Steak Florentine Style
Do you ever crave a really good steak?
With the temperature dropping slightly and the first cool breeze blowing through Florence, we decided it was high time for a Bistecca alla Fiorentina! One of our favourite places to eat a good Florentine steak is at Perseus in Via Don Minzoni 10r near Piazza della Liberta’. They have been serving their Tuscan delights since 1982 and have an excellent reputation among the Fiorentini for their steaks. Whenever friends or family visit, a visit to Perseus is a must.
At the entrance was a beautiful display of Porcini mushrooms, some of the largest I have ever seen. I had just read in the news that in the past ten days, eighteen people had died while picking mushrooms! I cheekily asked the owner if anyone had suffered during the collection of his Porcini. Apparently the majority of the deceased were elderly who had ventured too high on the mountain and this combined with bad weather and steep declines meant that a few of these Nonni weren’t as young or spritely as they thought they were and ended up suffering some fatal falls!
Good news was that no-one had suffered in the hunting of the porcini on display here at Perseus.
As you enter the restaurant, you pass the impressive antipasti display sitting at the front of the temperature controlled glass case where many very large chunks of meat are on display. The centerpiece of each table is a beautiful display of raw vegetables; carrots, aniseed, capsicum, radishes and celery sitting in a bowl accompanied with extra virgin olive oil. It is a nice alternative to bread as you sit waiting for your order to arrive. For the bread lovers, no need to stress, beautiful warm flat bread is brought to the table, fresh from the oven.
Last night we didn’t even look at the menu – we knew what we had come to eat! We ordered a Bistecca for two (1.5kg) roast potatoes and fried vegetables. The smallest steak size available is 1.2kg so it is obviously not for one person. Perseus also don’t ask how you want your steak cooked as there is only one way that they serve a bistecca alla Fiorentina, so if you don’t like your meat on the rare side, the lamb may be a better choice for you.
Normally I also like to order crostini con lardo e acciughe to start with but I decided that I wanted to enjoy all my steak not feel like I had ingested the whole cow at the end of the meal.
We drank the house red which is a large 1.5 flask of Chianti and you pay for how much you drink. Always a bit dangerous to have a bottle in front of Emiliano!
As steak after steak were wheeled past our tables, I wondered aloud how many kilos of meat are consumed in one evening here at Perseus? I asked the owner and former butcher this very question and he replied that in Winter which is their busiest season, the restaurant consumes the equivalent of 3 cows each day!!! Obviously we are only talking about the back section of the cow where the cuts of steak are taken from but that is still an incredible amount of meat! So that’s 21 cows a week and 90 odd cows a month (thought I’d save you the math!)
We finished our evening with a glass of vin santo with cantuccini biscuits and all up spent around €80 including the house red.
It is not the cheapest place to eat in Florence but for lovers of a good steak and for those wanting to experience a true Florentine experience, you really can’t go past Perseus.
Viale Don Minzoni, 10/R
Telephone : +39 055 588 226