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A Modest Lunch at Antica Macelleria Cecchini (caution - excessive number of photos) - Parts 1 & 2

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    A Modest Lunch at Antica Macelleria Cecchini (caution - excessive number of photos) - Parts 1 & 2

    During our recent vacation in the Chianti region of Tuscany, flyingpiglet and I had a "modest" lunch at Dario Cecchini's Antica Macelleria. I'm still recovering from the euphoria of that lunch, so please excuse the excessively long posting of photos. Had to split this into two posts because of the max limit on the number of attachments.

    Antica Macelleria Cecchini is in the town of Panzano, near Greve in Chianti. When he isn't traveling, Cecchini is there everyday still cutting meat and being a gregarious host to the many, many guests.

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    Lunch was a modest six courses of meat, most of which we witnessed being grilled over their wood fired pits in one of the dining rooms. I was fortunate to have a seat directly in front of the grills and the grill maestro who both cooked and sliced the meat for serving. The cooking is done over coals, so I wasn't able to see what type of wood they had burnt down. But it was a very simple arrangement.

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    Here was the line-up for lunch. They are dedicated to utilizing all parts of the Chianina cattle, so many of the cuts were not ones that you'll see in the US. The chef carved a surprising amount of meat from shoulder and other bones.

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    There were also a number of additional items on the menu, including the famous "Burro del Chianti" (Chianti butter). This is lardo (pork lard) mixed with herbs. Unbelievably good on the house made bread, meat, and other goodies.

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    While the meat began cooking, the first course was steak tartare.

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    Second course was sliced Arrosto Fiorentino from the rump. Excuse the messy plate - it gets worse!

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    Bistecca di spalla (shoulder).

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    Next up - beef belly!

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    Continued in the next post.....

    Last edited by theroc; May 13, 2023, 02:15 PM.

    #2
    Continued from the previous post....

    Bistecca Panzanese from the hip bone.

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    Brief interlude of a patate con lardo (baked potatoes with the Burro del Chianti) while the star of the show goes onto the grill. I can't really describe how good the lardo is. I get dreamy just thinking about it.

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    And at last the highlight, the Bistecca alla Fiorentina.

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    And to finish it all up was olive oil cake, and of course a glass of their grappa while the maestro himself visited the dining room to say hello.

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    This was a long-time dream come true for us, and an experience we won't soon forget. I was struck by the simplicity of the preparations: the meat was not seasoned prior to grilling, and the roasts and steaks were not seared heavily. The cooking is over coals with relatively little flame. As you can see from the photos, the beef is served very rare, and the flavor was sublime that way. The Chianina meat is lean, but has a very rich and clean mouth feel. It is an interesting contrast to how many of us layer on "flavors" with lots of seasonings and rubs and convoluted cooking methods. This was cooking at its very essence: simple preparation using the very best ingredients that lets the beef shine.

    If you are a fan of cooking and eating grilled beef, then this is a pilgrimage that we hope you can make some day. We'll be dreaming of returning as soon as we can.

    Comment


    • WayneT
      WayneT commented
      Editing a comment
      That all looks amazing! What a great time you must have had. Tuscany is a destination every foodie or oenophile should put on their bucket list.

    • Greygoose
      Greygoose commented
      Editing a comment
      One of my dream destinations,,,
      You live it,,,,,I live vicariously,,,!!!!

    #3
    Wow, just wow. I will be dreaming about this meal tonight even if the closest I ever come to tasting it is through your photos.

    Comment


      #4
      What a wonderful time that must have been. Thanks so much for sharing. There’s no such thing as too many photos and your description is great, too.

      Comment


        #5
        That looks amazing.

        Comment


          #6
          Holy heck. What an amazing meal! Thank you for sharing, I hope to visit there some day!

          Comment


            #7
            Unbelievable, thanks for posting.

            Comment


            • captainlee
              captainlee commented
              Editing a comment
              I used to travel to Northern Italy on business. Stopped at a small restaurant near the hotel. I just asked the waiter to feed me whatever the chef wanted to prepare. Great dinner, many courses. Chef came out with a bottle of lemoncello and sat down with me after dinner. His English was very good. Great times and food in Italy.

            #8
            Thanks for sharing a great looking meal.

            Comment


              #9
              Chianina is an awesome breed. The frame size is crazy. If you plan on getting a bull for your cows get a calf puller.

              Great pics!!

              Comment


                #10
                Wow wow wow wow

                need details on eating there (walk up, reservation, how many diners, etc)

                and what… no vegetables?

                Comment


                • Jerod Broussard
                  Jerod Broussard commented
                  Editing a comment
                  They got a potato pic

                • theroc
                  theroc commented
                  Editing a comment
                  WillTravelForFood - and beans! Also, you can see in the third picture a bowl of fresh celery, carrots, and other vegies. Of course, they were for spreading with the lardo.
                  I was also amused to see a vegetarian option on their menus. I didn't ask....

                  We had reservations, and I imagine for how popular they are a really good idea. We were part of small tour group and the organizer had made the reservations several months earlier. Reserve on their website.

                • WillTravelForFood
                  WillTravelForFood commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Tour group? Feel free to share details, privately if more appropriate

                #11
                Bravissimo!

                Comment


                  #12
                  Fantastic writeup. Thanks for taking us there.

                  Kathryn

                  Comment


                    #13
                    I think the line of the post….I get dreamy thinking about it!

                    ha! What an experience! Thank you for sharing!

                    Comment


                      #14
                      WOW

                      Comment


                      • HawkerXP
                        HawkerXP commented
                        Editing a comment
                        How many jars of "Burro del Chianti" did you bring home?

                      • theroc
                        theroc commented
                        Editing a comment
                        HawkerXP - sadly none. Still issues with carrying in pork products..... If I were clever, I would have emptied some shampoo bottles and filled them with the lardo.

                      #15
                      I forgot y’all had these travel plans! How awesome for you! Told ya he is one of the nicest guys. His wife is awesome, too. this was a few years ago at Nancy silvertons place here is LA.

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                      Comment


                      • WillTravelForFood
                        WillTravelForFood commented
                        Editing a comment
                        What was that at Nancy's? That looks like fun, too!!!

                      • Ahumadora
                        Ahumadora commented
                        Editing a comment
                        He needs to change his clothes. Maybe Meathead can send him an Amazingribs shirt

                      • SheilaAnn
                        SheilaAnn commented
                        Editing a comment
                        WillTravelForFood it was at osteria mozza

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