Eats Review: LE SCUDERIE DE L'ANTINORO
Posted on October 05, 2016 in Places to Eat
Just down the road from my adopted hometown, Montelupo Fiorentino, and a quick 15 minute drive from Florence city is one of my favorite restaurants hidden away in the quiet of the Tuscan countryside, nestled in a centuries-old park. As in so many places in this country, Le Scuderie de L'Antinoro is located in a building that boasts amazing historic value but you wouldn't know that unless you asked. Italians are so used to living surrounded with remnants of the past that they hardly take notice. This local restaurant was originally built as the stall ("scuderie" in Italian) where Italy's King Victor Emmanuel II once kept his horses when Florence had briefly replaced Turin as the capital of Italy in 1865.
After years of abandon, in 1995 the building was renovated and today Le Scuderie de L'Antinoro features several different spaces both indoors and outdoors for all different kinds of uses. They've got the cozy and intimate dinner room complete with blazing fireplace and leather sofa, perfect for chilly evenings and for anyone looking for a full gourmet meal in quiet company. The most popular area with the locals however is the main dining room which is large with original vault ceilings and a brick oven for pizzas. This is the space where most people from surrounding towns go for a pizza even though the menu on this side of the restaurant is complete and you can also order appetizers, first and second courses. This summer I brought my family for dinner one night and discovered that they now also have outdoor seating in the garden -- it was absolutely lovely. Antinoro is also known in the area as a venue for celebrations and weddings as they also have a few other private rooms indoors and a gazebo outdoors in their private gardens.
I've been several times to Antinoro in the past 10 years and I've always eaten very well. Lately I've noticed their menu has gotten fancier, more gourmet and the dishes are very well presented. Lately I've only eaten pizza there but the dishes I've seen going by to the other tables are amazing, 5-star quality! Their pizza is excellent but in the past I've also had seafood, meat and pastas and all have left me very satisfied.
Their ingredients are fresh and the chef has a creative flair that shows through. The service is great, their waiters are professional and friendly. There is even a kid's menu which is a rare find in Italy! The only thing I would improve is the ambience in the main dining room. Although well furnished and pleasant it could benefit from a warmer lighting, candles on the table, and perhaps some nice jazz music in the background could make the atmosphere more intimate.
If you're looking for excellent food far from crowds of tourists, then Antinoro is the go-to place. It's a favorite with locals but so off the beaten path that I think I can count on one hand the number of non-Italians I've seen here (and that's including me!)
LE SCUDERIE DE L'ANTINORO
Via Tosco-Romagnola Nord 6, Montelupo Fiorentino - ITALY
Tel: +39-0571-913079 or +39-335-677-9687
See our other recommendations for what and where to eat in Tuscany!