Lunch at Irene – Hotel Savoy Firenze
Style Points: 5/5
Location: Central Florence
Covid-19 Safety Measures:
All staff wear masks at all times, guests required to wear masks in communal areas
Hand sanitiser available
Out-door seating available
Located right in the heart of the Florence city centre on the beautiful Piazza della Repubblica, Irene is the restaurant/bistro of the Hotel Savoy, a 5-star Rocco Forte hotel full of character and charm.
Irene restaurant is a cosy space with warm interiors and comfortable seating, with further seating available right on the terrace outside, so you can watch passers-by make their way across the Piazza. Although a smart and stylish venue, Irene still has a relaxing vibe to it and is the type of restaurant where you can spend many hours enjoying a nice lunch followed by an espresso whilst discussing the goings-on in the world today with your companion.
We decided to dine inside and had a lovely table with a view of the terrace and Piazza. The menu itself is inspired by traditional Tuscan cuisine and is made with local and seasonal produce sourced from all over the region to ensure a most authentic Tuscan dining experience. There’s plenty of dishes to please all diners and include the likes of linguine with red shrimps and pistachio, lasagnette pasta with “Chianina” ragout, and seabass, olive oil mashed potatoes and sautéed wild mushrooms.
Delicious fresh bread and the highest quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar was delivered to our table to start proceedings along with the most delicious tomatoes I’ve had in my life. Delivered freshly picked from Sicily that day, these are the type of tomatoes that you wish your local supermarket would sell but you know it just wouldn’t taste the same.
We decided to start with the Tuscan bean soup with sage ravioli and caramelised celery accompanied by a bottle of white wine from Tuscany recommended by our friendly and professional server. The traditional soup was the perfect starter and full of flavour from the aromatic sage and fresh borlotti beans. It was both rich and creamy without being too heavy or dense and I loved finding a ravioli at the end of my spoon each time I dived in. It was like finding a present wrapped in pasta!
The wine was of course sublime and we savoured every sip whilst gazing outside and watching the people pass by.
For the main course, I tried the grilled octopus, potatoes, tomatoes and burrata and my husband went for the organic filet beef cooked on a Himalayan salt plate. The grilled octopus dish was presented beautifully and looked vibrant and full of colour on the plate. It’s a massive cliche but to me, it was Tuscany on a plate. The octopus was grilled perfectly and had that underlying smokey-barbecue flavour and went perfectly with the other components of the dish. I loved it and it was one of favourite dishes during my whole trip across Tuscany.
The beef was cooked to a perfect medium-rare and was full of juicy flavour. I feel it’s hard to get beef wrong but when it’s right, it can be one of the best and most flavoursome dishes you can have. The Himalayan Salt was a nice touch but the star was most certainly that high-quality organic piece of beef fillet that could be cut with the bluntest of knives.
You better believe we saved room for dessert and we already had our eyes on the crepes with orange and vanilla ice cream. Light yet fluffy and moreish with lots of caramelised orange and vanilla flavour, it was that perfect dessert that symbolises the transition from summer to autumn. When a dessert gives you an emotive response or takes you back in time to a wonderful memory from your past then you know it’s a great dessert. Following dessert, we had an espresso of course along with some fabulous contucci and said our farewells to the courteous servers and staff who made our lunch at Hotel Savoy a very pleasant one.
Prices reflect the location and are similar to what you’d find in Central London with Starters priced at around £12-20 and Mains at around £20-£30. Our Tuscan Bean Soup was 20 Euros, the Grilled Octopus was 30 Euros and the Organic Beef Fillet was more at 38 Euros. I think it’s very reasonable for the quality of food and the service.
Irene is a restaurant where food is an experience and one that is enjoyed not only through taste but with all the senses. The ingredients are treated with respect and you can feel that creating an authentic Tuscan experience is at the heart of what they want to create for each and every guest. They certainly did this and I will be booking a table way in advance for when I return to this fabulous city in the future.
Book your table at Irene, Hotel Savoy.
Address: 1Piazza della Repubblica, 7, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Phone Number: +39 055 27351
COVID Note: Please make sure to check and abide by government travel guidelines. Please also respect the rules and regulations of the hotel and restaurant to keep you and other guests safe. Thanks!
My meal was complimentary, all opinions are my own.
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