Unbelievable meal! My husband and I ranked this place as our favorite meal in Florence. Here are my tips:
- Make a reservation online, it's very easy and totally worth it
- I read the reviews and ordered the house salad for a starter for my husband and I to share. Delicious, healthy and fresh
- Despite the majority of the reviews applauding the pear ravioli, I was craving the truffle pasta so I got that - DIVINE. My husband got the sliced steak and was in heaven.
- Based on the reviews, we ordered the cheesecake for dessert. We are totally not cheesecake people, but people went nuts over it, so we got it. It was so so yummy! Save room for it!
Packed restaurant, three separate people with no connection to each other told me to eat there back in my hometown, so I was really looking forward to it.
Well... they lost our reservation, and the maitre'd offered no apologies and was pretty mean about it. He was very challenging, didn't believe us that we had a reservation and did not make us feel like we were wanted. He shut up once I pulled up the e-mail confirmation to prove it, but still no apology and refused to look at us at all. Finally, five minutes after looking at the e-mail and saying nothing to us (leaving us twisting in the wind), a waiter came and beckoned us over.
CONFIRM YOUR RESERVATIONS!
The waiter was OK -- quiet and not really interested in smiling or talking to us. The other waiter in the room was fantastic as we could overhear him interacting with guests and we were jealous.
OK, the food. I had the pear pasta and beef course as a second dish. The pear pasta was fantastic, they really hit a home run with the pear but the pasta itself was a bit lacking. The pear pasta at La Giostra is probably an overall better buy because of the quality of pasta.
The beef dish (with peppers -- peposo) was unreal and a real home run.
The tiramisu for dessert was fantastic, but didn't separate itself. The cheesecake was insanely good and a strong recommend.
Overall, I was disappointed due to the hype of the people that had sent me there. Obviously, my night got off to a lousy start which did color the rest of the night, but even then, the food didn't knock my socks off like it did at other places I ate in Italy.
For the price and hype, it needs to knock your socks off.
This trattoria was where we ate our first dinner in Florence. I would love to say it was the best meal I had, but "unfortunately" Florence abounds in good restaurants, and I have a hard time picking which really was the best. Quattro Leoni however, ranks very high, in my opinion.
We didn't have a reservation, but we came early, so we secured a table. The menu was only in Italian, but since I thrive in ordering items that I don't really understand, I still had fun. We began with a bottle of wine, which was superb. And I also ordered the Antipasti Toscana, featuring several types of cured meats, as well as the famous Tuscan liver pate. My companion on the other hand started with the fresh pasta with ragu. That was heavenly.
Heaven didn't end there: it was followed by the roasted duck breast, which was perfectly done, and the osso buso (if you get the osso buco, be sure to scrape the marrow, it's amazing). And we decided to get dessert as well, by sharing a mantonella and a tiramisu.
Oh, if only there were no other good restaurants in town; we wanted to repeat this one, but the curiosity to try out other restaurants was also high so we didn't. But if I get back to Florence, I definitely would.
This is an unbelievably good restaurant. My mother ranked it in the top 3 of the trip, partially due to the cheesecake which is legendary. And yes the pear ravioli.
Insane meal! We rented an apartment right around corner and the owner recommended it. Make a reservation, but we got lucky on a Friday night and only had a 15 min wait. All 5 of us ordered our own pasta dish but ended up sharing everything. Then we ordered more of the Risotto and Pear Ravioli, definitely our favorite. Cheesecake is amazing too!
Delicious, wonderful outdoor seating and the most delicious desserts you could ask for.
Excellent birthday dinner. The ravioli and pears was some of the best we've had and the steak was seasoned perfectly. This along with a bottle of vino nobile was a perfect way to celebrate. Thank you!
The best meal I had when I was in Italy. This place was highly recommended when I visited Florence by someone who lived in Florence.
