What Is a Florentine Steak?

What Is a Florentine Steak? Where to Try Florentine Steak in Florence?

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Florentine Steak is a renowned dish of Tuscan cuisine and is the most favorite dish of most people. It is a cut of beef which has a particular method of preparation to make sure it’s done in a correct Florentine way. This is definitely not a vegetarian dish :-). It was traditionally known as Bistecca Fiorentina.

Notably, several rules must be strictly followed during the preparation of Florentine Steak. These include:

The Meat Must Be From Scottona

Notably, the Tuscan originally is very crucial. Thus; it must be approximately 12 or 18 months old and which has never gotten pregnant. The piece of Florentine Steak must be cut precisely in a way that it has to include a Porterhouse cut between the sirloin and the tenderloin. This is obtained from the part of the loin near the shoulder.

The Meat Must Be Marbled

For the meat to be tender and tasty, it has to be marbled which is the main reason why the meat is preferred to be from a Scottona. Every bit of the preparation procedure is important including the hanging since it contributes to the retention of the flavors. Hence the entire loin must be hanged for 15-21 days before cutting.

The Cutting Is Also An Art

The cutting of the Florentine Steak is an ancient art where the minimum thickness should be 1.5 inches for it to be worth calling Florentine Steak. On the other hand, the real Bistecca Alla Fiorentina should weigh approximately 1.5 kilos up to 2 kilos.

Specific Cooking Process must be followed

The cooking process of the delicious Florentine Steak is strict. Since the thickness of the steak is usually between 4 and 6 centimeters, the cooking options are grilling over wood or charcoal. Although the cooking time may vary, most steaks take around 5 minutes on one side before flipping over on the other side where it also takes approximately 5 minutes.
While grilling the Florentine Steak, there is no seasoning done until the very end process. The result of this cooking process will be a hot, well-browned crust on the outside that is tender and juicy on the inside.

Ideally served with beans and wine

This incredible dish can be served with tasty cannellini beans accompanied by a delicious wine. Thus, a red Tuscan wine will do just fine.
Notably, to avoid losing juices of the meat, it is advisable to avoid poking the Bistecca with your fork. Whenever you order a Florentine Steak, including a glass of Chianti Classico, a Brunello di Montalcino or any other strong Tuscan red wine will be the right combination.

Where to Try Florentine Steak in Florence?

From a personal perspective, the Fiorentina in Ristorante Buca Lapi is the most recommendable place. Although the prices are quite high, the quality of Florentine Steak offered here is worth the money. There are entrée and sides offered but trust me, you will never get through it all; but if you a HEAVY eater, then they will be of use. Remember to make a reservation earlier, and the process is easy and straightforward on their website.

Moreover, other perfect restaurants that offer Florentine Steak include Konnubio, II Torcicoda and Parione restaurants.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a restaurant that is located in the countryside of Florence then Ristorante Tullio is a great place.

Other recommendable places include; L’officina della Bistecca {here you will get entertained by the owner Dario Cecchini who will cook and serve the steak while reciting verses from the Divine Comedy}, Panzona and Osteria di Nandone.

The History of the Florentine Steak

The Florentine Steak is part of an ancient Tuscan Culture. Its name Bistecca is a British term that means beef steak. Its history goes back to 1965, in San Lorenzo square. The Medici family used to celebrate St. Lorenzo every August 10th where they offered the people around a large amount of ox meat. In one of these occasions, some English merchants were in Florence, and when they joined the banquet, they started demanding for ‘beef steak.' Since Florentines loved giving exotic names to food, they began calling the grilled steak as Bistecca.

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Best places to have Florentine Steak in Florence

1. Osteria di Giovanni

Via del Moro, 22, 50123 Florence
This restaurant takes pride in being authentically Tuscan, and it has a reputation for good food and good service. This osteria is split into several rooms, each with its own style- you could be seated in the main room with its beautiful fireplace, or in the second room with its full bar, or even down in the cellar.

This restaurant often offers complimentary food, has generous portions, and it has some of the best steaks in Florence.

2. Le Fonticine

Via Nazionale, 79r, 50123 Florence

This restaurant is located near the central train station in Florence, and it is surprisingly large and relaxed for its central location. This is a great place to come if you are looking for some hearty, authentic Italian cuisine that is away from the more 'touristy' places in Florence.

The waiters can recommend the house specialities if you can't decide from the list of delicious menu, and it is one of the best places to buy a steak- This restaurant stands out as they will show you the exact weight and explain the origin of the steak before they cook it for you!

Trattoria Marione

Via della Spada, 27/Rosso, 50123 Florence
If you are wanting a traditional Italian restaurant, make sure you plan a night at Trattoria Marione. This restaurant is dedicated to creating a warm and inviting atmosphere that matches the culture and atmosphere of the city of Florence. There are no menus- you simply tell the waiter what your preferences are and they will serve you up one of the many delicious Tuscan dishes available.

Make sure you order the Florentine steak and glass of the house red- you will not regret it! This place is very popular and has extremely reasonable prices, so it is probably best to try and book in advance if it is possible.

4. Trattoria Sergio Gozzi

Piazza di San Lorenzo, 8R, 50123 Florence
Trattoria Sergio Gozzi is located right on Piazza San Lorenzo, and if you are willing to wait in line, you will not be disappointed. This is a small, rustic restaurant with paper menus all in Italian, and it serves up some of the best food in the area. It is fairly crowded for the lunch time rush, but sitting amongst strangers is part of the atmosphere in this traditional restaurant.

Here you can get very reasonably priced food, and they serve some of the best steak in Florence (it is so good it can sometimes run out, but other things such as the veal, the pork, the chicken, the pasta and the pot roast are all still worth waiting for!).

This restaurant is only open at lunch and you cannot make a reservation, simply give your name at the front desk and when your table opens up they will call your name and you can tuck into some delicious and filling Florentine cuisine.

5. Osteria del Caffè Italiano

Via Isola delle Stinche, 11R-13R, 50122 Florence
This is a restaurant that is known especially for its beef steak, so you can be assured that you will find some of the best bistecca alla Fiorentina here. This is a restaurant that is located in a building from the 1880's, and it has a great atmosphere is you want to have a romantic evening dining out in Florence.

Caffe Italiano is special because the butcher cuts the quality certified steak in front of you, and you can then look inside the barbeque as it is being cooked. This restaurant has great service, big portion sizes, and the perfect atmosphere to enjoy your Florentine steak.

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The "Florentine Steak", or "Bistecca alla Fiorentina" as we call it, is the typical florentine dish. Actually, it's nothing more than a T-Bone steak, but the difference is that the cut is very thick and it's cooked medium rare. the meat is local and you can really tell the differences between other kinds of meat while you taste it!

You can't have a Florentine Steak for just one person: normally the minimum served is for two persons.

In Florence, we consider 'fair' a price of 40€/kg, and normally 1 kg is the minimum for two persons. Watch out for tourist traps! Keep an eye on prices: don't even consider spending more than 60€/kg for a Florentine. Be sure that the meat comes from local beasts!

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