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Tell me everything about Florentine steak

Tell me everything about Florentine steak

Old Jun 8th, 2009, 06:41 PM
  #1  
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Tell me everything about Florentine steak

Hi,
Is it possible to have a Florentine steak well done without insulting the cook? Do people ever take home the left overs? (We will be in an apartment.) Where have you eaten a good one in Florence. There are 4 of us...can we share?

Thanks.
kasialouise is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2009, 07:07 PM
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We ate here in May 2006:
"Acqua Al 2 (pronounced 'aqua al duo'), Via della Vigna Vecchia, 40/R, phone 055 284170.

They are known for their perfect steak with balsamic. I had it and was impressed. (They are now opening a restaurant in San Diego, believe it or not.)

This restaurant is known throughout Florence, and is very popular, so it gets loud and crowded, but very worth it, even though the service was a tad spotty.

We split a half-liter of house red wine, and we paid 50.70EUR for two dining."
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 07:07 PM
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I wouldn't worry as much about insulting the cook as I would paying for a steak that won't be the way you would like it. I just doubt that they will cook it well done. The concept of well done just doesn't translate very well. Maybe someplace where a lot of English is spoken. I wouldn't trust somewhere like Pallottino (good beef; decent prices; not all waitstaff speak English) to understand your preference.

But maybe someone here actually knows a place where they will do your beef well done. I hope they speak up.

I have had good steaks: La Maremma is a good one; Osteria de Benci serves slightly smaller but very good steaks. If you will be outside of Florence, anywhere near Signa, Edy Piu is really wonderful. These places are a little off the beaten totally tourist trail.

Taking home leftovers? Not usually done. They may not be prepared with things like foil to accommodate your request. A thought: if you want well done beef, maybe go to a good butcher, buy a steak, and cook it in the apartment.
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 07:10 PM
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I was under the impression that the restaurant PeaceOut mentions was known for its pasta sampler. I haven't heard it mentioned in terms of good Tuscan beef. In any case, it is jammed with tourists and the service is indeed spotty.
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 07:13 PM
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If you need your steak "well done" (which to any professional chef means "ruin the meat") then I suggest you stick to pasta or avoid eating in Italy.
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 07:45 PM
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No. The only way would be to "butterfly" the steak, then it wouldn't be a florentine steak. I tried for well done and even after partaking of generous portions of the fruit of the vine, it was still rare on the hoof and mooing at me, so I finally let it loose.
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 07:53 PM
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NYCTS beat me to it.

Have you ever tried Medium Rare (or even ugh, Medium)? They're worlds away from Medium Well/Well Done. You can actually taste the flavor of the meat.
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 08:35 PM
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It wouldn't BE biftecca alla fiorentina if it were well done, so there's really no point. And no, I wouldn't ask for a doggy bag.
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 09:23 PM
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Acqua al Due also has a beef assagio (sampler) although wouldn't consider any of them the typical Florentine steak.
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Old Jun 8th, 2009, 09:27 PM
  #10  
J62
 
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When I recently spent a month in Italy I had several occasions to take leftover home to my apartment. Others can certainly chime in that they wouldn't ask, but I had no hesitation requesting to keep the rest of the meal that I paid for. Call if t faux pas if you wish, but each of the restaurants I asked knew exactly what I wanted wrapped up the leftovers without any question or issue.

I had 2 chances to eat Florentine steak during that trip. Once was at an expensive restaurant in Florence. Expensive is all I remember about it.

The second time I bought a nice steak from the butcher - she knowing no English and me very little Italian. The words bistecca Fiorentina and a pantomime showing the thickness I wanted did the trick. The podere (farm house) where I was staying in the Val D'Chiana, origin of the Chianina cattle had a wood bbq. When the owner saw I was cooking a bistecca he brought out some zucchini and eggplant from his garden for me to grill, plus a bottle of unlabeled (vineyard surplus/no tax stamps) local wine for us to enjoy. And the steak was cooked to perfection. As they say in the M/C commercials - priceless. There were several big white Chianina cattle in the field across the road. We toasted their kin. I also learned that most of the beef now comes not from the Val D'Chiana (south of Florence) anymore but rather from large farms up North.

