A new beginning. It’s a wonderful feeling. Walking around Florence, it’s not the first thing that comes to mind. But sometimes, when it hits you, you feel reborn. Your perspective changes. And my view on Florentine dining changed last week.
iO Osteria Personale is located in the trendy Borgo San Frediano neighborhood of Florence; an area that is going thru its own revival. As you walk in, you get a glimpse of what may be a new Florentine renaissance: exposed brick, shades of grey and black, hardwood floors, graphic art of the menu on the walls. This is only a backdrop for the real star: the food.
Matteo Fantini also wanted a new beginning. Educated as a veterinarian, but a foodie in his heart, he wanted to create a place where he would love to eat. ‘iO Osteria Personale’ was born. Matteo teamed up with 24 year-old head chef Nicolò Baretti. Nicolò earned his stripes in a few of Italy’s top restaurants and in Spain’s Basque region. For his dishes, he interprets Tuscan ingredients in a brilliant way.
On the new menu, Nicolò tempts you with Monkfish in broccoli coulis and burrata cheese [a creamy Mozzarella and one of my guilty pleasures]. He combines gnudi [ricotta ravioli] and lentils in broth with crunchy polenta. And for a wintery dessert: neccio [chestnut flour pancake] with ricotta, honey, orange and castagnaccio ice cream.
Matteo and Nicolò succeeded. They created a place where they want to eat, and a place where I love to eat. Go there before the secret’s out.
iO Osteria Personale, Borgo San Frediano 167r, 50124 Firenze, +39 055 9331341, firstname.lastname@example.org.