Let’s create a scenario. You’re in Branson, Missouri, and your entire party is famished. It’s time to find a place to eat and soon. Looking to find a local favorite, you begin to ask people around you if they could recommend a restaurant in the area with an inviting atmosphere, delicious food and great service. I think it would be a safe bet that Florentina’s Ristorante Italiano would be high on that list!
Disclaimer: I attended a media event as the guest of Niccole from The Creative SAHM. While this was an event sponsored by the Stone Castle Hotel and Conference Center, all opinions listed below are 100% authentic and mine alone.
Florentina’s is a beautiful Italian restaurant that sits on Green Mountain Drive behind the Grand Village Shops in Branson. We had the opportunity to enjoy a fabulous dinner there during our #BloggingBranson trip and it left an indelible mark on each of our palates.
The Decor and Ambience
Upon walking into the restaurant, you immediately notice that you are surrounded by beautiful artwork. There are exquisite paintings and masterfully designed vases everywhere. Floral arrangements and vines are strategically strung throughout. We honestly could not snap enough pictures. There was so much to see. It really set the tone for the evening. See beauty, feel beauty.
As soon as we were seated, we were greeted not only by our hosts, but by a HUGE plate of Nachos Italiano (Italian Nachos). We’re not talking nachos with cheddar cheese sauce, salsa and jalapenos. No, we’re talking nachos topped with the most delicious Alfredo sauce, tomatoes, chicken and thick and savory balsamic drizzle!
THE BEST NACHOS I HAVE EVER TASTED!!!
(Oops – I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to “type” that so loudly. I just wanted to make sure you knew how I felt about their nachos).
Of course, we also had a salad full of crisp veggies and a cutting board of fresh bread to share among us.
But seriously…those nachos!
The atmosphere was perfect. There was light music playing overhead and we had no difficulties keeping conversations going around us. We were seated at two long tables, which made sharing those amazing nachos much easier (I really wish I didn’t have to share. I swear ~ that could have been my meal and I would have been completely satisfied).
Lo and behold, there is more to the menu than nachos (I know! I was shocked, too!). Florentina’s has a plenitude of options – from appetizers to desserts. If you’re craving calamari, they have it. If pork shank osso bucco is on your mind, they have that, too. They have steak, lobster mac and cheese and even authentic brick oven pizzas on the menu. They make their own homemade sauces and create signature dishes fresh daily. There is something for everyone!
For more on the Florentina’s menu, click here.
During our visit, we selected from four options on a group menu ~ all very delicious choices.
I had the privilege of sitting in between Jay Wilson, from Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center, and our tremendous host and Blogging Branson coordinator, Angie. In an effort to taste as much as possible, Jay offered to go “halfsies” on a meal with me. I loved that idea! So, Jay chose one dish (chicken marsala) and I another (eggplant parmigiana). When our meals arrived, we simply divided our entrees in half and served the other his / her portion.
Now, I’m not going to lie. It was very difficult to give up any of my eggplant parm. I kid you not ~ that was the lightest version of that dish I have ever tasted and that option is hands-down my favorite Italian go-to meal (outside of those nachos now, of course). The eggplant literally melted in my mouth and I was so sad when I took that last bite.
Nonetheless, Jay and I did split our entrees and I enjoyed my portion of the chicken marsala. The chicken was succulent and tender and the flavor from the red wine marsala sauce was nice and rich.
I had some friends who ordered the chicken alfredo and still others the lasagna. No one in our group seemed dissatisfied with their choice. Even my friends with dietary restrictions enjoyed their carefully prepared dishes.
FOOD ALLERGIES / DIETARY RESTRICTIONS
Before our time there was over, I took opportunity to speak with Ksenia Wilkerson, one of the managers at the restaurant. My hope was to find out more about how they accommodate for those with food allergies and dietary restrictions. Ksenia was extremely helpful and showed she was very knowledgeable regarding the topic. She shared with me the process they use to prevent cross contamination ~ from implementing special cleaning practices to utilizing separate utensils. They do all they can to stay attentive when preparing meals for their guests with special dietary requests and needs.
So, if considering Florentina’s, here are a few fairly standard recommendations (disclaimer ~ this is not to be taken as a gold standard. I am not a medical professional. I’m just one mom who puts these into practice every time she takes her son with food allergies out to eat):
- If possible, call ahead to see if the restaurant can accommodate your specific food allergies / dietary restrictions. Those first conversations make a world of difference sometimes. It may help to prepare both you and the restaurant for an uneventful meal.
- Upon arrival and meeting your host, mention that you have a member of your party with food allergies or dietary restrictions. If you called ahead, let them know. They may already be familiar with the situation.
- Speak to your server and request a manager if needed. Make sure to state the allergies clearly, as well as their severity. As the degree of allergic reactions can vary from individual to individual, I personally find it important to kindly let them know the potential consequences of allergen ingestion for you specifically. Communicate this effectively, but please be kind!
- Ask that your meal be prepared in the kitchen by someone designated specifically for special requests and then have that plate delivered to your table separately from the other dishes. This may even be something good to discuss when you make that initial phone call.
Any Room For Dessert?
Now, normally, I don’t have room for dessert. However, that triple chocolate cake was begging me to take at least a few bites! So, I obliged and…devoured as much as my stomach would allow. It was moist and full of so much sweet flavor. Oh, my goodness.
In essence, the entire meal was an Italian masterpiece. I enjoyed every savory bite.
So, if you’re looking for a place to eat while visiting Branson – and I highly recommend visiting Branson ~ check out Florentina’s Ristorante Italiano. For an exquisite and gratifying meal and service with warm smiles, you cannot go wrong here. Besides ~ haven’t these pictures done their job? I mean, Nachos Italiano ~ need I say more?
Florentina’s Ristorante Italiano
- 2690 Green Mountain Drive
Branson, MO 65616
Hours of Operation:
- Sunday thru Thursday: 11:00 am – 8:30 pm
- Friday & Saturday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Find them online at:
- Website: http://florentinasristoranteitaliano.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Florentinas.Branson/
Looking to catch a show after dinner? Here are a few ideas that might tickle your curiosity…
I know a great place to stay, too! Check out Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center and stay in a themed room or suite!