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Jul 20, 2010 06:37 PM

Bistecca in Tuscany

traveling and staying outside of Greve in the fall. Wanting any advice and opinion on the best place within the area to get top quality Bistecca. We are willing to travel throughout chianti area to find the best there is.( Radda, Castellini, Gaiole,Greve , etc)
Had it in Firenze a few times but figured the best would be in the country somewhere. Any ideas please?

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  1. I think the answer for you is Dario Cecchini's Solociccia - google and you'll see. Just 3k from Greve.

    2 Replies
    1. re: vinoroma

      Solociccia doesn't do bistecca. For bistecca, you have to go to another outpost of the Cecchini empire, Officina della Bistecca.

      1. re: zerlina

        ah, you are right, I always mix them up - at solociccia you'll get all kinds of meat, but not the bistecca, that is only in the officina.

    2. While you are in Greve, be sure to visit Antica Macelleria Falorni, a very well know butcher & food shop. It is located right on the town's main square. I am sure the staff there will be happy to make some suggestions of where to find an excellent bistecca. You might want to pick up a bottle or two of their seasonings.

      1. Thanks for all the responses here, and I will check out the butcher and his empire!
        On another note, how about giving some advice on good bistecca in Florence. I have already been to Sostanza and Trattoria Mario and am looking for an alternative. Has anyone had the bistecca at Cinghale Bianco or Quatro Leoni? Looking for something off the beaten path.

        11 Replies
        1. re: russspezial

          input bistecca into the search above and it will give you some tuscan restaurants on the Restaurant page mostly in Florence with this specialty.

          1. re: russspezial

            I don't think I'd call either Cinghiale Bianco or Quattro Leoni off the beaten path... Really off the beaten path (i.e., more or less at the back of beyond for Florence), Da Burde has a good reputation for bistecca. As does Antico Ristoro di Cambi, in the Oltrarno but towards the San Frediano end.

            1. re: zerlina

              Da Burde is good and the sommelier is very good too - I know him from his blog

              1. re: vinoroma

                A true Bistecca should be procured from the Chianina cattle. (steer, vitellone). Many restaurants do not serve this special breed of beef, check with a butcher or local resident before you decide on a restaurant. If you are in Tuscany in August, I believe the "Sagra della Bistecca Chianina" is held in Cortona in the middle weekend of the month. This is a carnivore's delight!

                1. re: ospreycove

                  Dario Cecchini, the (self-proclaimed) high priest of Tuscan meat, does not use beef from Chianina cattle; he uses beef from Spanish cattle.

                  1. re: zerlina

                    I was surprised when I read that, Zerlina. I wonder how easy it is to find real Chianina beef at restaurants in Tuscany these days?

                    Years ago, I read that much of the meat used for bistecca is imported from one of the former Yugoslavian countries..

                    1. re: erica

                      ZERLINA...........LA MADONNA MIA, CHE PICCATO!!!!!

            2. re: russspezial

              Again, thanks to everyone for their ideas. Being a foodie and chef, my ideas of bistecca and off the beaten path ar, I, suppose, somewhat different.
              We are looking for really tasty steak, really, it doesnt matter if it comes from Japan , as long as it is delicious and prepared perfectly, a liitle char on the outside and cold on the inside. Where the actual cattle is raised is trivial, it is all about the actual meat and its flavor, sear, texture, etc. After all, regardless of all of the hype, this is what it is all about, flavor,flavor,flavor. So who has the best prepared, perfectly presented and tasty piece of steak in floence?

              1. re: russspezial

                Where do you work as a chef? Sorry, but I'd like to not order the bistecca at your place - why would you want the inside of your bistecca cold? raw, yes, that is how I like it, too, but the art is having the bistecca raw on the inside but not cold, achieved by leaving the bistecca outside long enough to acclimatize itself...

                1. re: russspezial

                  Oh, I had no idea that foodies and chefs define bistecca differently than we ordinary mortals do. A bistecca is a bistecca; I agree that the origin of the cattle is largely immaterial.

                  As for "off the beaten path", I define it as not overrun by tourists, not in every Florence guidebook ever printed. How do foodies and chefs define it? My facetious description has evidently misled you: Da Burde has a SlowFood snail, is *not* in every guidebook, has a very good reputation for bistecca *and* happens to be in an out-of-way location that few tourists find their way to.

                  1. re: zerlina

                    I suppose I too have mislead all to believe that I am somewhat of a snob when approaching the topic of Bistecca. My past experiences of this famous steak have been a bit up and down and all over the place. I have had really chewy, stringy and grissly cuts in Florence, as well as times when the steak was too drastically raw . I understand the idea behind the prep of the dish. It should be perfectly charred, and seared on the outside and SOMEWHAT raw and (preferably) room temp on the inside. Personally, if the cut is not of the highest quality, this process deems itself useless, as inferior beef is inferior beef. Back to my main search, I want the finest quality of Beef, prepared correctly( Olive oil, salt and pepper with perhaps fresh rosemary) over wood fire, without all the drama! Really it doesnt matter to me if I am sitting in a hole in the wall or a place packed with knowing tourists or not.
                    I will check out all of the above places and go from there. And a side note: I have in the past found some of the best restaurants in a guidebook or two,, and do refer to all of them for their wonderful resources and ideas.

              2. We had really wonderful Bistecca alla Fiorentina at Ristorante Da Padellina. The restaurant is located in Strada in Chianti, a small town approximately 20 minutes outside of Florence. Perfectly seasoned and charred, very rare and incredibly tender.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ekc

                  Russspez......., Perfavore, do not tell the owner of a restaurant in Italy, "It doesn't matter where it comes from." As you well know in every casa, vico, borgo, comunale and citta; the standard response is nostra, il migliore "Ours is the best!"

                  1. re: ospreycove

                    Ospreycove, of course not. That is just common sense and good etiquette never to insult the owners, or better yet, anyone, anywhere, anytime.. As a previous restaurant owner, I too, believe that mine was the very best!

                    1. re: russspezial

                      russspez......ahhh, we have our collective past in common; although I miss filling in for the expeditor, and mine was for sure the best; no Chianina, but local produce when possible. Grudgingly Sysco had a huge share of our COGS......