Officina della Bistecca
Posted September 10, 2015on:
Dario Cecchini is a pretty famous personality in the world of meat when it comes to Italy, and being in Florence and a meat-lover, I knew I had to at least eat at one of his restaurants. My plans for visiting Italy to eat literally started when I read my friend’s blog post on her visit to Dario’s.
His shopfront is Antica Macelleria Cecchini, his butchery selling all sorts of meat products.
It’s a pity I couldn’t buy some back home.
There’s a mini-buffet of crostinis, salami and lardo (mashed into a paste).
I dared not to eat too much of it for fear of the feasting later.
I bought back some of their salt and it is amazing. Makes for great gifts and excellent for seasoning your own steaks back home!
Dario has 3 restaurants: Dario Doc, a hamburger “fast food” joint; Solociccia, a restaurant utilising all the more exotic cuts and parts of the cow; and finally Officina della Bistecca, where the steaks run wild!
Where possible, we get seated outdoors. I thought it might be too hot outside but actually the mountain air was cooling and perfect for al fresco dining.
It’s just rows of long shared tables.
It’s just 5 courses of meat, but apparently it’s endless as the waiters go around asking if you want more of each dish.
Chianti crudo, or as Dario likes to call it, beef sushi! Raw beef minced up with lots of lemon juice and good quality EVOO.
Really blew my mind because this was the first time I had beef tartar that was so good!
Carpaccio di culo – seared rump carpaccio.
And here is the man himself! You know when he’s coming because he toots a hilarious bicycle horn and starts hollering what I suspect is his tribute to the bistecca.
Bistecca Panzanese – this is just a normal steak from Panzano.
Bistecca Fiorentina – this is the “main course”, the T-bone steak. The photos aren’t amazing since they cut up the steaks into smaller chunks but the original pieces are really huge! And you can even request for the bone to gnaw on.
Fagioli all’extravergine – one of the sides, Tuscan beans drowning in EVOO. I tried not to eat this so that my stomach had space for the beef.
Burro del Chianti. This is what Dario calls Chianti “butter” but it’s really lardo that’s been whipped and mashed into a paste, then infused with herbs and black pepper.
Since it’s “butter”, it used in the same way too – piping hot baked potatoes were served and we were guided to slather the lardo in between the halves and wait for it to melt. You can probably already imagine how good this was without any words from me!
If you love steak and you want a different experience from the usual steakhouses (even in Italy), Panzano in Chianti is just an hour or so away from Florence via bus. It will take up most of your day but it will probably be worth the trip there.