FOOD + WINE
February 9, 2021 – 11:27
Will you be in Florence for Valentine’s Day this February 14? With Tuscany managing to stay in yellow zone for the time being, restaurants and cafes are making the most of the occasion with all sorts of special menus and deliveries. Although San Valentino supposedly dates back to Ancient Rome, the commercial celebration is a fairly new occurrence in Italy. Here are our suggestions, whether you’re planning to go out about or cosy up indoors.
A Valentine’s weekend with vineyard views
Enjoy a Tuscan getaway with a weekend away at Ruffino’s Poggio Casciano estate. Only 20 minutes from Florence, yet a world away surrounded by greenery and quietude, the Valentine’s experience includes dinner on Saturday with a tasting menu at the on-site restaurant Locanda Le Tre Rane, a night’s accommodation in the restful rooms with vineyard views and a romantic aperitivo in your room with a bottle of the recently released Prosecco Rosé DOC Ruffino. The Valentine’s package costs 220 euro for two persons. Late check-in is a possibility and – if you’re struggling to tear yourself away – stay for Sunday lunch and take advantage of a 20% discount.
Booking required: [email protected] or +39 378 3050220
What says “I love you” more than cinnamon rolls? Beloved brunch spot Melaleuca is open all weekend (be sure to book) and they’re also delivering gluten-free red velvet cupcakes (15 euro for six), Guinness cake (25 euro, serves 2-4) and various other goodies to your door. Everything is homemade, down to the bagels, bacon and probiotic cream cheese. Their DIY breakfast-in-bed hamper for two costs 35 euro, and includes freshly ground D612 coffee, hand-rolled croissants, bagels, house-cured salmon or bacon, desserts and more.
Send in your pre-order to [email protected] by Wednesday, February 10, call 055 6146894 or DM on Instagram @melaleuca.florence. Delivery to your door is also available.
Popular Sant’Ambrogio restaurant Cibrèo have put together a set and a la carte menu for Valentine’s Day, with seasonal stuffed artichokes and other produce-led dishes coming onto the menu. Alternatively, choose yourself a picnic dinner of quality goodies – hot lasagne, stews, salads and freshly baked sourdough – from nearby C.BIO and have a night off from cooking.
Call +39 055 2345853 to book a table at Cibrèo
La Ménagère’s head chef Nicholas Duonnolo has concocted an elegant five-course Valentine’s lunch centered on red and pink colours for the occasion. The menu includes a red prawn and bergamot risotto, plus two delicate rhubarb desserts celebrating the spring. The lunch costs 55 euro per person, excluding drinks. Each couple will be given a special floral gift.
To book, contact +39 055 075 06 00 or [email protected]
The American-style diner are offering a complimentary Valentine’s cocktail and mini heart-shaped pancakes to all couples who dine at Rooster on Valentine’s Day. They’ll be welcoming all at both locations at via Sant’Egidio 37r and via Porta Rossa 63r from 10am to 4pm on Sunday. Bookings are available for the slightly more spacious via Porta Rossa branch.
To book, contact [email protected] or +39 055 240 208
If you’re looking to impress, Four Seasons Florence is your place. With Michelin-starred culinary creations and the option to stay overnight and therefore have dinner, it’s one of the only five-star destinations open right now. Valentine’s packages include breakfast and late check out. There’s also have a decadent “Valentine’s at Home” menu, priced at 90 euro per person. Customised floral arrangements and bottles of Krug champagne can also be arranged.
To book or order, contact +39 055 2626450 or [email protected] or visit www.fourseasons.comflorence
Head to Michelin-starred Gucci Osteria for a fancy lunch and fashionista’s dream as chef Karime Lopez devises two special tasting menus exclusively for Valentine’s Day. The seven course menu will be titled All You Need is Love, with wine pairing available.
To book contact +39 055 7592 7038
The little sister of Il Santo Bevitore, tiny spot Il Santino on via Santo Spirito have a four-course fish menu for Valentine’s Day, costing 50 euro for two people. Expect creamed cod, fish soup, seared tuna and a signature chocolate brownie. The menu is also available for take-away via Deliveroo and comes with their own bread. Charming bakery and lunch spot S.Forno, also from the creators of Il Santo Bevitore, have pulled together a Cestino di San Valentino, a hamper including two artisan paninis, a heart-shaped chocolate brownie and a drink each for 12 euro. Chocolate and cherry panettoni are also on hand for lovers.
To book Il Santino, call +39 055 211264. To order from S.Forno, contact [email protected] or call +39 055 2398580.
Say it with gelato! Sbrino is delivering city-wide, with seasonal flavours like mandarin on the menu right now. The via Serragli store near Santo Spirito has been closed for the last couple of weeks, but will reopen on February 12 in time for Valentine’s Day if you’d prefer to go for an afternoon passeggiata with your date and pick up your gelato.
Order on Ubereats or visit their shops on via dei Serragli 32r or via Senese 1r.
Pick up some goodies from San Frediano institution, Pasticceria Buonamici, and enjoy them at home: the historic bakery is known for their traditional Florentine specialities, but that doesn’t mean they are above some Valentine’s soppiness. Silvia Buonamici and her team of bakers are preparing themed cookies boxes, Valentine’s cakes and special cupcakes in white boxes ready to go.
Visit via dell’Orto 27r to pick up your goodies, or call 055224004 to pre-order.
Go down the healthy route at Floret, who have packaged a special Valentine’s brunch bundle with flowers, a soon-to-be-announced set menu and various wellness goodies, including cold pressed juices and gluten free treats. They’re also offering a Self-Love discount of 25% on Valentine’s Day.
To order a delivery or book in for brunch, visit www.floret-bar.com
If you’re in the US and wishing you were in Florence, Curious Appetite is hosting a virtual cooking class with Florentine cooking instructor Patrizia Cantini this Valentine’s Day. Patrizia will teach participants how to tame artichokes and make tagliatelle ai carciofi. The class will take place at 12pm ET on February 14. All online pasta classes last 1.5 hours and cost $35 per participant.
Book online here.