Back in Cali, there were old TV
commercials to Go see Cal (Worthington). But in Bellevue, it should be Go see Sal.
There is no comparison to Firenze's Spaghetti Bolagnese or the Pasta del Mar. As much as my family and I enjoy the old standby meals, you should pay attention to the daily specials - especially if they involve steak.
My personal favorite is to go off menu and order the plain Olive Oil & Spices Spaghetti and then add chicken. (no cheese for me). FANTASTIC.
HINT: If the restaurant is full you can go down two doors to their pizzeria and still order from the Firenze menu.
Favorite Italian Restaurant on the eastside, by far!. My boyfriend and I have been going to Firenze since we started dating and we both love it! Anything on the menu that we have tried we loved! We go there at least four to five times a month. The staff all know us and make us feel special everytime we go there. They have an excellent wine selection and their coffee is to die for. I would definately suggest anyone who loves true authentic italian food to check it out!
One good Italian Dish, so so menu. Really love the Chicken/Veal Bascoli(?) - but the service is horrible!! Even with the owner there!! The waiters will actually follow you out to the parking lot asking for more tip...and I gave more than 15% for a smaller party! Triple check the bill as the wait staff will add extra meals on the bill. We sent the bill back twice because they charged us for extra meals that we didn't order. Most meals will run you $30+, so a party of 4 will run well over $200 pretty high for dinner at the Cross Roads Mall with no view and mediocre ambiance.
My husband and I have been going to Firenze since it opened. Yes, the food quality has gone awry as prices have gone up. While we have had some good experiences there, the last two will prevent me from ever going there again. As other posters have mentioned, the pricing is questionable.
This last time, we were charged over $500 for two couples, and none of us had more than two glasses of house wine. Because of the nature of the event, the food was served family style, not full portions. (There were other people at the table including the owner.) Well, the waiter apparently hit each couple up for portions of the bill. We paid over $300 ourselves, thinking it was for four. We found out later our companions were charged $200. When my husband brought this to the owner's attention, we were told no decision could be made until the waiter came back from vacation. Then my husband was treated like he was being a cheapskate. While $140 was credited back to our credit card, no real apologies were offered.
The previous time, our dinner host, upon recieving the bill, remarked that it was $200 more than he expected. We chipped in to help cover the total $600.
If this is how long standing customers/friends are treated...
The cold, stale bread should have an indication of what was to come.. but it was late and we were hungry so we decided to chance it on the food.. after all, we had never had bad italian food.. were we wrong?
The pasta was not cooked at all and the salmon my husband ordered was even worse. When I sent my pasta back, the waiter brought the same plate of pasta back and said he tossed it on the pan with some water and it should be ok now!
I would never recommend this restaurant to anyone!
True Italian Food. My wife and I went here while we were on vacation in Bellevue. This restaurant exceeded all of my expectations for quality, service and taste. Starting off with the Mozerella and Tomatoes, to the Ravioli and mushrooms, ending with the most delicious Tiramisu and coffee. This place could have been priced at $100 per plate and I would have probably paid it. It was absolutely delicious, the service was friendly and impeccable. Please go and enjoy TRUE Italian food.
Great food, questionable service.
My husband and I both really enjoy the food at Firenze. What we have not enjoyed is the inconsistant service and variable pricing. We have found that when we come in with several friends (ie - we are a large party) we are treated extremely well. When it is just the two of us, we find that we are lucky if we get our water glasses refilled.
As for pricing, I tend to order the same four or five dishes. Each time, I have been charged a different price. The most embarressing incident was when I suggested to my work team that we have our lunch meeting at the restaurant. The five us of all had wildly varying charges for our meals.
Why do we go back? Because the food is really, really good. Very fresh pasta, top quality ingredients, and amazingly consistant quality. That having been said, I think the next time we have a craving, we will order our food to go.
I am owner of a restaurant and, I used to work as a server for many years. I have many years of experience in restaurant business and this is purely my opinion.
I've read most of the reviews about restaurants and some people are being unreasonable and some can actually understand value of a restaurant as a money making business. If you order in a restaurant glass of water and two salads or pasta split, you can not expect "red carpet" treatment. Restaurateurs are in the food making business and if you are not making profit, it is hard to welcome you back with smile and open arms. They're pushing specials, because it cost a lot of money to get fish or steak, and profit is not as great as a price you're end up paying. If you want to experience a great treatment and good time in any restaurant, the best advise I can give you is SPEND MONEY! If you can't afford go out and eat, stay home!Neverthless,I do agree that service should be outstanding and you should feel welcome and have a great time. Although, you can't aspect servers do all the entertaining and you as a customer can't even answer to a simply question as "how are you?" I came across to many customers, that required what we call in food industry ?special treatment", and ask you to modify their food and they ask you for something else every time you come to table, and that is difficult to do when you have 6 or 7 tables at the same time. And in the end they barely give you 15%tip, that is just hard to make a server smile when he see you next time. It is a hard business and I am not trying to make excuses but there is always two sides to every story. Some people expect to get a lot for almost nothing. Make a even trade when you come next time to a restaurant and I guarantee you, you will have a great time!
Eastside's Best Italian Restaurant.
Firenze is our family's choice for Italian on the Eastside because of its dynamic range. You can dress it up with its white table cloth-draped tables, or go casual in jeans and bring the kids. Salvatore (the owner) is always around to welcome back old friends and welcome new customers. His waitstaff are efficient and always willing to get you what you need. Half orders, family-style service, can we sit over there, "no mushrooms on that", or split-and-marry have been "no problem" whenever we've asked for things like this. Assume the best, and you will have a good time here. One note-- on super busy nights, the kitchen can get swamped and the waitstaff scrambles. That's the time to keep it simple and start with a great bottle of wine and make a real evening of it with them, it will turn out great.
The front of the house will make you feel at home regardless of the situation, but the FOOD is the real reason to go to Firenze. This is not the place where you'll find dulled-down Americanized Italian food. It's Tuscan, always made fresh, and there is a huge range. Definitely try the Tomato Bean soup (takes 20 minutes, made to order each time.) Spaghetti Bolognese is really meaty and delicious. Penne Gorgonzola is light on the sauce, but the sauce packs flavor-- really memorable. Spaghetti Carbonara made to order, no creme, very good. Also look for a special fresh fish or beef recipe of the day. Desserts are basic (gelatos, which are more like ices) in their citrus fruit shells-- but maybe are just enough after you've stuffed yourself because you couldn't stop. Good Italian wine selection-- you don't need to break the bank to get out of the house wine and into a Ruffino Chianti, or maybe a Barolo, Amarone, or maybe a Brunello. Salvatore has high-end wines from other countries on hand (Opus 1 from CA, and 1st growth left bank Bordeaux), for special occasions.
Firenze has delivered for us consistently for the last 10 years. Highly recommended.
We have been here twice, both times hoping for the best since we'd love a great Italian restaurant close to our house. To tell you the truth the service was so bad I don't remember how the food was.
The first time the service was bad with a surly waiter. We decided that every restaurant has an off night/employee so we decided to try again. The second time has actually made a funny memory for my husband and me. The waiter spent all his time "serving" the group of lovely young women who looked and dressed like they had just arrived from California. He so blatently ignored us that it became a joke. Too bad, we usually tip quite well.
Needless to say we won't give it another try.