Florentine Beef Steak

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Sep 2nd, 2005, 12:08 PM
  #1
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Florentine Beef Steak

I've taken copius notes on restaurant suggestions from this board. Now I have a specific question--What is the best place in Florence to get a Florentine Beef Steak?

Also, I understand that these steaks are served very rare, which my husband will love! I am more of a medium, not pulpy gal. Is is considered an insult to request the meat cooked a bit more thoroughly?
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Sep 2nd, 2005, 12:18 PM
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We've discussed this before. Some of us (including one chef I remember) say you should order it how you want it. There is no reason to order a rare steak if such a thing makes you sick. I mentioned that a native of Montepulciano sent us to her favorite steak place there and specifically mentione she always orders hers "cooked through".

If you are more adventurous, then I still think it's always good to try things they way they "normally" do them, but again, not if it's something you know you just can't do.
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Sep 2nd, 2005, 12:37 PM
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Although I've not eaten there, Sostanza consistently is most recommended. I agree that you should request the steak done the way you want. I find Italian chefs very willing people.
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Sep 2nd, 2005, 12:42 PM
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And the Mad Cow will just have a salad

(and if you don't get it, go to the "A Joke" thread)
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Sep 2nd, 2005, 01:29 PM
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I loved the bistecca fiorentina at l'Bambino, Corso Italia, 35, Florence, 50123, 39 055267612. 'Bambino', the owner is a former calcio player and a colorful character in his own right. When I lived in Florence, and before I knew many people or spoke Italian very well, I would dine at his restaurant by myself and Bambino would seat himself at my table while carrying on conversations with all of the regulars in the room--sort of a "chaperone." He ordered me my first bistecca and I was hooked. No matter where you go, most steaks are offered by the 'etto' (100 grams or about 4 oz.) so be careful how much you order or you could end up with the entire steak (usually 2 to 3 pounds).
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Sep 2nd, 2005, 04:06 PM
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I've only had this once, in San G. and wasn't asked how much I wanted. My husband and I both rec'd a massive piece of very rare beef on our plates. I felt so bad that I could not eat most of it for both reasons.
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Sep 2nd, 2005, 04:21 PM
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I recently had one in a typical Florentine rustic restaurant, that was written up as a favorite of the "Feragamos" . The food was great, espcially the bean soup. The tables were communal benches, and when we asked for medium, the owner came out and said he makes it one way only, take it or leave it. He wasn't going to ruin a perfectly good florentine steak by overcooking it, so we ate around the raw spots, but it was still great.
I will have to look up the name if you're interested.
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Sep 2nd, 2005, 08:45 PM
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Osteria d'Benci will do a smaller cut, or split the steak in two to make to diners with different preferences for degree of doneness. I actually would say that Osteria d'Benci was the best selection of cuts and sizes of Bistecca that I've seen in Florence.
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Sep 2nd, 2005, 08:56 PM
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Hi Mercers, how soon are you leaving for Florence? I ask because if you are not leaving immediately I can ask my friend in Italy for the recommendation as I know they have a restaurant they love.

Ah Intex, we have a chef like the chef you encountered in our city. You take the meat the way he cooks it or you don't!! BTW, haven't been back to this restaurant which I have always like otherwise.
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Sep 3rd, 2005, 01:41 PM
  #10
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Thanks to everone for the great info! I didn't realize the portions were so big--good to know! Also, I guess I'll stick to the idea that "when in Florence..." and take it rare as it is meant to be eaten.

LoveItaly and Intex, I'd love to know the names of any places you could recommend. We aren't going until November, so there is plenty of time for planning.
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Sep 3rd, 2005, 05:16 PM
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Hello MercersX5, read your post that you will not be in Florence until November so I sent an email to my friend in Italy just a minute ago to get the name of the restaurant that he loves so much. It will probably be a few days before I receive an answer because of the weekend but I will post here as soon as I get the answer. Best wishes!!!
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Sep 4th, 2005, 09:06 AM
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Hi guys, I too am interested in your friend's restaurant recommendation as we'll be in Florence soon: Oct 8-12!
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Sep 6th, 2005, 08:49 AM
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topping - husband and I will be in Florence Sept 30 to Oct 4......can't wait!
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Mar 26th, 2006, 02:53 PM
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I was going to post this very question, and glad I found this thread. The only bistecca we have had was about 5 years ago at Buca Lapi. We thought it was great--and I have wondered since then where else we should try it. We'll return this June. We'll be staying in the Oltrarno area--so anywhere "within the walls" of old Florence (walking distance) that has "the best" bistecca would be appreciated.
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Mar 26th, 2006, 03:06 PM
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The true bistecca a la Fiorentina comes from grass-fed white cows from Tuscany's Chiana Valley. This will be noted on the menu of places that offer it. Although the dish is prepared the same, many less expensive places use meat from other regions of Italy and from the former Yugoslavia. If the menu does not mention the origin, you might assume that it is not from Chiana.
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Mar 26th, 2006, 03:34 PM
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I don't know if it was "the best", because I only had it once, at La Giostra, a place I can highly recommend. I think the street is Borgo Pinti. The directions I had were from my son, who lived in Florence for a year: "Corso. . . . Albizzi going east, past an arch on the left, keep going 50 feet, take street on the left heading back toward Duomo." Reservations are advised---we arrived without, and they graciously made room for us, but it would have been much better to reserve.
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