Japanese restaurants abound in Florence, and everyone has their favorites. But everyone will also tell you that all the sushi restaurants are owned by Chinese, many of which offer all-you-can-eat menus. Iyo Iyo is the exception. The chef is Japanese and he has a devoted following that quickly fills the very limited seats. Reservations are essential for dinner, even on a Tuesday night.
Open the door and venture into the closet sized restaurant. The kitchen is immediately on your left, the chef and all the fish on display through the large glass panels that separate you. See what catches your eye, you might see a bowl of fried marinated sardines, a nightly special. Make your decision and place your order at the counter. Then grab your own utensils, and make your way to the table. Grab a bottle of beer from the fridge, or a plastic cup of wine from the large bottle on the counter.
The menu is small, tiny in fact. And though you will find a few stewed and fried dishes; it is the sushi that people come for. Twelve pieces of assorted sushi costs 10 euros. The fish is very good; the rice exceptional; perfectly tender, each grain stands apart from all the others, and each with perfectly balanced flavor with just a hint of rice vinegar. This is sushi that makes you understand the sushi chef’s obsession with rice, it almost distracts from the quality of the fish; almost!
Signature Dishes: Sushi Misto (Assorted Sushi), Lampredotto Don (Stewed Lampredotto)
Get It!: Sushi Misto (Assorted Sushi)
TIP: Reservations essential for dinner.
Borgo Pinti, 25r, Florence. tel: +39 338 7653069. Closed Sunday and Monday Lunch.