restaurant’s rave reviews we had already seen online.
For dessert we opted for a classic tiramisu, and the intriguingly named chocolate broth with banana and fior di latte ice cream, which when it came we were happy to find out was a generous serving of rich melted chocolate as the “broth”, creamy ice-cream and crunchy meringue pieces, all topped off with flakes of gold, a real showstopper to end our meal.
Not only was the food astoundingly good, but so was the service. Our waiter was not just attentive, but went above and beyond the call of duty. When we asked about a particular wine we had loved from our first course, he even came back with a map which he had marked with locations around the city that might sell it for us to take home as a souvenir of the evening. Nothing was too much trouble, and the care taken in looking after the food and guests made for one of the most memorable meals of our trip. Plus, thanks to the recommendations of our waiter, we now have a great bottle of wine at home to remember our Florentine evening by.