Ristorante Cibrèo

Florence is a city where we lose ourselves with all our hearts and souls, between streets and buildings that take us to the past and works of art that make us feel inferior. The comfort comes through the mouth, since in Tuscany the cuisine is always ready to produce effects in both stomach and soul. The simplicity of the cooking, together with the quality of the ingredients, light seasoning and great enhancement of the flavors makes it almost impossible not to like this regional cuisine. Florence is one of the most visited cities in the world, fulfilled with Americans wishing to live “under de Tuscany sun”, or more recently, because of Dan Brown’s book. Well, everything would be perfect if, as in any other part of the world, there wasn’t a faux cuisine to deceive tourists, restaurants which only truth and authenticity is in the names of the dishes. But, fortunately, there are exceptions, places that become famous by their quality and tradition, that even with the tourist guides fame, remain faithful to their essence. Cibrèo is one of those restaurants, open for more than 30 years by Chef Fabio Picchi, it continues solid in its principles to daily recreate a simple cuisine, of Tuscany origin, with the best ingredients, like any grandmother would formerly do.

Fabio is a star, with several published books and TV shows, with a characteristic charm that allows him to be a master, either in the kitchen or in the marketing, with which he developed his restaurants. Currently, Cibrèo is more than a restaurant by the Sant’Ambrogio’s market and the Santa Croce’s Church; it is a mandatory stop to any foreigner who wants to meet the basis of the traditional recipes, in an elegant and refined space, where the service is one of the strengths. Starting with the menu, we might as well say that it doesn’t exist, the starters (20€) and the main courses (36€) are described by a cordial team member that seats at the table with the inmates, debating the offerings of the day with the personal tastes of each person. A different approach that stimulates a positive interaction with the costumers, although it’s not always easy to remember all the proposals in the moment of choosing.

Several small dishes are served as appetizers, from tripes with delicate vinaigrette, a great liver pâté, barley, cucumber and tomato salad with excellent acidity, among many others, where the clear winner was the tomato gelatin. The fresh flavor of the tomato and basil is a slightly spicy end, working perfectly to initiate the meal.

Porcini mushrooms cream
Once in the mushroom season, the fresh Porcini fill the shelves of any restaurant, here they are the basis of a rich and silky cream, with aroma and flavor.

Yellow pepper cream, croûtons, parmigiano Reggiano
This dish is one of the classics of the house, a velvety cream with light pepper flavor and a pleasant combination with the cheese. Disappointing that the croûtons were no longer truly crispy when arriving to the table. An excellent soup.

Sformato of ricotta and potato, parmigiano reggiano e pesto
A Sformato is somewhere between a flan and a soufflé, here in a version with irreprehensible texture and a flavor explosion when combining the 3 elements of the dish. The pesto is worth by itself, replacing the pine nuts by a mixture of hazelnuts and almonds that give it a much more interesting dimension. One of the best moments of the night.

White Mullet olive oil, olives, sage and rosemary
The cooking couldn’t be any easier, mixing good ingredients and closing them in aluminum foil for the right amount of time.  The fish was spot on, impregnated with nice aromas and an interesting slightly acidic flavor. Well sided by white beans sautéed in olive oil.

 Oxtail stew, potatoes and green beans
The dish of the night, a simple and traditional stew, by the books. Time, ingredients and seasoning in a great communion, tender and juicy tail,  spot on potatoes, nicely balanced by the beans and impeccably accompanied by some little artichokes, cooked in olive oil until getting the right texture.

Chocolate cake
While not being a traditional Italian dessert, the combination of great quality chocolate with coffee in a thin cake without flour is simply delicious.

Cheesecake, Bitter orange marmalade
A cheesecake probably made with mascarpone, with a fantastic texture and very well structured flavor between the sweet of the pie and the acidity of the orange.

Bilberry tart
Nobody could complain of the absence of bilberries, small berries from a local producer, over a thin and crispy base, with a light cream that leaves all the highlights for the delicate fruit and its intense sauce. A must.


The wine list is extensive; the options have been borne by the sommelier, based in Italian producers, starting with a 2008 Cabochon Monte Rossa that went very well with the appetizers. It was followed by a white 2012 Manincor Réserve della Contessa, to go with the starters, a simple white, with nice acidity and aroma. To the main courses, a Brunello di Montalcino, Altesino 2008 DOCG, full of structure and elegant tannins making a perfect combo with the oxtail. The desserts where accompanied by a 2011 Late Harvest, Tramim Roen, which performed its function very well.

The Service is excellent, professional from the order to the explanation to the inmates on how to taste some of their dishes without being obtrusive, letting the clients enjoy and relax during the long hours of the meal. Traditional dishes come out of the kitchen, worked in the right way, with the intent to let every ingredient speak for itself.

Final remarks
Cibrèo is a restaurant with a cuisine that moves around each season of the year and of every day, waiting for the best ingredients, that small producers and the market in the vicinity of the restaurant are able to supply. Altogether, Cibrèo and Fabio Picchi’s cuisine are definitely worth a visit, for the experience, the service and the quality of the ingredients. Truth is that it is not properly accessible, as very few of the good restaurants of Florence are, but Cibrèo has other options, you can try the Trattoria or the Caffé, with the same quality of the cuisine and a more relaxed service.

Ristorante Cibrèo
Via del Verrocchio, 8r, Florence
055 234 11 00

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