Girl in Florence

A Tuscan Texan immersed in Florentine life

Seafood dreaming – Bistrò del Mare in Florence

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Do not show this to anyone obsessed with the Little Mermaid

Sometimes when I have wolfed down too many plates of ribollita or baccalà alla livornese, I crave something a little lighter. There is so much variety when it comes to delicious food in any season in and around this city, finding a seafood restaurant isn’t always that easy. I can tell you where to eat a crispy thin Tuscan pizza or a heartier neapolitan with nduja but fresh fish? Hmmm, that requires a bit more thought.

Which is why when I got the opportunity to try this seafood restaurant located just a 5 minute walk from my house, I jumped at it. Unbeknownst to me, Bistro del Mare has been open for three years and yet I probably have walked by this place along the lungarno a million times without ever peeking in.

bismare

While the entrance can seem somewhat intimidating, which is always the case when the actual door of the restaurant is a bit more hidden from the entryway – the interior is nicely lit, romantic and inviting. I snooped around and spotted a pretty bar area where you can get a drink before dinner.

Back to the meat I mean um ,er fish of my main discussion, we started our meal with two pasta dishes. The famous pasta allo scoglio (shellfish pasta) and trofie pasta with Vongole, Zucchine e Pinoli (small clams, zucchini and pinoli nuts). They were both delicious and perfectly dressed with just the right amount of salt. I really love trofie-shaped pasta in general and this dish was no exception.Their primi range from 14 to 16 euros a dish.

Trofie con Vongole, Zucchine e Pinoli

We opted to share the massive plate of seafood pictured above after I spied a couple at a nearby table order it. My food jealousy required that we try it as well. It reminded me of the kind of plate that high-flying businessmen in the 1980’s ordered while sipping martinis and making deals (we preferred white wine). I wish I could remember what this huge plate was named – but since my way of ordering was by pointing at the next table, the name will forever (probably not forever actually) remain a mystery.

fishdream

The fish was spectacular. I enjoyed the oysters here even more than the ones we tried in Sardinia which is a bit surprising. The crab was already partly pulled apart and its meat, tender and sweet. It came with a variety of sauces, olive oil & lemon, a vinegar onion dip, plus your standard mayonnaise. There was small spoonfuls of salmon and tuna tartar which was really nice and flavorful. This is the kind of fish plate that I dream about (besides a crispy tempura or fish-filled coconut curry).

As you can imagine, this girl always leaves room for dessert and the ones listed on the menu looked particularly delightful. For once I skipped the cheesecake and went for cremino al doppio cioccolato al profumo di lavanda e sbrisolona ai pistacchi (isn’t that a mouthful!) while my partner in crime went for the chocolate souffle lava cake. Both were absolutely the perfect ending to a great meal, or accompanied with an after dinner vino passito (dessert wine) and maybe a shot of lemoncello.

Don’t judge me

dessert

Afterwards we both needed a walk so we first checked out their wine cantina where they host special events and dinners among the bottles of wine. We even stopped in the kitchen which was basically a first for me. I must say that chefs are always an interesting bunch so we said our ciao’s and grazie’s and I was surprised at how utterly big it was. You likely could have landed a small helicopter in there.

A memorable meal to say the least and I will certainly be back once my seafood craving kicks into overtime. If you go, ask to sit on the panoramic inside terrace area which is very pretty. I thought the prices were very honest considering the quality of the food and wine and also the location itself. Their menu isn’t too vast (which is always a positive sign in my book) which means they can focus on the dishes they offer with more finesse than a menu bursting at the seams.

Bon Appétit 

Bistro del Mare

Lungarno Corsini, 4 50123 Florence, Italy
+39 055 239 9224

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0 Responses

  1. Looks awesome! And the ambiance seems really beautiful. Thanks for posting your dining experience!

      1. I actually had the best seafood of my life in…Texas! So I can understand Having trouble finding good seafood. Even the best restaurants in Chicago can’t come close to a fresh seafood shack by the beach. Glad you enjoyed! Btw-you really are living my dream;).

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Georgette Jupe

Welcomed to my personal blog by a curious American girl with a semi-confusing name living and working between Zug, Switzerland and Florence, Italy with my husband Nico and our beagle Ginger. This blog is primarily to share about my love for Italy (currently on a 13 year romance) with afar amount of real talk, practical advice, travel suggestions and adjusting to a new culture (Switzerland).

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