Osteria Antica Mescita is around the corner from the hotel where I was staying, so I decided to give it a try. This place is wonderful! The salad of arugula, pear slices and brie cheese was incredibly fresh, and a joy. The zuppa di farro (soup with a savory tomato base, farro and two types of beans) provided me with a dilemma. On the one hand, I wanted to savor every spoonful, and on the other, I couldn't wait to get to the next one. On the first night, my secondo (entree) was a generous serving of baccala alla livornese (lightly salted cod, with a yummy seasoned tomato sauce) that was one heavenly mouthful after another. On the second night, I had a wonderful preparation of lamb (not always my favorite meat, but this time around, it was seasoned and cooked just right). The tiramisu (this time, I left room for dessert) was flavorful and very light in texture, just as I needed it to be. The wine (by the glass) selection may have been small, but I did try a few, and they were all very good. Per the suggestion of the server, I had a digestivo (after dinner liqueur) named brodo di giuggiole, made from a dried fruit native to Toscana. It was very satisfying. On another note, on the second night, I was treated like a returning member of the family. I just love this restaurant!
TripAdvisor reviews and more...31/01/2012 09:31
Some of the reviews on TripAdvisor
We loved this place. It's across the Arno in a residential neighborhood. It's non touristy so the menu was in Italian. Our waitress translated practically the entire menu for my husband with patience and enthusiasm. The mixed bruschetta were yummy as was a chickpea soup, veal chop, and traditional tripe. This is a good and basic place.
“Everything an Osteria should be”
Reviewed in May 19, 2012
This osteria was recommended to me by a friend whose opinion I respect on these matters and as we were staying in the lovely San Niccolo area we saved it for our last meal on this trip. I was more than happy with our evening. We sat downstairs in the lovely vaulted 11th century crypt. The menu was short (as it should be when everything is freshly prepared and the menu changes frequently according to what is in season) and offered simple, but absolutely delicious Tuscan and Florentine food. The wine menu was good and we had a thoroughly decent bottle. The service was fine, not slow at all. Having eaten in more popular parts of the city on previous evenings, we were genuinely surprised at the great value for money for such good food and wine. I will definitely eat here again.
Perfect welcome in a very warm and surprising place... Old typical Toscanian restaurant with a nice crypt where you can easily feel at home. The wines were amaizing perfectely accommodated with the food. The manager and the waitress were very friendly and helpful with the menu (wich is not in English). For sure, I'll come back!!!
I had rented a small apartment around the corner for a weeks stay in florence. On the first night we wanted to dine in Zeb Gastronomia which was opposite the restaurant, but closed that evening, so we looked over the street and saw Osteria Antica Mescita San Niccolo which was crowded and busy. My mother and I were seated outside and had a lovely meal. The menu had a good range of dishes we were both happy. Service was slow but charming, the food was excellent and we dined there three times during our stay in Florence. We were able to communicate with the waiting staff quite easily. The complaint that the didi not speak english i think is unfair as tourists from every country seemed to be there and expecting fluency in foreign languages is a bit much. Half the waiters in London don't speak good English. Anyway the food was very nice and I enjoyed my meals, I was not in a mad rush so did not mind the wait, and at least everything was fresh from the grill rather than reheated in a microwave.
Some of the reviews on
Reviewed on April 29, 2012
We wandered into this cute little spot after trekking up to the Piazza Michelangelo shortly after sunset - no reservation, and a bit on the early side in classic "we're tourists" fashion. We were warmly greeted, and from the get go, it was clear that what little Italian we had learned would be needed - which we welcomed as an indication that this meal would be closer to the 'real deal' than touristy counterparts. We fumbled with Italian, and they assisted with English superior to our Italian but still we were communicating on a very basic level with lots of arm movements and pointing. At least everyone had smiles and was trying!
As it is a very small, cozy space (but apparently with a basement!) we were seated at a small table that sat inches away from another small 2-top, which was soon occupied by a very pleasant older Italian couple. While we caught them giggling at our inability to understand some of the menu items, we later were caught oohing and ahhing at their bistecca alla florentina - all in good fun and ending in smiles all around. A language barrier is easily overcome with laughter and smiles.
Our waitress was a great help in recommending several items to order and informing us that some of our selections either weren't available that evening or were outshone by other items on the menu. We ended up with a fantastic plate of meats and cheeses to start - a standout being what I believe was a stellar finocchiona (?) but whatever type of salami it was, it was truly outstanding. My husband and I now agree that it was the best we had on our trip.
Next up was zouppa - my husband with I believe the tomato-less version of my Pappa Pomodoro. The stars aligned for me to happen upon the Pappa Pomodoro, since my original selection was the creamy chickpea soup that I was informed was not available that night. While my husband's chicken-stock based version of my soup was good, the tomato version was truly outstanding. So hearty and with so much flavor!
Finally, the entrees. We had a slight miscommunication apparently, since I never got my mushroom pasta dish and my husband's pork was served with an additional plate (it's clear they thought we were going to split his selection). And although it wasn't what we had intended, it was a blessing in disguise since I hadn't really had my heart set on the pasta and it allowed us to save room for dessert - the best tiramisu I've ever put in my mouth. Amazingly light and not nearly as heavy or filling as other versions, it was short-lived.
While the service tended to be somewhat relaxed, we weren't in a rush, and the timing was relatively on par with the rest of our dining experiences. Neither me nor my husband wanted to feel rushed during our vacation and we were happy to sit pleasantly soaking up the atmosphere and sipping on our vino rosso della casa. As a note, they take credit cards, but not AMEX.
All in all, a fantastic spontaneous evening with some of the best food we had on our trip, even despite the small miscommunication! Molto bene!
We are also on ..