So I’m glad to be back in Florence, for a week. Traveled by plane this time. Smart move.
Bistecca alla Fiorentina
One afternoon we’re in the mood for some food. And by that I mean some good food. Really good food. In Florence terms there’s only one thing that can mean: your most popular highness Il Bistecca alla Fiorentina! Or in other words: Florence style T-bone steak. Sure you’ve heard about this one already!
For those who are not familiar with this 8th wonder of the world, here’s a little background information. The real bistecca alla Fiorentina can only be named so if the T-bone comes from the Italian Chianina cattle breed, one of the oldest cattle breeds in the world.Sure we checked Tripadvisor and a couple of other websites to see where we could find some of the best ones. But the votes were not very unanimous we had the impression. Well, let’s leave it to our best guides then: our nose and intuition.
Lunch with Tripadvisor
We walked the streets of Florence at a lazy pace, looking around, enjoying the medieval architecture and sipping espresso coffees in the sun. All the time we were keeping our eyes open for some good steak. This didn’t prove to be very hard. The majority of the restaurants announce their bistecca and its price per kg (2,22 lb) on a chalkboard outside.
Wait, €20 for 2? That surely can’t be a real bistecca! €120 for 2? That’s quite exaggerated, methinks. Don’t worry, the average prices are somewhere in between €40 and €65 per kg.
So one afternoon we’re looking for a simple lunch in the San Lorenzo neighborhood. Our Tripadvisor app recommends a nearby trattoria called Sergio Gozzi.
Trattoria GozziIt is a little difficult to find in the beginning because it is hidden behind an endless row of tourist stalls that unfortunately line the beautiful Piazza San Lorenzo. That also explains why I wasn’t able to snap a facade picture of the place… To make a long story much shorter: the lunch menu winking outside and the old-fashioned interior inside pleases us terribly. We order lunch (read the full story here) and while we’re enjoyed our food, the couple next to us orders the famous bistecca alla Fiorentina. Our jaws drop and we make a mental note to come back here again.
We make good on that promise ’cause 2 days later we’re back. With a craving. A huge one. After queuing at the bar for 15 minutes (it gets pretty busy at lunchtime) we’re shown to our table by waitress Olivia. Orders are made easily: a bistecca alla Fiorentina (€38 per kg) and a mezzo litro caraf (½ l) of red house wine (€6).
We decide we won’t order any side dishes. We’ve come for steak. We’ll have our steak. Anyway, there’s always a bread and butter basket on the table since you pay for the additional ‘pane e coperto’ or bread and cutlery (€1,80 per person).We sip our red wine for 10 minutes and chat. And then finally: le moment suprême. It arrives. Weighing in 1,350 kg (3 lb). Seared beautifully. Yellowish fat on the sides. Sliced up nicely in thick strips. Cooked perfectly saignant. Heavenly juices pouring out. We attack the beast and worship its slightly dry-aged flavor while washing it down with a second carat of red wine. Jolly good cow.
Cantucci and vinsanto
The restaurant is roaring on around us but we’re totally into our meal. We’re full before we’ve eaten half of the bistecca. Told you a side dish would not be necessary! OK, we could have finished the whole lot without a doubt but we still had some visiting to do in the city so we didn’t want to feel like bursting out of our pants. But don’t worry. We ask the owner (she speaks a little French as well) to wrap it up for us.We sit back and relax. But the hubs’ wandering eye spotted something on the menu it can’t resist: a portion of cantucci almond cookies and a glass of vinsanto (€3,50).
Great way to end a purely Italian feast! We pay €68,50 in the end. And because we are renting an apartment we can enjoy the other half of the bistecca in the evening and prepare a gorgeous cold steak salad. Yum.
Trattoria Sergio Gozzi
Piazza San Lorenzo, 8r