I'Brincello: A Twist on Italian Dining

Published April 2016

In the heart of the Italian breadbasket – Tuscany – competition between restaurants is fierce. However, with its quirky attitude and traditional flavor, one restaurant stands above the rest.

Down the busy, cobblestone-lined Via Nazionale, you’ll find I’Brincello. Perhaps you’ll see a large chef in dinosaur-patterned pants drinking an oversized glass of wine outside. Perhaps you’ll see the trilingual Albanian waiter, whose adorable smile could charm him into Hollywood. Maybe the colors of the restaurant will draw you in; not the traditional cream-colored Florentine walls, but bright orange with wine bottles and cloves of garlic hanging from the ceiling.

The food at this wacky Florence-staple is traditional Tuscan fare: perfectly al dente handmade Tagliatele with boar sauce, Bitstecca alla Fiorentina cooked to a succulent medium-rare, and housemade soups and appetizers that change daily. However, I’Brincello is far from conservative Italian. Yes, you can sit for three hours without being disturbed. Yes, you can order a nine-course meal that never seems to end. But I’Brincello’s attitude is different.

The chef and owner, Freddy, wanders through the restaurant, eventually making his way to the goblet of wine he keeps at the front counter. As you’re enjoying your food, Freddy will keep a watchful eye over you, analyzing every bite, every micro-expression, ever-working to further improve your experience.

I’Brincello is a delightful example of the Tuscan mindset, combining a mastery of local cuisine with unconventional flair. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop in and tell Freddy I sent you.

Gabe Schindler