Thursday, October 18, 2012
When the weather starts getting hot, at the end of May, beginning of June, everyone (including me) starts thinking about gelato. New gelato places, best places to get gelato, new gelato trends. You know what I mean. Every one wants to read about gelato.
But now that the weather is finally turning Fall-ish, I've noticed an uptick in another kind of query. Yes, it’s meat season. At least that’s what people have been asking for lately. To be more specific, I’ve gotten tons of questions from clients on my tours, readers on my blog, through my apps and over at Chowhound asking for the best place to find bistecca in Florence.
Eating bistecca alla fiorentina in Florence is kind of like the foodie equivalent of buying a leather jacket or a pair of gloves. (Is it a cooincidence they both involve cows? Food for thought. Pun intended )
Anyway, to answer your question, here is my short list.
Please note: this post is not called “Best bistecca alla Fiorentina in Florence.” This is not a ‘best of’ list. This is simply my own personal list of where I go to eat meat. While it has a lot to do with quality of meat, it is also all about the setting and the entire experience. There are at least a half dozen well known places that aren’t on my list. Sorry. Maybe the steak is good there, and maybe you go there. So you can put them on your list and by all means, feel free to add them below in the comments. I'd love to hear where you go.
And one more thing. I’m not a huge steak eater and when I go to Florence I’m more likely to settle my meat craving at a tripe stand and save my sit-down restaurant meals for pappa al pomodoro or ribolitta. But I do like meat and the following list is where I sate my cravings when they go beyond a panino di lampredotto.
Sostanza: That’s the photo above. I mean, really, with a grill like that going in the back, is there anything more to say? Actually, I have said more, here. While I usually end up ordering the pollo al burro, the steak is fabulous, cooked over a charcoal grill.
Trattoria Due G.: Located not far from the train station this "red-checked table cloth" place is almost entirely taken over by Florentine business men at lunch time. Ordering? What else: bistecca alla fiorentina. That’s endorsement enough for me.
All’Antica Ristoro dei Cambi: Huge piles of glistening meat great you as you walk in. As does the very friendly staff. Very casual and cozy and decidedly meat-centric. I also love the antipasti.
Tre Soldi: I don’t go here for bistecca alla fiorentina but have become addicted to their more elegant version: tagliata. They serve it almost raw, but charred at the edges, seasoned with a chopped mix of herbs and lard. Obscenely good.
Cipolla Rossa: My friend Judy introduced me to this place, and insisted I order the grilled pork chop. Judy is always right. Tender and grilled to perfection, it’s smothered with a mixture of raw red onions and balsamic vinegar. Again, more than slightly addicted to this.
Like I said, this is not the definitive bistecca list for Florence. But it is my list. For now at least. I'm sure I'll be updating it next time the weather turns meaty.
Via della Porcellana 25
Trattoria I Due G
Via B. Cennini 6r
All'Antica Ristoro dei Cambi
Via San Onofrio 1r
Via d'Annuzio 4r
Via dei Conti 53
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