Taking classic Italian culinary traditions to create modern dishes with an innovative twist, the menus at these top Michelin restaurants showcase Tuscan haute cuisine at its best.
Enoteca Pinchiorri ***
Housed in an opulent palazzo in central Florence, owners Giorgio Pinchiorri and Annie Féolde have been creating curiously creative dishes in the Renaissance capital since 1972. As the first female chef in Italy to earn 3 Michelin-stars, Annie’s take on reinterpreting authentic local recipes comes with her signature bold style in its artful presentation. Wines at Enoteca Pinchiorri are selected by sommelier Giorgio who pairs grapes to set food menus: try the 7-course Scoperta (Discovery; 150 euro pp plus wine) or 10-course Contemporaneo (Contemporary; 250 euro pp plus wine).
In the tiny hilltop town of Colle di Val d’Elsa, near Siena, Chef Gaetano Trovato’s modern bright dining room offers 2 Michelin-starred dining housed in a former 17th century private home (today there are four bedrooms for stayovers). With only 30 seats, this restaurant’s attention to detail goes beyond the plate. Tasting menus at Arnolfo start at 125 euro for 4-course Renovo, with vegetarian options also available, while wine suggestions by brother Giovanni come from a vast cellar of Italian and French labels. In the warmer months, its terrace offers stunning views of the surrounding Tuscan countryside.
Il Piccolo Principe **
Seaside holiday town, Viareggio, isn’t known for its glamour however on the rooftop of the Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte, Chef Giuseppe Mancino creates mouth bursting 2 Michelin-starred morsels to enjoy with the panoramic views. The menu at Il Piccolo Principe showcases both water and land harmonizing the restaurant’s location nestled between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Apuan Alps. Tasting menus are inspired either by Sea (seafood) or Earth (meat-based) or choose off an à la carte list. For the adventurous, the 10-course “A Modo Mio” (My Way) is a “surprise” of dishes selected by Mancino.
Ristorante Giglio *
In the charming walled Renaissance town of Lucca, near Pisa, Giglio has been in-situ since 1979. Housed in an elegant palace, the traditional interiors do not reflect the menu which is modern and brash. The kitchen is currently at the helm of three young chefs who have brought their own flair, many with Asian spice influences, to reshape local products earning them a Michelin star in 2019. Degustation menu Selezione offers five tasting plates, from starter to dessert (70 euro pp), or Espressione is seven dishes showcasing the gastronomical breadth of the menu (100 euro pp). Wine can be chosen from an ethical list of 600 international bottles.
Il Palagio *
Refined dining within the stunning Four Seasons in Florence, Chef Vito Mollica seeks out small producers spending time in traditional food markets and the Tuscan countryside to find the best local products for his culinary creations. Il Palagio is surrounded by the city’s largest private garden making for a grand Michelin-starred dining experience in the heart of the Tuscan capital. In warmer months, take a table in the leafy terrace to savour their seasonal tasting menu accompanied by an exceptional wine list – more than 1000 labels are also served by the glass.