San Niccolò 39: Simple & Sophisticated
A few steps past the Arno River and a few more from your mother’s kitchen, is San Niccolò 39, the go-to restaurant for fish, meat, and veggie lovers alike. The entrance creates a sense of chicness yet feels like home with couches and pieces that could be straight out of a modern art museum. Garden seating or inside seating are both available. The atmosphere is warm and the staff is more than accommodating.
The menu indulges those who are looking for a casual yet classy night out on the town and offers a selection of fresh, seasonal seafood from the Mediterranean.
Paul Feakes, founder and owner of San Niccolò 39 on the street of the same name, is a humble businessman with an ever impressive past. Feakes has been in the restaurant business since age 15 where he worked washing dishes in Suffich, England. Wanting more from the restaurant business, Feakes decided to relocate to India where he cooked for at least 500 people a day in a spiritual community.
Once again, he uprooted his life and moved back to England where he changed the way pubs worked by integrating good food, good wine, and a more modern aspect to the restaurants. After becoming a psychotherapist on the side, Feakes moved to Italy where he opened a contemporary art gallery and waited tables. He taught English to children through cooking classes and immersed himself in the culture deeply. Subsequently, he revamped the hotel restaurant of the five star Hotel Savoy, turning it from a formal dining experience to a more casual, family friendly environment. Feakes then decided to transform the previous formal fish restaurant, Filipepe into what is now San Niccolò 39.
Feakes’ menu is wide ranging. From the tastiest octopus salad to the traditional Italian ravioli, there is simply something for everyone. The umbrina seasoned with seafood bisque and walnuts features an herb only grown in the Tuscan region, nepitella. The freshness of quality in which the fish is prepared is tasted from the first anxious bite. The boneless and delicious sea bream under salt with house mayonnaise and locally grown vegetables is sure to melt in your mouth. Top the meal off with a semifreddo dessert and a glass of Capezzana Chardonnay that will not disappoint your senses.
Feakes explains that San Niccolò 39 is a restaurant that “you determine what kind of dining experience you want.” A simple dinner or a lavish one are both options but the restaurant goer is made to feel at home either way. Vegan and vegetarian options, seasonal dishes, and fish of the day are all available five days a week, at dinner from Tuesday to Saturday. He will gladly answer any questions with a welcoming smile.
For reservations or more information on San Niccolo 39, visit http://www.sanniccolo39.com/en/home-en/ (danna friedman)