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Looking for Bistecca alla Florentina in Florence....

Hi...I am looking for suggestions for where to go for great Bistecca alla Fiorentine in Florence. Thanks for your help....

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  1. sostanza. very few if any tourists, very small, two seatings for dinner, reservations highly highly suggested as the place is small and very popular with locals. you sit at long tables. bistecca alla fiorentina is one of their specialties, along with other traditional florentine dishes. best meal i had in all of florence. the address is Via Porcellana 25r, near borgo ognissanti, between ponte amerigo vespucci and ponte carraia.

    5 Replies
    1. re: CiaoTerp

      Agree completely with Sostanza as a recommendation, but I had to chuckle when I saw the "few tourists" comment. Last week I was in Florence for the day with a friend and we decided to chance it with no reservations when it opened at 7:30 pm. We were second in line and they were nice enough to seat us. Every single person in the place at that hour was an American tourist, except for a table of eight Japanese women. Needless to say the bistecca was great (and the pollo in burro--my friend had that). If you want to eat with locals, though, you might want to go at a later hour.

      (BTW, just my personal opinion, but I wouldn't order the bistecca any more cooked than medium rare--you'd be wasting your money otherwise, and there is another beef dish on the menu that you could substitute. I just mention this because someone at our table ordered it medium (after being talked out of well-done). He enjoyed it but it certainly didn't look as good as my rare one!)

      1. re: MorganSF

        about the tourists, we were there at the later seating, which would explain a lot. very few, if any italians eat before 8, at the earliest. most eat dinner between 9 and 10:30 or so but many restaurants take reservations up til 11.

            1. re: Clove

              We just returned from Florence and had one of the best meals at Sostanza. We went for the 9 pm seating and were with only two other Americans. recommend reservations. the bistecca is outstanding and big but try the chicken poached in butter!!
              Cash only, should have known but it was a long run to the ATM.

    2. Just returned from a trip to Italy - had fabulous bistecca ala Fiorentina at a little lunch place called Trattoria da Mario near the Mercado Centrale. They're only open for lunch, and fill up quickly, so get there around noon when they start serving. The steak is served rare and only in 1kg portions, so its best to share with a friend. It was also reasonably priced - much less than other restaurants we saw the dish at (I believe it was around 3 Euros / 100 grams).

      2 Replies
      1. re: LGBoston

        I second Mario. It is one of the two best Fiorentina I have had, the other being at Il Pozzo in Sant'Angelo in Colle near Montalcino.

        1. We had steak at Natalino which were delicious. They offered single steaks at about €21 and a double for €45 - naturally the double was a bit more than twice the single. I'm trying to remember the appetizers without my notes, but can't right now (I think I had a curried tortellini with zucchini flowers and wife had a pear filled ravioli). They were wonderful. House wine was sufficient. It's all good.

          1. One of the best things about eating this at Sostanza is that you can also order their Pollo in Burro, a wonderful duo of chicken breasts in a butter sauce you will never forget. Go with someone and split the bistecca and chicken.

            4 Replies
            1. re: CJT

              OP here. Sostanza couldnàt seat us after 7ç30pm, so we went with the suggestion of the hotel -- 13 Gobbi -- just down the street from Sostanza. It was excellent. We had the bissteak for 2, cooked how they like to do it. Really good. Also had the zucchini flowers, which is a family favorite and excellent. The hose red wine, a 2006 Chianti, was vey drinkable. For 3 people, the bill came to Euros 105. We would go again in a flash.

              1. re: jcooper

                Thanks for the report! I tried to go to 13 Gobbi once, years ago when I was in Florence for a couple of months and couldn't get into Sostanza one night. It was a busy night for both restaurants, and we didn't have reservations (our fault), but the people at 13 Gobbi weren't very nice to us after telling us to wait for a table. Major attitude. We gave up after a long wait. I'll give it another try (with a reservation). It was probably just an off night.

                1. re: MorganSF

                  With Tuscan food, the simpler, the better. Often cheaper is better, too. We had bistecca for 30E/ kilo (large 2-person portion; easily could serve 3, in fact) at Trattoria Anita (Via del Parlascio 2/r, corner Via Vinegia 16/r, 055 218698). Classic preparation they don't ask how you want it cooked, they cook it alla fiorentia which means charred on the outside, medium rare on the inside.

                2. re: jcooper

                  I second the Sostanza recommendation. We had a terrific time there, I had bistecca fiorentina, so rare, it almost looked raw, but it tasted fantastic. we had to get a reservation, as we could not get in two nights prior, so our concierge made it. Then we forgot they did not take credit cards, so we walked in almost an hour late, because I couldn't find an ATM nearby. They were very gracious about it. This was on a midweek night. The crowd was roughly half tourists, half locals. My kids had pasta, and they made it fabulously well. I couldn't understand that they don't serve coffee, however.

              2. You might also consider all' Antico Ristoro di Cambi in San Frediano. Order it al sangue. Mostly locals when we went in 2004. www.anticoristorodicambi.it