By Guia Rossi. Photo by Pasquale Formisano
If you’re looking for a new place to try in Florence, be sure to add Strozzi Bistrò to your list. This little gem is set in the courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi and is a perfect stop after visiting one of the exhibitions on the calendar. From 9 a.m. to midnight, non-stop, making it an excellent spot for relaxation and conversation. But this is not a simple eatery: the 150 square metre space is designed by Fabio Novembre, who successfully captured the essence of Florentine identity while respecting the Strozzi family’s roots. The design teases the senses, including taste, with a menu incorporating signature dishes by starred chef Tommaso Arrigoni and Florentine tradition, such as the famous Uovo CBT (low-temperature cooked egg) and Pici pasta with Tuscan ragù from the Bistrò.
Why Strozzi Bistrò in Florence is a special hidden gem
The atmosphere is intimate and cosy, perfect for a peaceful breakfast, lunch away from the hustle and bustle, an aperitif and a unique dinner. The place is adorned with numerous references that challenge the eye to uncover them. The walls below the cross vaults are painted in Renaissance blue, looking as if they had been freshly laid with a blend of lapis lazuli or azurrite powder. They are punctuated by crescent moons reminiscent of the Strozzi family’s coat of arms, faintly repeated like alchemic symbols. Then you can find the decapitated lamb and the eagle, other symbols of the Florentine dynasty, sculpted in the 15th-century capitals to which Novembre has visually added pilasters to make them look like columns.
A warm, textured leather, typical of the Tuscan tradition, covers the counter, while a grand glass bottle holder traces the shape of the original door behind it and attracts the eye like a magnet. I noticed the bottle holder is positioned in front of the fourth entrance to Palazzo Strozzi, which is often overlooked and not well-known. Walled up and camouflaged in the wall, it now regains new value. Could mixology be the gateway to a new level of perception of art time? Oh, yes.
The bar holds a surprise hidden between the lines of the drink list. Visitors can taste cocktails named after the exhibitions, the works and visions of the artists featured in the Palazzo. For this periodo the mixology team created Rubro drink, a tribute to Anish Kapoor’s blood-red waxed artworks. It is a gin-based blend with raspberries, Vermouth and lemon.
Strozzi Bistrò is located in Piazza degli Strozzi, Florence.