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Trattoria Sostanza

Italian

Santa Maria Novella

$$$$Perfect For:See And Be SeenImpressing Out of Towners
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Sostanza has a menu that hasn’t changed since it opened in 1869, and it’s one of those places that everyone knows, maybe a little too well. But the experience is so Florentine, serving up dishes you can’t find anywhere else, that you kind of have to try it at least once. Specifically for the chicken that's seared in a butter bath over hot coals and served in the steel pan it was cooked in. Plus, they do the staples well, like a Florentine steak served with sage and tomato stewed beans and meringue cake layered with cream, dark chocolate chips, and a scattering of tiny wild strawberries. The tiny space is filled with vintage portraits decorating the walls and marble-topped dining benches, and it’s run seamlessly with proud career waiters squeezing by elbow-to-elbow diners with sizzling pots of butter chicken. They’re only open on weekdays, so book this for lunch, ideally during the shoulder season for a less chaotic meal.

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