An Italian once told me here in LA, "To find the best food in Italy, you must walk away from the touristy area" and that I did to find this restaurant a bit hidden and difficult to find. I was determined to have excellent pasta while in Italy and I found something very unique and extraordinarily delicious.
When I ordered I asked them to recommend a dish and the server told me to order the the "pear pasta." Unusual as it sounds it is the most amazing pasta dish I have ever had and the best meal while I was in Italy.
The location is a bit hidden, but I heard English spoken in the surrounding tables, they must have seated us in the American section!
I'd definitely return to Trattoria 4 Leoni next time in Firenze!
Five stars for decor and ambience. The half exposed brick, nooks and candlelight make this place warm and inviting. The vintage pieces dotting the space and the hardwood rafters finish it off nicely, along with options for sitting outside or inside.
Four stars for food: we came for early dinner and the pasta piatti were simple but perfectly al dente. The spicy pasta could do with some more creativity, but the sausage pasta was superb and well balanced with the finnochio (fennel). After seeing the reviews would have LOVED to try the pear and cheese stuffed pockets. They were my second choice, oh if only....
One star for service: as soon as we came in we barely got a hello before they told us we had to leave by 8pm. A bit startled but okay with the idea (it was 6pm), we agreed. We were seated and again were told we had to be gone by 8. It didn't give us the warm & fuzzys, but what made it bad was that the waiter had no time for us. He left us sitting there for a while, couldn't spare a minute to answer menu questions, and took our order while setting other tables. If the place had been super busy, if we didn't have 2 hours before the next group came, or if he hadn't spent more time talking to his colleagues than to us, I would have understood. We weren't worth a glance so needless to say we ate our pasta and left at 7pm.
Fulfills my Italian restaurant search criteria: Italian only menu but they speak English even though they try to pretend they don't! Walked right in for a late lunch.
Minimalist, open, almost industrial
- Fiochetti stuffed with pear and taleggio - Yummy yum yummm
- Grilled vegetables - Standard by good
- Sliced beef entree that was so not good I can't remember it - Mehhhhh
- Cheesecake - Magical. So light, smooth, fluffy. Perfect.
Solid first meal in Florence.
Hands down, the BEST meal we had while in Italy!!! I cannot wait until I can return to Florence to come back here!!! You definitely have to make reservations and even with the reservation you still might have to wait a bit(only downside to this place). On a good note, it's located in a wonderful, quiet square with cafes that you can grab a glass of wine and sit outside while waiting for your table to be ready. We had 9:45pm reservations on a Friday and weren't seated until ~10:15 pm- luckily they did at least acknowledge this and brought us out some complimentary glasses of Prosecco to hold us over.
For drinks we got a 1/2L of the house red which was very good and quite a steal for only 7euro.
- Crostini Misti: very fresh- 3 different crostinis(liver pate, beans, and tomatoes/E.V.O.O)
- Fichi e Burrata: mmm delish- the fig was so unbelievable fresh, burrata(heaven-sent creamy deliciousness) and some cured-italian meat I can't recall, but paired well with the fig/burratta
I went with the Lemon Gnocchi: so flavorful, the gnocchi were the perfect pillowy consistency(&freshly made)!
My husband had the Lombatina: I'm not the largest fan of pork loin, but he said it was very flavorful!
My husband and I split the Fiocchetti de pera- freshly made pasta purses filled with pears in a creamy taleggio cheese sauce and asparagus making for the perfect balance of sweet and savory. It seriously is worth the hype! Do not go here and not try this(don't go to Florence and not try this dish!)- quite possibly the BEST pasta I have EVER had--I wish that I had the entire plate to myself and didn't have to share with my husband.
We ended with the tiramisu which was creamy and flavorful and a perfect ending to our perfect meal.
For all of that food, the total bill came to 75Euro which isn't bad considering it was one of the best I've ever had! Ugh, I cannot wait to return to Italy for the Fiocchetti de Pera!!!
