If you’re a true food lover or wine connoisseur, then you’ve heard about Enoteca Pinchiorri, the three Michelin starred restaurant in Florence owned by husband and wife team Giorgio Pinchiorri and Annie Féolde.
In the early 1970’s, Florence had plenty of amazing trattorias but no gourmet restaurants creating innovative cuisine. Giorgio Pinchiorri, a Modena native and wine enthusiast, decided to start selling high prized wines by the glass at an enoteca. Slowly, his clientele increased and when he met Annie Féolde, a young girl from Nice, France, she came up with the idea of serving hors d’oeuvres to pair with glasses of fine wine. A few years later, Enoteca Pinchiorri opened its doors to welcome diners from all across the world for a true gastronomic experience. In 1993, chef Annie Féolde became the first female chef to receive three Michelin stars in Italy, how cool is that?! Now head chefs Italo Bassi and Riccardo Monco create beautiful contemporary Italian cuisine but with a Tuscan twist. The young pastry chef, Luca Lacalamita, does extensive research to reimagine classic desserts into innovative creations.
So what makes this restaurant famous and known world-wide? First, the service is extremely attentive but without being overbearing. The staff is highly knowledgable in terms of food and wine. The kitchen excels in preparing dishes using only the finest quality of ingredients with creativity and perfect cooking techniques. Every single detail is cared for and meticulously overseen. But the real showstopper that makes this restaurant phenomenal is their wine cellar where passionate sommelier, Giorgio Pinchiorri, has been acquiring prized wines and historic vintages for over 40 years. Their cellar holds over 120,000 bottles containing wines that no one in the world has! It truly is a one of a kind cellar with exceptional bottles of wine from some of the best brands in the entire world.
After living in Florence for almost four years, I finally had the opportunity to dine at Enoteca Pinchiorri. They have three types of menus: à la carte, a seasonal tasting menu, and a tasting of dishes from the à la carte menu. We were torn between the 15 course winter tasting menu and the 9 course à la carte tasting menu. We ended up trying the 9 course à la carte tasting menu since some of the restaurant’s specialities were offered on it with a tasting of three wines.
Enoteca Pinchiorri has been one of the best fine dining experiences I’ve ever had. Yes, the food was amazing but the service and wine truly made the experience even better. First, the service was impeccable. Our waiter was not only gracious and easy to talk to but extremely attentive without being intrusive. He also happened to be one of the many sommeliers in the restaurant and helped pick out wines that would pair nicely with the menu we ordered (we were overwhelmed with the amount of wines to choose from their wine list).
Second, the food was all elegantly presented and tasted divine. The dishes weren’t the most innovative food I’ve eaten but they were all executed perfectly in terms of seasoning and cooking techniques. Highlights of the dinner were the homemade breads, the red prawns with beans, deep fried monk fish, Mora Romagnola baby pork, the duo of squab, and the homemade chocolates. All the breads served were absolutely delicious in terms of texture and flavor. My favorites were the polenta crisps (crunchy and buttery) and the warm rolls. The red prawns with beans was not only a visually stunning dish but the flavors were spot on. Tender prawns with creamy white beans paired with five different kinds of fish roes which added the perfect pop of texture. I usually don’t like monk fish but their version was superb. Crispy fried monk fish filled with soppressata with silky potato cream and a kick of spice from the Jamaican pepper was a heavenly combination of flavors. Next, the Mora Romagnola baby pork was another sublime dish due to its crunchy skin with supple sweet meat and herbaceous greens. Their famous dish, the squab breast and leg was flawlessly executed. The squab breast was cooked to medium rare perfection and the leg confit was utterly tender. Served with sweet bell pepper sauce and relish with rich and fluffy potato croquette was the perfect way to end the savory courses. The homemade chocolates offered at the very end of the meal were also exquisite. The only problem was that I was so full that I couldn’t try all of them!
Lastly, our wine pairing was absolutely divine. All three wines we tasted were beautifully paired with our meal, each tasting so delectable. We had the opportunity to try more wines but since they keep pouring you the same wine until the next pairing is ready, I was feeling quite relaxed. My overall rating for Enoteca Pinchiorri is an 8.5/10 due to the outstanding service and magnificent wines.
After finishing our meal we had a tour of the kitchen and the famous wine cellar.
Enoteca Pinchiorri is not only a restaurant but a true fine dining experience. Everything from the ambience, service, food and wine was extraordinary. If you’re looking for a luxury experience to wine and dine like true royalty then I would highly recommend coming here for a once-in-a-lifetime gastronomic adventure.