Wednesday, November 21, 2012

All'Antico Ristoro di Cambi, Via Sant'Onofrio, Florence


It was fortunate for us that this restaurant (Via Sant'Onofrio 1r, Florence, tel : +39 055 217134) was but a 10 minute stroll from our hotel in the quiet neighbourhood south of the Arno. We were rushing back from conquering the leaning bell tower of Pisa that wasn't very forgiving on our knees and tried to still be on time for our table.


This was an exciting dinner since we would be having a real bistecca alla fiorentina where the meat was from the pasture fed Chianina cow. The restaurant exuded charm of a brick lined eating establishment where legs of prosciutto and wreaths of garlic were hanging high on beams and bottles of wine littered almost every platform.


We started it off with their crostini Toscani which was filled with one of the most delicious and savory chopped chicken liver on bread I've had. Can you imagine being charmed by chopped chicken liver?


The first plate we had taglierini Gorgonzola e asparagi. This was a pretty damn good pasta at the for a reasonable €8. What surprised me was that both the Gorgonzola and the asparagus both shared equal intensity in flavour that was nicely accented by the chopped parsley. Texture of the noodles was unsurprisingly springy and lively.


The anticipation was as mentioned, their boned in porterhouse bistecca, Florentine styled. Flavouring was what the char, an exceptionally fruity olive oil and coarse salt crystals imparted. The meat was rare to medium rare on the inside, juicy but was pretty lean in some parts. The charred bits of fat on the exterior were amazingly fragrant though. 

While mythical descriptions of the steak remain, the part about them being fork tender was unfounded. While it was tender, it was certainly not fork tender.


Dessert was a eggless black and white chocolate cake that we managed to scarf down even though we were pretty stuffed from all the food. Testimony to the fact that it was freshly prepared, served hot and pretty well made.

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