We also made reservations based on reviews online and the ambiance of the restaurant.
The three of us girls sat outside because the weather was perfect...plus it was great to people watch. Side note: I love people watching, especially in Europe.
Reasons for missing a star: The staffs here are definitely not the friendliest. I'm not saying they were bluntly rude, but we felt the service could have been better.
We also shared so we could try more things here. We had:
4Leoni Salad. It was good but some of the arugula and pesto dressing left a weird after taste that I didn't care for. The advocado an pine nuts made amazing addition and texture to the salad.
Crostini misti. LOVE LOVE LOVE the liver pâté. I could have eaten all of it by myself.
Fried chicken & rabbit. It was ok...nothing exciting but not bad either. Well breaded and seasoned.
Florentine Steaks. Wow, I love how the Florentine enjoy their steaks here. So so juicy and just melts in your mouth. Get it medium or medium rare.
Fiocchetti pasta pockets with pear & taloggio cheese. This was recommended from the reviews and it is true. So yummy that we had to order another dish. Well worth it. The combination of texture, sweetness and the way it all melted in your mouth with the cheese and sauce. Yummy!
We skipped on the dessert because the gelato shop kitty corner is out regular spot. If the staffs would have been more personable or attentive, we may have considered staying for dessert.
Overall, good dinning experience -- if anything just go for the pasta pockets and steaks :)
"Quattro Leoni" is a fabulous restaurant slightly away from the tourist heart of Florence. Service can be a hit or miss, but the food is so worth it. Everything was delicious. We came for a late lunch around 2:30 and really enjoyed everything. We shared our meal family style sampling the following:
4 leoni salad- with pine nuts, avocado, emmenthaler cheese, arugula, and pesto
Pear & cheese pasta
Panzanella with fresh cucumber, onion and basil
Penne pasta with meat sauce
I'd recommend making a reservation if you can get one (they aren't keen on picking up the phones) and beware the staff isn't crazy about tourists. Ask for the Albanian waiter who calls his home country America's 51st state (he's the nicest guy we had for a server in the 10 days we were there!)
Great place recommended by our Segway tour guide and it lived up to expectations. We stopped there on Wednesday around 6pm and the first reservation was for 9:30....no problem for us.
As noted by the other posters, the Florentine steak was out of this world! According to our guide, you SHOULD NOT ask for a different meat temp, the chef will be insulted (and it wouldn't be the real Florentine steak. It was really nice that they show you the raw steak before it is cooked.
The pear/cheese pockets were as good a described and we also shared a spicy (REAL spicy) pasta dish.
A a bit of a wine snob, I was nervous about the house wine, but again it was a wonderful complement to our dishes. And yes, the Albanian waiter is a real pleasure!
Good lunch spot. Gets crowded fast. Looks like an Italian Restoration Hardware (or RH looks like this, just not as Italian?). Mix of languages but definitely some Italian. Do yourself a favor and get:
4 leoni salad- avocado, emmenthaler, arugula, and arugula pesto
Pear and talleggio purses
Sopressata with fennel and grapefruit
Walked in at lunch time on a Sunday to get a reservation for later that night. The staff was helpful and pleasant and put us down for a 9:30 table.
Atmosphere: Gorgeous design using mostly natural elements: stone, brick, burlap, etc. Sexy dim lighting. They had holiday decorations up throughout, but they were super classy and added to the atmosphere.
- Insalata 4 Leoni: Unique salad of avocado, swiss cheese chunks, and pine nuts over fresh greens with an herb puree. A touch of balsamic vinegar jazzes it up nicely.
- Fiocchetti: delicious pasta "purses" filled with taleggio cheese and pear served in a creamy sauce with asparagus. The contrast between the cheese and the sweet pear was absolutely delicious. I just wish there were a few more on the plate.
- Melanzane Parmigiana: A successful dish, if a bit rich. The eggplant is unbreaded and is layered with basil and tomato sauce and cheese.
