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CB Firenze – new restaurant in the Oltrarno

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When a new restaurant opens in Florence it can be a little bit like Russian roulette. A lot of places have the desire and passion but perhaps not always the means to put together as memorable an experience as they could hope.

One example of a recent place that hasn’t had the best reviews since its opening, is vegan/microbiotic restaurant Miso di Riso on borgo albizi. Sometimes I think places invest so much into the design and hype yet don’t concentrate on the invariably most important thing - the food. If you want to charge 10 euros for couscous, well then that better be the best damn couscous that we have ever tasted ;-). I am not rushing out to try it but I may give them a chance to see for myself sometime soon.

Luckily my experience at new cantina bistro CB Firenze was one worth writing about. Located on via caldaie near Piazza Santo Spirito, the restaurant itself has a cool retro design that anyone could appreciate. Upon entering, you feel like you are transported in a trendy bistro in San Francisco or London yet, nope you are in the oltrarno area of Florence, Italy.

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They use reusable materials such as iron, wood and glass as part of the decor, some of which was made in Germany during the 1960’s. I especially appreciated the wine-barrel-wood bar stained maroon from the wine and of course the cool wine-bottle chandelier that I would love to see hanging above my living room couch. Another standout piece was a really unique lamp they created above the bar with huge flourescent letters. Lining each room are rustic metal bookcases which definitely fits into the Oltrarno elcectic hipster style. 

I must admit – this place is cool. 

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Something else that intrigued me was their prices. When I walked in front of this place a few weeks ago on the way to meet a friend at Mama’s Bakery on via della chiesa, I stopped in front to have a look at their lunch menu with pasta’s starting at 5.50 a plate, which is very honest. Every time I see a plate of pasta for 10 euros or more, it sort of rubs me the wrong way. This place proves that you can combine fair prices, innovative food and beautiful, modern decor in 2014.

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Of course my friend Alexandra from Arttrav and I couldn’t resist a few fun photo-ops before tasting some of the menu items with some fellow journalists, bloggers & writers.

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We tried a few sampler platters from the dinner menu, including a fresh take on the traditional Tuscan liver sauce which I normally am not a fan of but was pleasantly surprised. They added orange rind and an interesting orange jelly which made this plate a lot more pleasurable gastronomical experience for a liver-squeamish person like myself. The ravioli with a white ragu sauce was delicious and something I wasn’t sure I would have liked, being a girl who normally needs tomato in her sauce. 

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 Though I wasn’t able to stay for dessert – I am planning to come back very soon to try a few more of their dishes. I also should mention that they have a wide variety of wines {hence the name cantina} with good prices. To be honest Florence really needs more restaurants like this. Contemporary, cool and great prices for people like me who really can’t drop 30 euros for dinner very often. This might just be my new go-to place in the Oltrarno for Sunday lunch.

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The only downside is they don’t yet have a website or facebook page which if I am 100% honest, is pretty bewildering in 2014. I understand that it’s a new place but I couldn’t even find the phone number online to make a reservation and instead had to walk in front of the place in order to see the hours/phone number. I know I work in social media but it really doesn’t take but a few minutes to set up a FB page or temporary landing page on their website with the vital information – especially for people who really want to eat at your restaurant! Just a little tip for the owners ;-). On the other hand, they do have continuous hours Tuesday through Saturday which is pretty unique considering in Florence it can be tough finding a {good} restaurant outside of traditional lunch and dinner hours, in any case, they have my vote.

Final thoughts – Worth a try? Absolutely! and let me know what you think if you’ve already been, I am always curious to know other people’s opinions.

CIBI
Via delle Caldaie 12-14r, Firenze
www.cibifirenze.it – #CIBIFirenze
Open from Tuesday to Saturday & Sunday lunch
Hours 10.00am – 1.00am, Sunday 10am – 3pm.

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  1. 3 new restaurants in Florence with a cultural bent | Arttrav.com

    […] Food and Wine are priority at CIBI but so are the arts. A different artist will be featured on the walls in rotation – the first exhibit was some quite nice abstract paintings. Book presentations and other small cultural events will take place here, especially as the small courtyard garden becomes useable in the spring. And interestingly, CIBI’s kitchen is open all day, for long hours – from about 10am to 1pm – allowing you to eat pretty much any time, or come in for breakfast or afternoon tea and cake. Mix this with an european-cosmopolitan menu that proposes unexpected flavours and you have a recipe for success. For more about the food, see my friend Georgette’s review. […]

  2. tewie

    Mixed reviews from our party, slightly underseasoned and basic, we had high expectations but unfortunately left disappointed.


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