Simon and Jen: Italy Food Porn #Uno

An excerpt from our Italian food porn blog.  More at
http://simonjenitaly.blogspot.com

Montepulciano and The Big Steak

The Tuscan hillside town of Montepulciano is big enough to feel like
it has a real residential base and some culture beyond tourism. We had
lunch at a restaurant that turned out to be a real showstopper for
Tuscan cuisine. The chef is a bit of a hardass when it comes to
tradition, insisting on serving your table wine and water with just
one glass (we’d seen this in one other place) and scrawling the menus
on rough brown paper. He struts around in a white linen shirt and a
little ponytail, looking gruff and threatening. A bit much, yeah, but
he has the food to back it up.

Unfortunately, I ordered poorly, due to the Italian-only menu. I
started with a French onion soup which was fine, but not awesome. (It
wasn’t called French onion soup on the menu.) Then, as a main course,
I had a bowl of undressed shredded radicchio. I had wanted a salad,
but this was a bit grim. I must have looked disappointed when it
showed up because the French tourist across from me started laughing,
and the two Italian businessmen next to us looked over questioningly.

“Vegetariano?” one guy asked the other.

The dessert, however, blew our mind. In heaven, they serve this exact
panna cotta. It comes in a simple glass, with a thin layer of golden
caramel. The cream is smooth, and rich, but not too sweet. With every
spoonful, I thought to myself, “Is this really good? Yes, yes, it is.”

Anyway, this dessert, plus the dishes ordered by the people around us,
convinced us to make a reservation for dinner.

That’s when I had The Big Steak. Bistecca fiorentina is up there with
Argentine steak, Brazilian churrasco, and Kobe beef as a celebration
of red meat. At this place, when you order it, the chef draws a little
diagram on your placemat of the meat, then asks you which cut you
want.  Filet or t-bone?  The correct answer is t-bone.  Seriously, he
all but calls you a big pussy if order the filet.

Looking me over, he grunted, “It is better if you do not eat too much bread.”

He then went to the kitchen and I actually saw and heard him swing a
cleaver the size of a manila envelope. He returned to our table and
showed me the bloody meat on a piece of butcher paper. I nodded in
fear and anticipation.  Jen said she felt like Harold when he was
about to get a cock-meat sandwich.

In the photo, I wish I had placed a key next to the meat for scale,
because this thing drew appreciative oohs and aahs from our neighbors.
Large enough to serve four, it had a gorgeous seared exterior, crusted
with chunks of salt and pepper, and a ruby red center. It was
glorious. Each mouthful burst with salty, juicy, almost mineral-like
goodness.  Best – steak – ever.

Then we had panna cotta for dessert again.”

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One thought on “Simon and Jen: Italy Food Porn #Uno

  1. Pingback: you-food.net » Simon and Jen get a serving of big Italian meat.

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