Osteria Dei Cento Poveri, Firenze

We met some American people in Rome prior to Florence who recommended the renowned Florentine Steak and described it as their best ever steak. They’re more accustomed to their well done steaks back in the States and noted the looks of bewilderment, offence and even annoyance when they said they ordered well done. This is when the two Italian pasta making class teachers intervened with disapproving nods, they said florentine steak is always rare, you RAREly even get medium. Apparently it’s not unheard of that waiters and waitresses turn their noses up at you and refuse to take your order if it’s anything but rare. We found the restaurant via google maps and it had many good reviews.

Both Lee and I opted for the 500g T-bone steak menu they had out on their chalk board, his one was a three course meal that included wine (~€28) and mine was a four course meal (~€35) not including drinks. The waitress asked if they could just cook our steak together instead of separately, we said sure. She didn’t even ask how we’d like the steak. My worries got the better of me and I flagged her down ‘the steak will be rare right?’ She looked at me as if I asked if water was h2o, a mixture of ‘how could you ask that?’ And ‘of course’.

A bread basket arrived followed by our starter. We were stunned. When another starter came out we were exasperated. How were we going to finish this? I think one starter between the both of us would’ve been more appropriate, the portions were massive. Unless you’re part of an episode of man vs food, who can even eat that much cured meat in one go in one day?! Not us, clearly. They were all packed with flavour I loved the selection of cured meats and think they all balanced each other out, whilst one was quite salty, you had one that was quite peppery they all complemented each one perfectly. There was a bowl of honey in the middle which was thick (HIGHLY VISCOUS!!!)  and I thought it was a weird but the sweet and savoury really did work!

dsc00974Tuscan Cured Meat with Cheese and Honey, Salumi Toscani, Formaggi e Miele

Second courses arrived, it did look very interesting when the two were combined together on either side of the plate. The pasta ribbons didn’t have anything on the pasta we made in our classes! The meat sauce was particularly underwhelming. Now the other second course that came with it, I’m sure of what this is because the menu said it was a tuscan soup but it doesn’t look soupy to me, it was just a mixture of beans that we really didn’t want to fill ourselves up for when we knew we had 1KG of steak to get through!

dsc00977Mix of second courses

You could probably hear and smell the main course before seeing it, I don’t mean the cows were mooing because of the rareness but the sizzling on the cast iron plate and the aroma that the sizzling was giving off! It came accompanied with potatoes. Both steak and potatoes were sprinkled generously with huge rock crystals. You can see how big some of the crystals are in the picture! The potatoes were sometimes crispy on the outside but inside was consistently soft. The steak was immensely easy to bite into, and I can only describe it one of the best steaks I’ve had. The outside inviting colour of the steak (Maillard reaction anybody?) is just an indication of the goodness that was to come. I think from this trip, I’m going to make the conversion from medium rare to just rare.

Florentine Beefsteak, Bistecca Alla Florentina
Florentine Beefsteak w Roasted Potatoes, Bistecca Alla Florentina e Patate Arrosto

We tried with all our might but I think we were well and truly defeated, we left one or two slices, we just couldn’t. I think Lee went for it at the last minute though. By the time dessert came we just couldn’t stomach it anymore. It was a chestnut pudding, it was light, creamy  but we both didn’t think much of it as it was quite plain. We only had a few bites before calling a night, to be fair that was because our stomachs were too full.

Chestnut Pudding, Budino di Castagne

This restaurant has so many good reviews online, strangely they don’t seem to be particularly known for their steaks unlike some of the restaurants nearby but if the steak here was this good, I dread to think what I am missing out at the other restaurants but we both agreed this restaurant was in a really good location, the staff were really nice and was always nearby to flag down for something, the food was delicious and the price was so good! Definitely check them out on their  website (there’s an English option and menus)  if you are nearby or in need for some good priced quality food in Firenze!

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