When I was putting together my recommendations for Jon, Jeremy, Lawrence and Agyesh I knew where I had to begin. “If you see anything, other than Tie Your Tie, it must be the David and if you are going to eat in one place, make it Cibreo.” These suggestions aren’t unique. Cibreo is widely held by many as Florence’s finest eatery and Il Gigante has long been touted as one of the greatest pieces of sculpture of the last 500 years. I’ve often found that legends rarely live to their hype. Occasionally they meet it. The David and Cibreo both transcend it.
Not unlike the David, you’ll most likely find lines outside of Trattoria Cibreo (Via de' Macci 122r). Again, I ask that you listen to Machiavelli and wait. Chef Fabio Picchi has innovated traditional Tuscan cuisine to create a menu full of unfamiliar (no pastas) but mind-blowing dishes with bold, unforgettable flavors. When my brother first told me about the place he issued me specific instructions: Start with the pomodoro in gelatina – an unbelievable tomato jello-like spread with fiery hot pepper, raw garlic and fresh basil. Next move on to the sformato di ricotta e patate (a sort of quiche of sheeps ricotta and potato), calamari inzimino (a sublimely spicy squid and black cabbage) and a half bottle of chianti to wash it all down. I’ve never ordered anything else and I still dream of the pomodoro in gelatina to this day.