With the recent takeover of formerly French-Italian owned Florentina, now the fully Italian-owned Fiorentina, there is yet another reason to dine in the Lido area. Not only is Fiorentina one of the biggest and lushest al fresco dining areas around, but it’s incredible high-end Italian food and plenty of live music Wednesday through Sunday night also make it a destination.

The restaurant offers a huge range of choices, including Italian-style pizzas, fresh homemade pastas, antipasto platters, leafy salads, warm soups, main courses of both meat and fish, and sweet treats to round off your meal.

If you’re dining with others, as we were, the L’antipasto Fiorentina di terra (at RMB 248 for two people, RMB 488 for four people, and RMB 688 for six people) is a very sociable way to start the meal: a really generous platter with fresh vegetables and four dipping sauces, premium Italian cold cuts, tomato and basil bruschetta, burro del chianti (a crunchy piece of bread with flavored lard), nduja (a crunchy piece of homemade spread cheese and spicy sausage), and fried pizza bread balls.

We especially enjoyed the fried pizza bread: it was so chewy, doughy, and still had that fresh-out-of-the-oven feel, and combined well with the parma ham, mortadella from Bologna, the Tuscany salami, and crisp, little gherkins.

We decided to explore their pasta menu, ordering the specialty eponymous gnocchi Fiorentina (RMB 88). The three sizeable pieces of Italian stone-ground semolina gnocchi were presented on a bed of creamy truffle and mushroom sauce, and a crispy flake of parma ham. This dish was beyond incredible, with the subtle parma flavors perfectly blending into the creamy sauce and gnocchi. Seriously, you will want to go to Lido just for this.

We also had the ravioli di bufala alla bella Italia (RMB 108), homemade dumplings stuffed with buffalo mozzarella and roasted cherry tomatoes, which was fresher and perhaps more appropriate for the summertime, cooked al dente. The name, bella Italia, comes from the Italian flag formed by a combination of organic basil pesto, Parmesan fondue, and Italian tomatoes and basil sauce. Unfortunately, the portion seemed rather small for the price, that was really the only negative thing we had to say about it.

Pricing for Fiorentina makes it more of a special occasion destination rather than a regular dining spot. Be sure you visit during spring or summer though, to make use of their green terrace.

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Photos: Margaux Schreurs


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