Enoteca Pinchiorri

Via Ghibellina, 87, Firenze (Toscana), Florence, I-50122, Italy

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I was browsing through some old notes the other day and realised that I had not added this to the site. My impressions are now very old, but I add this entry in case anyone would like to give a more recent view.

Annie Feolde is the long established cook here, and had 3 Michelin stars back in the early 1990s, which is when we went. The restaurant lost its third star in the late 1990s, and then (most unusually) regained it in 2004, all with the same chef at the helm as far as I am aware.  I have to say that, based on our experience, Michelin got it right when they demoted it.  We had some extremely expensive but deeply ordinary food, including a pasta dish whose texture was distinctly on the hard side.  My wife's fish main course was cooked adequately but did not seem to be of particularly great quality.

I was even more surprised by a chocolate dessert that featured grainy ice cream. This is quite bizarre when you can throw a stick in Florence and hit a nice ice cream shop. Service was rather stiff. 

If anyone has been recently I'd be interested in your experiences. 

Further reviews: 01st May 2015

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User comments

  • Bea

    My partner and I ate here in December 2013, anticipating something wildly extravagant, delicious and with service to fit the occasion we were celebrating. The service, yes, was great - but I'm afraid to say I have never been so let down by a meal in my life. One course of scallops was delicious, but another pork dish was chewy and tasteless, whilst another of pasta (considering we were in the pasta capital of the world) was bland and tasted like I was gnawing on a dog's rubber toy. Over all, for a 5 course meal with wine the meal for two came to near enough £1,000 - for something I would have been happy to eat at a local pub, but not a 3* restaurant. I honestly do not know how the restaurant is held to such high acclaim.

  • Scott

    After a blanket refusal of entry and a stern dressing down for a claimed failure to re-confirm our booking (not true), the happily anticipatory mood of my friend and I was fairly dented. I haven’t felt this bad since Per Se refused to honour my booking four years ago on a wintry Manhattan night (it took them three days to bother to write and apologize) or when Michel Bras (as it was then named) in Laguiole wouldn’t let us in because we hadn’t rung the day before to confirm, though they had never asked us to do so. (I went a year later and gave it 19.5/20 for the best French meal ever, except for a Yannick Alléno gem at Le Meurice. Ten years later it got the same score.) While I was quietly fuming at Enoteca’s refusal to admit us – or was I secretly happy because I feared the meal ahead would not be great, should we ultimately be let in? – someone at Enoteca finally realized my friend was a famous chef and a table was magically free. And while they set that newly liberated table for us, we were sent off on trips to the cellar and kitchen. While guiding us through the cellar, the sommelier spoke at a speed I haven’t heard since His Girl Friday, whizzing us from room to room packed with the world’s rarest and most expensive wines. It was a foretaste of the whole night’s experience: rare and expensive. Much to my amazement, the sommelier trashed (the only word for it) every Tuscan wine except for two: Le Pergole Torte and Percarlo. He sniffed at Tuscan wines made from grapes other than Sangiovese, including those that weren’t 100% Sangiovese. Given this broadside, how could we later order anything but a pure Sangiovese. We opted for the 2004 Percarlo for 375€, which was okay but a little too tart and austere. I suspect a little blending with one or two other grapes would have made it better. The sommelier than proudly showed us the many magnums of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, all with the bottle number 00001 (in what paradigm is such a thing relevant or important?). The sommelier went on to dismiss all Burgundies except for those from Coche-Dury, which he said no one knew about and was impossible to buy. But isn’t this the same Coche-Dury that my wine-loving mates have raved about for a decade and have in their cellars? Impossible to get it most certainly isn’t. At the same time, while bemused by the sommelier’s exhausting spiel, I was sympathetic to his plight. He had obviously been dragged off the restaurant floor at zero notice, where I am sure he would have preferred to be, and told to entertain two alleged miscreants. The cellar visit was followed by a visit to the kitchen. I will never forget the chef, who greeted us with a greater disinterest than I ever imagined possible and then stared into space with what can only be described as disapproval with his lot. Before we ordered we were given a complementary glass of an ordinary Prosecco “exclusive to Signor Pinchiorri”. It was followed by a 2009 Piantonaia Chardonnay blend (again, nothing remarkable), “exclusive to Signor Pinchiorri”. Everything at this place is “exclusive to Signor Pinchiorri”. The opening course – of marinated Amberjack with some indeterminate gravel – was tasteless and terrible. If you got anything thing this poorly executed in a trattoria you would send it back. (6/20) Then came a chunk of Mora Romagnola suckling pig, bred and raised “exclusively for Signor Pinchiorri”. It was lukewarm, bland and nondescript. (9/20) The dessert was a non-event and, though I ate it only a few months ago, I can’t even remember what it was. This is unusual, because I have eaten at hundreds of Michelin-starred restaurants for nearly 40 years and I can still remember most of everything I have eaten – even, say, at La Bonne Auberge in 1979. Objectively speaking, the Amberjack, pig and dessert were the worst three courses I have had in a 3-star restaurant other than at Jean Georges in New York in 2010. However, between the Amberjack and the pork, there was the legendary Agnolotti filled with saffron-tinged ricotta, served with tiny prawns. That is one of the best pasta dishes I have eaten. It was simple, pure and elegant, and momentarily made me forgive the rest. (17/20) The staff, despite the man who admonished us at the front door (who later cheered up, fortunately), was lovely. An Indian waiter was as fine a friend on a culinary journey as one could hope to meet. And, finally, the Pinchiorris: the patriarch, who swept through the restaurant with aristocratic ease, was superbly dressed and gave the sense of theatre this place needs much more of; and the daughter, who took pity on us after the dressing-down, I found charming. I wanted to love this restaurant, hoping to find it a still-living testament and temple to classical Tuscan cuisine, but found it instead a Tuscan Disneyland for wealthy Americans and Russians. The set-up and performance of Enoteca Pinchiorri is for those who want something 'special' in Florence, rather than great food in a vibrant restaurant. And it worked for one American couple. It was her birthday, he proposed and both were happy. This will remain one of the happiest moments of their life and they won’t even remember the food. (9/20)

