Best florentine steak in Florence?

Feb 17th, 2007, 03:42 AM
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Best florentine steak in Florence?

The title is pretty self-explanatory, I hope... which restaurant in Florence serves the best bistecca alla fiorentina, in your opinion? (we do like our steak on the rare side, which I hear is to be expected...) We are going next week and looking for suggestions. Thanks in advance!
ylt is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 08:36 AM
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I'm not an expert on restaurants in Florence, but we had wonderful steaks at Parione, via del Parione, 74/76R.

I remember that the restaurant was packed with Italian-speaking diners.


Byrd is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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The place most often touted as being the best for bistecca is Sostanza, Via dei Porcellana, 25 not far from the train station. Saveur magazine did a spread on them not too long ago. Eating is at communal tables and there are two seatings a night at 7:30 and 9pm; reservations are essential. They are also famous for a chicken dish and for an artichoke dish.

I do not think there is any one "best " place for bistecca, though. Because of the difficulty of getting a seat at Sostanza, the place I might try is in the Oltrarno, south of the river and to the west. It is a bit of a walk from the Duomo area but prices are moderate and the food is excellent. If you want to read details of one of my meals there, scroll through my trip report. I did not have the steak on the night the report talks about but have had it in the past and it is great.

Here is the food report:

Be aware that although you will find steak on many menus, the price varies quite a bit within Florence. You will see bistecca prices per etto or one hundred grams; the price on the menu will not be the total; that will depend on the weight of the steak.

Bistecca is always cooked rare in Florence and to cook it medium would ruin this cut from this particular breed of cow. If you are a true fanatic, you want to make sure the menu specifies that the meat is from Chianina cattle; the breed known for producing the best bistecca. These days many places will serve imported meat which is not the "real thing." If it is from Chianina cattle it should say so on the menu.

Also, bistecca is served for two.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 12:42 PM
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thanks so much for the suggestions... my mouth is watering just thinking about it!
ylt is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 09:44 AM
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Ylt: I forgot to mention another resaurant that I like a lot and that serves excellent bistecca:

Alla Vecchia Bettola

Viale Ariosto, 32/34 (near Piazza Tasso, south of the Arno). This is a casual place with a hand-written menu that changes daily. They do not take credit cards and may not offer a translated menu. Prices are very fair. The same family runs the Nerbone lunch stand in the San Lorenzo market, which I recommend for their boiled beef sandwich.
This place, like Cambi, is not on the beaten tourist trail so you will be surrounded mostly by local people.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 10:02 AM
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I go to Florence 3-4 times a year and Sostanza is among the best.
Another fun place is Il Latini. Family style and fixed price. The bistecca is very good. Kind of touristy but a lot of fun. Locals DO go there.
If Sostanza is too basic for you (it is not fancy) go right up the street to 13 Gobbi.
My personal favorite is Buca Lappi
roadguy345 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 04:31 PM
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I agree completely with ekscrunchy! Sostanza is great and I've been there on each and every trip to Florence. The steak Florentine is wonderful. However, last time I was there, I took Mom for lunch and we were too late to get in. We ended up at a restaurant just to the right of it, if you are facing it, and it had a beautiful patio garden setting, and steak equally delicious, and very rare. I like it that way too. I don't recall the name though.
koreaprincess is offline  
Feb 18th, 2007, 04:33 PM
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I forgot! Sostanza serves this WONDERFUL dessert made of meringue, whip cream, shaved chocolate and nuts.
Not to be missed!
koreaprincess is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 06:58 AM
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Bringing to the top for recent poster...
ekscrunchy is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 07:14 AM
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We were very pleased with the bistecca alla Fiorentina served at Ristorante Da I 5 Amici at Via Cimatori, 30 off Via Calzaiuoli. It's an inexpensive but good restaurant.
francophile03 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 07:15 AM
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See my trip report which details our experience with the all mighty Fiorentina. It was amazing!

Paulo at the Osteria die Pazzi is wonderful, the staff are great, and it is a comfy restaurant.
Osteria dei Pazzi
Via dei Lavatoi, 1/3R
Corner Via Verdi (near Sante Croce)
Tel: 055-234-4880

Reservations suggested, even at lunch
Closed Monday

camelbak is offline  

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