Located at the heart of medieval Florence in an imposing palazzo dating from the 12th century (once part of the court of Grand Duke Cosimo I de' Medici), Locale is a grand restaurant with seriously good food—but a surprisingly relaxed vibe. The original features you'd expect to see in such a building are all there; the arched, atrium courtyard (now covered with a retractable roof) that houses a cool cocktail bar, and two levels of intimate rooms where tables are laid out for dinner, complete with frescoes, vaulted ceilings, vast fireplaces, and atmospheric lighting. The setting is unique and the food doesn't disappoint. Young local chef Fabio Silla's menus give equal billing to fish and meat, although the house specialty is steak (including the highly prized Kobe beef) grilled over an oak wood fire); he showcases the best Florence and Tuscany has to offer, adding slick contemporary techniques and sleek presentation. Look out for crsipy octopus with broccoli and creamy burrata, vanilla-spiked risotto with pigeon and a vin santo jus, pork cooked in beer and ginger. Desserts are masterful (a sphere of the bitterest chocolate filled with white chocolate mousse, a hit of coffee at its heart comes to mind), the wine list weighty, and the service spot on.