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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: CiaoTerp

          Yes, that's my experience too.

          1. re: MorganSF

            And mine too!

            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. re: LGBoston

          i agree absolutely!

        2. 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

                1. Best restaurant in Firenze for Bistecca,, "La Loggia" Micaelangelo Piazza, overlooks all of Firenze, with a replica of the statute of David in the square.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: bsantoro

                    Just got home. OUR best Bistecca the entire trip was at Ristorante Toto
                    http://www.ristorantetoto.it/

                    1. re: buccibabe

                      Just went to Toto, partly on the strength of this comment - my wife and I were bowled over by the quality of the food, even if the Kenny G was playing a little loud and the clientele was mostly tourists who did a disservice to the place by ordering fries with their meals. We got the tagliolini al tartufo, which was exquisite (I thought it could use some salt, but my wife disagreed) and the gnocchi con pesto, which would have been a favorite on any menu where it wasn't overshadowed by the tagliolini. The bistecca was buttery, tender, well spiced, as thick as my fist and perfectly done. I'm not sure if it'll be the best meal I will have had all year, but it's certainly the best so far.

                      1. re: seastreet

                        We also had the Tagliolini. Excellent! Thanks for bringing me back to a Wonderful Memory today....Planning my next trip to Italy. I have to stop in Florence....Just to go to Toto. Stand out meal on a 23 day trip!! We started eating before we remembered to take pix. :-P
                        Glad you went!

                         
                         
                  2. I know this thread is old, but for the record I loved my bistecca at Cafe Italiano - don't know the street name (via Torta? maybe) but it's just down the street from Vivoli Gelateria near Santa Croce. I do have to say that the appetizer we had was less than great, but I'm still remembering the grilled taste of that bistecca!

                    (their casual pizzeria next door is some of the best pizza in the city too!)

                    1. Have to agree that Mario's has great food all around. BUT, Il Latini has the BEST bistecca!! Hands down. Wish I could go with you!

                      1. Have had bistecca at Giostra on Borgo Pinti several times and never been disappointed. A neighborhood atmosphere, warm and welcoming. Excellent minestrone and risotto, as well.

                        1. Il Latini make decent Fiorentina (although I didn't like the place very much). I really liked the bistecca at Enzo e Pierro the first time (in 2009) but on my second visit (in 2010) it was just mediocre.

                          I have a quesiton who have tried bistecca at Sostanza: doe they cook it on a charcoal grill? The reason why I'm asking is because I saw some picures of this place and the meat did not look cgar broiled.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Georgy_aslf

                            I just made it back from Florence. Was actually the best food of the three cities (Rome, Venice, Florence) for packs of euros less. Whereas I don't normally eat steak, my wife does. She ordered a large, maybe 1kg., carving at Trattoria Tito on San Gallo (somewhere in the 50s or 40s). It was pretty good. They also have a house Chianti wine which is very cheap; even a couple musicians who started playing Mexican music. If you don't have a reservation that's fine, just be prepared to wait up to 20 minutes out in the street.

                          2. maybe i'm in late but......
                            my absolute first choice for bistecca in the centre is Sostanza, called I Troia:
                            Via del Porcellana 25r
                            Telephone: 055-212691
                            take just an antipasto toscano, and your bistecca al sangue with fagioli al fiasco (beans), finally cantucci and vinsanto; take cash with you and remember to reserve in advance.

                            out of the city in the south direction:
                            Da Padellina, Corso del Popolo 54 - Strada in Chianti
                            Telephone: 055-858388
                            before your bistecca i reccomend that you must try the ‘penne sul gallo’ or the papardelle with boar.

                            regards
                            The Florentine
                            http://www.weekend-in-florence.com

                            1. There is this amazing place called Trattoria de Penello- great service, food, and good prices. A local friend recommended this to us and we had a blast. there were 6 of us and the owner brought out a few complementary starters for us to share. Bistecca here is amazing and the pappa al pomodoro is equally delicious.