Excellent Florentine Steak Dinner at Buca Lapi (Florence, Italy)
If you have read anything about Florence’s cuisine, it’s a city that takes immense pride for its locally raised beef and eating it. Buca Lapi is one of the oldest restaurants in Florence and serves a fantastic steak. When you enter the subterranean restaurant, you’d see the open kitchen with immense sides of Chianina beef,
This restaurant is part of the winery, which is located in Palazzo Antinori, the Renaissance palace that has been the winery’s home since the 1500s. What I adore about this restaurant is its unpretentious and friendly attitude on top of the fact their food is delicious. The main dining room is a cavernous space decorated with vintage posters and print advertisements all over the ceiling and walls creating this laid back ambiance.
We started off our carnivorous evening with a delectable plate of various hams and salami and the house’s Antinori Marchese Chianti Classico Riserva 2011. The chianti is powerful but balanced red wine that could stand up to a steak or any meat dish that we’re having that evening.
Since we’re still in Italy, we must have some kind of pasta so we opted for the artichoke gnocchi that was the special of the night. The gnocchi was dense but it’s flavorful that you can definitely taste the artichoke and the buttery sauce was addictive.
During my entire trip in Italy, I’ve been yearning for a bowl of stewed tripe. I know not many people would search for offal but knowing that Tuscan and Roman cuisines has that kind of tradition to cook hearty, peasant food (I mean this in a very good way), I was searching for it. Issues were my schedule and location that I can’t get that bowl. At Buca Lapi, they cook a soul satisfying bowl (on their menu, it’s called tripe Florentine style). It’s super tender, succulent and not at all offal tasting. The tomato sauce was acidic enough to lift the hearty tripe and enough herbs to flavor it. I was a happy person eating that.
Though we’re getting full after having those previous courses, we managed to make some space for the signature steak. All steaks are served rare. You don’t get an option like most American steakhouses about your meat temperature. It’s beautifully charred with a kiss of smoke from the grill. The beef was tender and leaner, I think, compared to most steaks I’m accustomed to in New York. Not a bad thing since I get to savor the meat more than about chewing hunks of beef fat.
At this point of the evening we were full but our waiter indulged us with a slice of flourless chocolate cake. The cake was incredibly dense and chocolate-y but it’s not sweet. After two bites of that cake, I was done since it’s incredibly rich and we had a very rich meal.
Overall, we had a great and indulgent dinner. The service is friendly and the waiters speak English very well, along with Spanish since he spoke to our neighboring table that.
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Via del Trebbio, 1r
50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Phone: +39 055 213768