Where to Eat a Fiorentina Steak in Florence and be like a Local
Fiorentina, a name, a brand, and a dish which carries a number of images correlated to it. It reminds Italians of epic meals, foodie tours and stops on the highway for a meat-based break like those of cavemen. But Fiorentina is not something only locals can enjoy, tourists can taste this divine cut as well, but as the dish brings back beautiful memories for locals, it’s also cause of incredible scams for foreigners, so some care must be taken in order to choose the best Fiorentina while knowing what you’re paying for.
This myth hides misunderstandings and tricks for whoever isn’t knowledgeable on Fiorentina.
For example: fiorentina isn’t a steak obtained from animals bred on Fiesole’s hills, who relish in the sight of Brunelleschi’s dome, but it’s a cut obtained from a variety of bovines, some from Piedmont, others from Spain. Common to all, however, is the 20-day dry aging period, the 2-inch thickness and the fact that is made with the tenderloin and the sirloin. Then, the mythical chianina, the meat traditionally associated with this steak, is more suited for slow cooking dishes, like stews and braised meat.
Whichever cut is chosen, fiorentina strictly requires a preparation on embers (with a mix of woods chosen to obtain more aromatic fragrances) with temperatures that can raise real religious conflicts, while for what concerns the weight of the cut, to those who say “if it’s under the 1.5 kg (3 lbs), it’s not fiorentina” we should remind that since it’s the cut connecting a bovine’s spine, only Mother Nature has a say on that. If you want to know about traditional butchering in Tuscany you can check here.
Let’s dive into the subject with two warnings:
– Here we’ll only talk about restaurants and establishments on the territory of the city of Florence, without mentioning the famous trattorie (typical Italian restaurants, usually family owned) outside the city, like Trattoria Tullio in Fiesole, Padellina, the Ballini, the Cecchini, Sanesi in Lastra a Signa, where the taste of the meat is worth a stop.
– Never ask for a fiorentina well-done. Unless you want to be kicked out of the city with sneering laughter.
Let’s explore the best places in Firenze where to eat a true Fiorentina like a local!
Trattoria da Damasco
The perfect place to have a true 2-inch thick fiorentina with an excellent quality-price ratio. Convenient is also the location, close to Cascine, that can be reached by car and has a parking lot.
Everyone knows about this establishment, and is one of the best places where to eat a fiorentina. The steak is well worth it, and it’s cut right at the table by the waiters.
Family owned establishment in this restaurant loved by locals, who truly feel like they’re home in here. Perhaps it’s because of the restaurant’s own special type of wine, the rustic atmosphere, or maybe it’s because of the typical dishes on the menu, or for the excellent prices, but l’Brindellone is a sure hit.
Things to Remember: a good Fiorentina steak goes well with Chianti wine or a good Brunello di Montalcino wine. Florence can be explored on foot with a licensed guide and it is not all about the museums but Florence can be about shopping too!