I just booked our first planned event for the Tuscany portion of our trip. If you’ve watched Tony Bourdain or David Rocco’s Tuscany shows, Dario Cecchini will have been indelibly imprinted into your brain. Sometimes referred to as the most famous butcher in Italy, the only things larger than the giant steaks in his shop are his personality and his huge crazy-person smile.
The Antica Macelleria Cecchini is the actual butcher shop, located in Panzano in Chianti, about an hour and a half drive south of Florence. On weekends the shop is purported to be filled with villagers, friends, the wealthy “villa crowd”, and tourists who come by not just for a slab of cow, but for the various platters of food, the bottles of Chianti made available to customers, and the show. Slow Travel has a great description of it all.
To satiate his masses of followers, Dario has opened a couple of restaurants nearby. First there is the Solo Ciccia where you can get a 6 course meal for 30€ including bread, wine, vegetables, and a number of Tuscan beef dishes, but no steak. To get some of the steak for which Dario is famous you have to get a seat at Officina della Bistecca, which loosely translates to Steak Workshop. For 50 € per person you get to try their versions of steak tartare and various cuts of steak including the famous Bistecca alla Fiorentina. Bistecca all Fiorentina is basically a giant porterhouse grilled rare. Sitting at a communal table they showcase huge cuts of meat and grill them table side. They advise you to come hungry and on time. I was pretty excited when they confirmed my reservation for Officina! While not 100% sure that I’ll actually get to meet Dario, I should think think that he would be there since he is the main draw. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Trip Advisor has mixed, but mostly positive reviews. My expectation is that while it may not be the best meal I’ll have in Italy in terms of food I expect it to be the most entertaining!