- Tiramisu: Started out amazing, but got a little moist for my taste at the bottom. I regretted not getting the cheesecake which looked insanely good.
Wine: The house red wine is a bargain at 9eur for a liter.
Service: Pleasant, helpful, and around precisely when needed.
Altogether this is a very intimate and beautiful place to spend an evening. If you don't speak Italian, the staff is ready to help translate the menu when needed and pricing seems pretty standard for a nicer place in Florence.
Enjoyed a wonderful dinner at "Trattoria 4 Leoni" (which translates to "Tavern for Lions") on a Saturday evening in Florence ("Firenze") on March 10th, 2012. We discovered this restaurant as we explored the Oltrarno area of Florence on foot. This was not a planned dining location during our week-long visit, and we did not even have a reservation here for this Saturday evening. Nonetheless, as we were still getting over our jet lag and arrived for dinner quite early by Florence standards for a Saturday night (around 7pm) fortunately for us they were able to find a table for our party of 3. At the time of seating however, we were asked to agree to make the table available for another party that had a reservation for 9:00p.m. No problem . . . they were indeed already fairly busy even at the early hour of our arrival.
Each of us thoroughly enjoyed our 3 entrees, and we would recommend each . . . the Taglierini Funghi, the Fusilli, and their specialty "Fiocchetti" which is a pasta filled with Pear and Taleggio cheese. We also each enjoyed salads to start, including the Insalata 4 Leoni, and the Insalata Carciofi (Artichoke salad). We accompanied our meals with a very nice Vignamaggio Chianti, and concluded the evening with a wonderful Mattonella for dessert, and Caffe'.
The ambiance was traditional Italian tavern style, but quite stylish and comfortable. We enjoyed a relaxed dinner in one of their casual dining rooms (not sure how many rooms there are, but I think I recall seeing at least 3). Table service was warm and welcoming, and the server spoke excellent English. I suspect they may attempt to seat their English speaking visitors in one room (perhaps so that that they may all be served by their English speaking staff) . . . as there were several other English speaking parties seated in our dining room as well. One might say this was perhaps rather a well planned service !!
For your point of reference, the tab was EUR 86.50, or about US$115. I highly recommend this restaurant, and each of the dishes we chose as well.
Almost all of my Florence fave eateries are from the days when I lived there...
This? Oh...the gentleman I apprenticed with brought me there with his friends...
The fried items were amazing...
This was our first food outing in Florence. We ordered a 1,5 liter of house chianti. It was good, light and smooth. As for food, we ordered their antipasto toscano. The chicken liver was good, as were the assortment of meats. We split their salad w/pesto, pine nuts, emmentaler, and avocado. The pesto had hardly any flavor. I had the pear, ricotta ricchietti w/asparagus and cream sauce. Just like all the other people have mentioned, it was delicious! My husband had the tripe. It was also fantastic!!
This restaurant seems to be getting a lot more "American" attention. Seems all the patrons were tourists. A gaggle of rude American kids came to the restaurant trying to get an outdoor table. They were upset that they couldn't get a table and left. Thank GOD!
So I certainly cannot give this restaurant 5 stars because the blatant racism my friend and I faced at the hands of one of the men here was ridiculous. However, a very nice women came and checked him, seated us, and took our order and served us herself.
Getting past that I enjoyed some of the best Italian pasta one could ever have in their life. It was absolutely incredible. I enjoyed the pear, walnut, and gorgonzola pasta that was good enough for me to book a return trip to Florence.
Florence is absolutely one of my favorite cities and this restaurant is just a testament to the cuisine one can get when traversing through Italy. Amazing.
Food was decent-typical Tuscan fare. An Italian recommended it to us but the ambiance is very touristy mix of Italians and foreigners. Make sure you look closely at the menu and ultimately your bill. There was a bread charge (coperto) in addition to a 10% service charge. Italians wouldn't likely stand for this double charging. Maybe they don't get charged it. We misunderstood and tipped additionally since we didn't see the 10% itemized on the receipt. Turned out that 10% was built into the pricing. So, yet again we got a bit hosed price wise.
