As I promised, I continue with the meat feast that Dario Cecchini offers to his guests in his one year old “Officina della Bistecca”. The evening I visited Officina, Dario had to go to an event and therefore I had the opportunity to see the place without its master.
Officina is right above the butcher shop, and during a hot August night it offers the guests everything al fresco!
The setting is very simple, there is no fancy stuff in Officina, two large tables where the guests mix and a huge grill where the drama and ecstasy of the night is played.
The menu of the feast starts with ground beef that has been jst caressed by heat, and is practically raw. It is served with rosemary, lemon and olive oil and delicious! It is sweet, very tender and leaves a very subtle aftertaste in your mouth.
Το πρωτο πιατο ειναι μοσχαρισιος κιμας, ισα ισα περασμενος απο το τηγανι, μια ανασα μονο! Στην φωτογραφια το βλεπετε με σελινο, που παει θαυμασια, μαζι με φλουδα λεμονιου και λαδακι της εληας. Γλυκισμα και αξεχαστο!
The green stuff that you see in the photo is celery, which goes really well with the meat.
Moving away from the introductory dish, we face a slab of wood on which the protagonists of the night rest. The costata, the panczanese and – of course! – the fiorentina!
The costata is a thick rib eye cut, and in the photo it is presented by Dante, the Master of Ceremonies in the Officina. .
Η κοστατα ειναι μοσχαρισια μπριτζολα, κομμενη χοντρη για να ειναι ζουμερη και με μπολικες ουσιες οταν σερβιριστει.
The costata is first grilled flat and then on its side. Observe the marbled flesh!
Once these wonderful cuts are ready, Angelo, the Chief of the Grill Station slices them for the guests.
The costata was sweet, juicy, tender and without dripping blood, although it was cooked medium rare. The reason behind is tha t the meat in Tuscany is aged properly, about 6 days, so there is no blood or water in the flesh when it is cooked, but the absolute minimum.
We continued with the panzanese, a cut from the rump, that Dario grills and served also medium rare.
Συνεχιζουμε με την πανζανεζε, που ειναι μια εφευρεση του Νταριο, οσον αφορα το ψησιμο στα καρβουνα. Το κρεας ειναι αυτο που λεμε εμεις στρογγυλο. Και ο Νταριο το σερβιρει και αυτο ψημενο στα καρβουνα!
Observe that the meat is lean here, no marbles!
But is is juicy and full of flavours, although of course is not as tender as the costata!
And now the time has come for the Bistecca Fiorentina, the ultimate treat of the night.
Just see how marbled the cut is! And how thick!
Η φιορεντινα ειναι ενα μια μπριτζολα κοντρα, οι αμερικανοι τη λενε τι μποουν, επειδη το κοκκαλο της ειναι σατ ενα μεγαλο ταυ.
Angelo does a fantastic job and grills the Bistecca to perfection.
The fiorentina is finished by grilling it on its side, and as you see it stands on its side quite comfortably!
It was worth the wait! After almost 2 and a half hours the queen arived and she was in top form! Needless to say, you must eat everything! Including the fat bits, which are the best in my humble opinion!
Be aware! No salt, no peper or anything else is added to the meat after it is served. This is the secret of enjoying the real taste, texture and flavour of the meat. Another small secret for the enjoyment of the whole experience is to avoid eating bread and the baked potato that comes with the meat. They both fill you up when this is the last thing you want. Stick on the meat and the raw vegetables!
The feast lasted for approaximately four hours. Dario in his “menu” card says three hours, but this is on the low side. In any case, this type of extravagant eating requires time and very good company, and Dario’s guests are usually a very good company indeed!
There is not much else to say, but thank you to the team that put this all together: Marina, who inside the kitchen prepared everything to perfection, Angelo, the grill supreme master, Dante, the animator of the party, and Dario, and Kim who put everything together!
Grazie e buonanote!