  • Name unavailable

    Restaurant visited June 12, 2012. I found the food to be at three star level (I visited Arnolfo, Dal Pescatore and Osteria Francescana the same week, and thought EP was at the same level as Dal Pescatore and Arnolfo). The prices of the menus are 190/230€ (10/15 small courses) or 225/275€ (6/9 medium size courses), which is a bit more expensive than the other three restaurants I visited. Wine is very expensive, the cheapest wines áre 175€, and the mark-up is approx. 10 times retail price.

  • Peter

    The most enjoyable 4 hours of my entire eating life.

  • Colin and Marie

    Ah yes.... rich trap for tourists! We were delighted to get a booking on short notice... but... the adventure began with a water menu that had prices in excess of many quality wine list we have seen. The food was good enough but our memory of this restaurant were around stiff service ("no sir you cant begin with a beer... this is an entoteca") and the price. The food was good enough but the small culinary "gifts" from the kitchen between courses were consistently more interesting than the actual ordered courses. Dessert at a jazz club up the road was the best part of the meal.

  • Piet

    It is at moments like this that I am *so* grateful for sites like this one. I had intended to eat here later this year. Not only have you (all of the posters) saved us a boat load of money, but more importantly, a wasted night of our short holiday. Thank you all!

  • J Arrowsmith

    I visited the restaurant last week and whilst I really enjoyed all the food, I am at a loss as to how the cheapest starter is 70 euros and wines start at 100 euros (with very little choice at this level). Even Pinot Grigio was 150 euros! The overall cost of the meal for two of us was 650 euros and we didn't go mad - we couldn't afford to! A minor compensating factor was the gift of a bottle of red wine that we were each given as we left. Never again!

  • Eyck Zimmer

    I fully agree on the 4/10 for the food but at 250 Euro a head this is not acceptable. I ate there in March 2008 ( I am a decent Chef myself) and found the overall experience of food not what expected of a restaurant with this reputation. I then was introduced briefly to the Chef who cleary was so full of himself (in my opinion) for no reasons. Two things stick in my memory: one the choices of various different salts they offer ( which is a nice touch) and a dessert plate that was arranged in a clock form on the plate, apart from that it was off not much substance flavour or texture wise, it was kitsch and something I wouldnt even do for a 5 year olds birthday....over all 2 people for 550 Euro...go and eat at any of the other very goods restaurants in Florence!!

  • Massimo Mariani

    I have visited the restaurant in late November 2008, I feel the price is far too expensive for the required price. I share the view that service could be better.

  • Aldo

    Dear Andy I live in Tusany and I believe that Enoteca Pinchiorri is just a trap for rich tourists, that's all. If you really want to enjoy Tuscan dinner, just go to a simple Trattoria or Osteria, anywhere in Tuscany you'll be more happy surely. Happy New Year!

  • Greg Brozeit

    Dear Andy, I wanted to write and say I wish you had posted this earlier! I took my wife here last November on our first vacation away from our kids in 6 years and this place was shockingly overpriced and overrated. I've come to trust your insights and would never have gone had I read this review first. 4/10 is a bit generous. Have been mostly to German restaurants and couldn't agree more with your comments on Waldhotel Sonnora, perhaps my personal favorite. Thanks for the website, I enjoy it very much.

  • Jeff

    My wife and I joined two friends & went to Enoteca Nazionale Firenze restaurant, on June 4, 2008 and had a few laughs. This is the only way I can describe our dining experience. They served us sparkling wine when we entered and seated us promptly. My friend, Mauricio, a native Italian, was in charge of the wine. The wine list was intense, a large book. After perusing the wines and realizing most wines came from small local vineyards, he smiled and stated no thank you. This is the first time, this proud Italian gentleman said no to his beloved ITALIAN wines. Why you ask? Because a glass was 50 euros and a bottle averaged 600 euros. The menu was consistent: 60 euros for a side of veggies, 95 to 300 per entree. The food was very good, but not the best of the best: 3 Michelin stars. So why was the night so funny? Well, the next table was trying to celebrate a birthday. Four servers came out with a sparkler in a cake and stood in front of the Asian man and his wife quietly. They just stood there. Finally, the Americans in the restaurant started singing happy birthday. Afterward the server took the plastic cake away from the birthday table and this man’s face dropped. We looked at each other and asked for the check. Since we did not order desert or wine, the restaurant had no need to grant us our departing chocolate box. Afterwards, we enjoyed some wine and sweets and laughed the whole night.