This is a nice restaurant on a small piazza in an off the main stream part of Florence. We came here on a Saturday night and with a reservation, was able to be seated immediately. I never saw the interior as we were seated outside.
The bread and service was good even though the restaurant was pretty full. We had the Fiocchetti, which is their pasta filled with Pear and Taleggio cheese. It was excellent. A decent sized portion of food. The house wine was cheap and good.
By the time we were done, the place had cleared out a bit and we were on our way. Great reasonably priced dinner option!
There are many excellent spots in Florence and this is among them. I made a reservation before we left for Italy to ensure no problems getting a table. The ambiance was more modern with a mixture of exposed brick and grey walls. We sat in a little side room surrounded by locals and tourists. Our food was excellent. For an appetizer we ordered the burrata with fig and prosciutto. So delicious, the burrata was incredibly fresh and tasted even better paired with the figs and prosciutto. For our entrees, my husband ordered the penne with meat sauce which he enjoyed. I ordered their special fiocchetti pasta stuffed with pear and taleggio. This was one of the best meals we've ever had. And to top it off, we had some hazelnut gelato. Everything was delicious, great evening in Florence.
My trip to Italy was over a year ago so I cannot remember precisely what I ate here but I do remember that it was the best restaurant I went to in Florence. In fact I went one day for lunch, then came back the next for dinner. Great atmosphere and service and I recall thoroughly enjoying the food, it's one of the few restaurants in Italy I was smart enough to take a business card home with me from. If you're travelling in Italy a stop here would be a lovely addition to any trip.
If you're in Florence, this is a MUST for lunch or dinner! Always recommend it to friends... Focus is on excellent food, and of course, great wine. Laid back atmosphere (what else would you expect -- you're in Italy). Italian friends who live in Florence recently went & they LOVED it! Need I say more??
Recommended to us by the property manager of the apartment we were renting in Firenze (who works at the restaurant as well), this was a delicious find. Tucked away in a quiet little square, the ambience is charming with thick stone walls and archways.
We were treated to a bottle of Prosecco to start, and they brought out antipasti for us to sample which was wonderful.
My Insalata caprese was fresh and delicious. My entree (recommended by the staff- ALWAYS LISTEN TO THE STAFF IN ITALY!) was the fiocchetti di pera in salsa di taleggio e asparagi. Something like small tortellini filled with mild cheese and slightly sweet pear in an incredibly light cream sauce. Hints of sweet against gentle cheese flavor, fresh pasta... Oh my god it was amazing.
For dessert we got a tiramisu and their house cheesecake, which was easily the best cheesecake I've ever had.
Very nice restaurant. Need reservations but don't show up early, not even 5 minutes! Tried a couple appetizers and a few entrees. The pear ravioli were the best! Amazing! Chicken breast was great as well. Enjoyed dessert and house wine was great addition. Very nice service.
This has seemed to me more of a locals place. It is on the Oltrarno, which helps already. But you wont find it in guides, yet it still will be busy. I recommend the verdure grigliata(grilled veggies), the bresaola, and the Insalata 4 Leoni salad to start. They make a fiochetti, which is a pasta pouch filled with pear and taleggio cheese that may be my favorite pasta on earth or anywhere else. The grilled chicken and steaks are great too for entrees. Overall, pretty healthy and delicious food at reasonable prices. They have a great atmosphere here, and there is seating outdoors overlooking the piazetta.
Great value for the money here. In fact, the prices are so good it's hard to believe sting and Dustin Hoffman ate here. 9 euro for a liter of Rossi Toscana., by far the best wine deal we saw in a Florence restaurant. The ravioli is superb as was the baccala.
