Dario the Butcher (and me!)
Yeah, you heard me: DARIO. As in D-A-R-I-O of Panzano, Italy. Did you read HEAT? Mario Batali's book? Its bright yellow and exposes the underbelly of restaurant kitchens---trust me, you would remember it if you read it.
Anyway... 'Dario the Butcher' is in the book, he was a main cast member who influenced and trained Mario. And I went to see him. I saw his butcher shop and ate at his restaurant and yes: got a picture with him. If I smiled any larger my ears would have popped off.
Panzano is about 40 minutes south of Florence, by car... on a very curvy road. It is a small town, and Dario is easy to find. You can feel his personality permeate the town---his presence is almost audible.
When my brother and sister came for a visit (with their two adolescent boys), I took it upon myself to schedule a dinner at Dario's restaurant. Add my two sons... and there were a lot of mouths at the table... and a lot of people appreciating the wisdom and delight of a multi-course, Italian all-meat meal. So pinch me already.
(Dario has his butcher shop: pictured in striped red and white, and two restaurants across the street: pictured cow in front of entrance. The downstairs restaurant is Solociccia and offers a multi-meat-course meal; the upstairs restaurant is Officina della Bistecca and offers a fine bistecca/steak meal. You MUST have reservations).
Quoted from our MENU at SOLOCICCIA:
"This is the home of a butcher. All that you will eat is the fruit of my work and that of my family. You will not choose from the menu, though you will be treated well, and with great respect, if you return the favor. You will eat at a communal table, together in 'convivio.' There will be six meat courses, chosen at my discretion, with seasonal vegetables, white beans with olive oil, focaccia, bread, cake, coffee, a quarter liter of our own wine, and after-dinner liqueurs."
Crostini di sugo all'uso di Natale spicy meat ragu on toast
Fritto del macellaio batter fried meats and vegetables
Ramerino in culo sauteed, marinated beef
Pinzimonio di verdure dell'orto fresh, raw garden vegetables
Schiacciata al Burro del Chianti homemade focaccia
Pane di Panzano bread from Panzano
Mischianza di fagioli e ceci garbanzo and white beans
Ciccia arrosto a roasted dish
Tenerumi in insalata boiled beef and vegetable salad
Ciccia in umido a braised dish
All of the above is to be had for 30 euros, with nearly two hours at our table, at the end of which you will turn your seat to the next guests. We do not serve steak."
Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday evenings, with seatings at 7pm and 9pm. Sunday at 1pm; you are welcome to bring your own wine (no corkage fee).
Via Chiantigiano, 5 Panzano in Chianti, Firenze TEL +39 055 852727 firstname.lastname@example.org
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