Trattoria 4 Leoni

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Mary Porcher on March 27, 2001

Rating: 9.4

Our highest rated restaurant in Florence, I can’t see how anyone could go wrong in dining here. This restaurant is slightly off the beaten path but still within easy walking distance. It’s in a secluded square, and we may not have stopped in if we hadn’t read such good things about it. The trattoria was small and dim, with high ceilings, stone walls, and a huge arrangement of fresh spring tulips at the entrance. Everyone here speaks Italian and very little English. But they were eager to do whatever possible to describe the menu to us. I will never forget my waiter’s response when I asked him how a particular dish was cooked. He motioned to me to wait a moment, and he went to the kitchen. He returned a full minute later with a large pot, obviously for boiling. I had never received service like that before! He was also apologetic at the end of the meal for not knowing more English. My mom’s response was, "Hey, it’s your country, not ours! We should apologize."

In addition to the service here, the food was out of this world. I wished I had ordered my mom’s dish, which was pasta in a creamy cheese sauce, peas and asparagus. The kicker there was that the pasta was filled with pear! It sounds odd, and it tastes odd at first, but the pear and the melted futa cheese are AMAZING together. If it hadn’t been our last day, we would have returned so that I could have that dish (I’m not joking either). The first course of spaghetti that Jason and I shared was spicy and hand-rolled. If you’ve never had hand-rolled pasta before, you have to try it. It is sooo good. The meat dishes that Jason and I had were tender and perfectly spiced (very authentic tasting, obviously fresh herbs and spices). The bread here was the best we had in Italy. For meat dishes, try the grilled chicken. Grilled chicken is usuall a bit dry and crisp. Well, theirs is crisp with that great grilled taste, but it’s not dry at all, and the spices are infused into the meat somehow. Jason had the boiled chicken with peperoni (which turned out to be actual peppers). He said that he couldn’t imagine how they manged to boil it and keep all of that delicious flavor inside the meat.

For dessert, Jason and I had the cheesecake. It was Italian cheesecake, made with ricotta cheese, and was very very rich. It wasn’t sweet at all, and I ended up pouring some sugar on top. But the consistency was perfect, and the cheesecake would be perfect overall if there was a little sugar, chocolate or fruit syrup on top. Mom had the tiramisu, and it was so rich she couldn’t finish it.

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Ratings (Scale of 1-10, ten is "divine", one is "despicable")
Average: Food 9.3, Atmosphere 9, Service 10

Trattoria dei Quattro Leoni
Via dei Vellutini, 1r
Florence, Italy, 50123
+39 055218562

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