Had a great meal here at an outside table. We had the fiochetti and shared an excellent grilled steak withgreen beans. Finished with biscotti dipped in sweet wine. This place was recommended to us by a local. Reasonable prices and friendly service.
Very good Tuscan cuisine, in a very charming small square.
Thank you to all that left a review before me, I took the advice of many and was not disappointed.
I made reservations for 4 at 7.30. Although I don't think I needed it that early. We sat inside by choice since I read a review that commented on sewer smell outside. I could smell it too when we left.
This restaurant is fantastic and all the positive comments on the review were spot on.
Between four if us (two females two males) we split two 4 Leoni salads- the avocados and cheese were remarkably good.
For our main course we ordered two portions of the pear/ cheese filled pasta pockets and one of the Florentine steaks ( one kilo for 41 euros). Unbelievably good. I've never seen a steak so large and the inside so pink yet absolutely mouth watering delicious.
The pasta pockets were sensational and we should have ordered three portions they were so good.
Dessert was cheesecake with chocolate sauce (oh yeah) and Teramisu also exceptional.
House wine was the best I have had in three evening meals in Florence.
Service was very attentive and she seemed to appreciate our attempts at Italian.
We had a great time.
They added a small service charge of 10 euros but did not allow tipping- our bill was just over 100 Euros between four - a complete bargain.
We are on a 2 week holiday and will fly through Florence on the way home. We will be back.
One of the best pastas I've had in my life: fiocchetti di pera in salsa di taleggio e asparagi
As you can see from the reviews, Italians like this place. The food was amazing. We came the afternoon before without reservations and were turned away, so that night, we had our hotel make reservations for lunch the next afternoon. We arrive and were placed in the back of the restaurant with the other tourists. We looked around at what other tables were eating and everything looked Delicioso. We started with a Bresaola with arugula and parmesan, drizzled with olive oil. The Bresaola had just the right amount of saltiness and the right amount of fat to make it melt in your mouth. With the bitterness of the arugula, the saltiness of the Parmesan and bresaola, nuttiness of the olive oil, and just a tinge of lemon, we were in for a tasty lunch. Next up: ravioli. Pretty simple I would think. Absolutely not. I don't know what was in that sauce, but it was just delicious. I mean, it's pasta, meat, and tomato sauce, but somehow it was memorable. Of course, the best was last. We ordered this dish because we had to ask the waiter what this lady was eating two tables down. It was pears in a pasta sac. Sounds interesting. We had to have it and it was something we have never tasted in our lives. The subtle sweetness of the pear, wrapped with a perfectly cooked pasta sac that looked like a candy wrapper. Each pasta sac was a little treasure sitting in creamy, but light Alfredo sauce. This place restored our faith in the food in Italy. Thank goodness we found you.
This place was recommended to us from friends who traveled to Florence last year. We had a good dinner, but it wasn't perfect either. We made reservations for dinner, which is a must because if you don't they will sit you outside (the night we went it was chilly and damp). The menu is in Italian, which didn't bother us but took us more time to go through than normal (not too long mind you). The waitress; however, was very impatient and kept coming back to ask if we were ready and since throughout our stay in Italy everything was much more laid back it took us by surprised. It was like being back in the US. If we were going too slowly for her she could have offered to go through the menu with us. She did this with a few tables around us but seemed agitated to do so. In the end we had a nice meal. We got a 1/2 litter of wine, an antipasto, a pasta dish, a fillet, and fried artichokes. All was good. The meat was very raw as we learned that night is typically of Italy. It took us by surprise, but was actually good and very tender if cut into small pieces. Not how I would have it cooked every day, but it was fun to try and we enjoyed it. For dessert we got a piece of tiramisu, biscotti with wine, and a cafe. The cafe food portion was good, but the cafe was probably the worst we had throughout the trip and we didn't finish it. Had the service been better I think we could have ranked it better, but it just brought down the overall experience.
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