Good beef is so cheap in the US that I'll think twice about ordering a steak in Europe again - even Florence.
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 03:12 PM
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ira
 
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Hi KL,

>Is it possible to have a Florentine steak well done without insulting the cook?<

I would be horribly offended.

IME, having Italian beef cooked beyond medium rare is not worth the price.

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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 03:19 PM
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"Acqua Al 2 (pronounced 'aqua al duo'),.....They are now opening a restaurant in San Diego, believe it or not.) "

It has actually been open since September of 2000. I love this restaurant!

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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 03:24 PM
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PeaceOut: Acqua Al Due is already open in San Diego and has been for a few years. It's not nearly as good as the Florence location. In fact, I was really disappointed in the quality of the food, but moreso the prices. The bill was astronomical!
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 03:35 PM
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" I was really disappointed in the quality of the food:

Try the gorgonzola risotto or the filet in a balsamic reduction sauce.

As far as bistecca alla fiorentina, I am not a big fan. I've had it a couple of times in Italy. Not enough taste for me, even eating it medium rare or rare.

maitaitom is online now  
Old Jun 9th, 2009, 03:48 PM
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IME, having Italian beef cooked beyond medium rare is not worth the price.

IME, having Italian beef cooked at any temperature is not worth the price. The fact of the matter is that, if you are Argentinian or American (and probably Canadian and Australian) and know your way around a steak, you stand next to zero chance of having an "a-ha" moment over a European steak, Italian or otherwise.

There is great food to be had in Europe, but they lag woefully in terms of beef quality.
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 04:02 PM
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Please forgive me if I step on some toes. I speak from emotion, and somewhere in there, is truth.

Most people travel to experience life as it exists in other parts of the world. We learn tolerance and respect everytime when we engage in new countrties and people. After only four trips to Italy I have learned to "listen, observe and learn". I have returned home each time more humble, and appreciative of differences in cultures. Please don't offend the cook by asking him to "ruin" a great piece of meat . He takes great pride in his tradition and culinary experience. This is his reputation. Don't ask him to compromise his values. Just give it(the steak in all it's glory) a try, you might like it. Please don't ask for "doggy bags", it's so American. Just order what you can eat.

With all due respect, since you have an apartment and as suggested, go the the best Mercato in Florence, buy your steak, and cook it to your "order". My intention is not to offend, I've witnessed far to many tourists "demanding" their way and it makes all concerned very uncomfortable. Sorry, my "intensity" is showing. I'll get off my soapbox now.
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 04:10 PM
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Please don't offend the cook by asking him to "ruin" a great piece of meat .

We shall agree to disagree on what constitutes a "great" piece of meat.

And, for the record, I firmly believe that you should walk the cow past the coals and slice it off and serve it to me on a plate. I think well-done is a mockery. But a Florentine Steak is middling. Great for Europe, perhaps, but middling in the global steak race.

But... this idea that a Florentine steak is worthy of special care and reverance is laughable. The waiters at Peter Luger's don't laugh at my mother-in-law when she orders here steak well-done and, accordingly, there is no reason an Italian chef should be offended by a special order.
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 04:19 PM
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I've been in steakhouses in Kansas City and Omaha where they simply won't cook a steak beyond hot pink center. They'll TELL you they did, but they really don't. If you send it back, they'll give it ten seconds and re-serve it.
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 04:20 PM
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Agree about European beef in general, but I do love a good veal chop when I'm in Tuscany from time to time, cooked on an open fire.
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 04:34 PM
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Travelgourmet, Oh yes, you are so right about "a great piece of meat", it is relative to the customer, but we were speaking of Bisteca Fiorentina here! For these guys, it's a nice piece of tradition not to be messed with. Did you ever have a discussion with any Italian about "sauce"? Yes, we shall agree to disagree... with respect. Maybe you missed my point. How would you like some "straniero" telling a Southerner had to make pulled pork, a Texan to cook BQ,or a Yankee fan to dress his hot dog? I'm just in favor of being open minded about food.
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