Saturday, June 25, 2011

Perseus Restaurant Florence

 We had asked the owner of the apartment we were staying for some recommendations for local restaurants, we also did research, Connie the old fashioned way in her guide books and Nancy and I on the Ipads and everyone pointed to Perseus Restaurantl .As it was very close to were we were staying we walked by one afternoon to check it out.  At the entrance we were greeted by a friendly waiter and a large glassed in cool room with enormous chunks of tbone steak hanging in it.

Steak in the front entrance
This is not a place for vegetarians, and as it turned out not for people with small appetites. We made a reservation for later that evening.

At 8:00 the place was busy but not full and most of the diners appeared to be locals.  Nancy and I decided we would share one of the steaks which it declared on the menu in English and Italian only came rare, and our waiter reiterated this.  Apparently the only way to eat the Florentine speciality Bistecca alla Fiorentina was rare, so rare it would be.  The waiter then said that he would send us an assortment of appetizers, he asked if we ate like Italians, I think I can say that the answer to that should have been no.

The first thing that arrived was a dish of beans with pork, which I loved (though still not tasting anything really) then a platter of assorted bruschetta.

Assorted Bruschetta
There was a liver pate which even though I had this horrible cold that did not allow me to smell or taste I could taste the very strong liver taste.  OK for me as I love liver not so good for some of my fellow diners. there was also one with lardo and anchovies on it. (more about lardo another day) as well as the traditional tomato and basil bruschetta.

We also received this beautiful large crispy flat bread, I am not sure what it was or whether we paid for it , but it had a wonderful texture. (it was all about texture at this point)

Then on to the main event, and the steak is quite an event, it comes to the table whole and then is cut apart by the waiter, as even Italians do not eat this alone. We told our waiter that we wanted to photograph it and he was very obliging.

Steak for two

It arrived and it was big enough for four! Any way he proceeded with great flourish to cut it apart.

And then presented us with the very rare steak.

For me when it was cut up somehow it was less intimidatingly large but I fear Nancy was a little overwhelmed by the size and the rareness.  Of course I can only comment on the texture which was great Nancy liked the steak but the less rare parts of it.

The pork and roast potatoes also arrived a little less dramatically Jacky really enjoyed hers while Connie found it a little salty. But she has been cutting salt in her diet and that probably had something to do with it. As if this was not enough then some deep fried zucchini flowers arrived.

I was completely full at this point and as I could not taste anything with such a delicate flavour I did not have any, again Jacky loved them.

We declined dessert, but our waiter brought Vino Santo which is a local dessert wine and instructed us to dip the biscotti that came with it into the wine.  Which being the obedient women we are, we proceeded to do. I think this was delicious the others told me it was and the biscotti was loaded with almonds.  As if that was not enough he then brought us a shot of limoncello each.  It was good job it was only a couple of blocks back to our apartment.

Almost every time we were at a restaurant for a snack, a full meal or just a drink they gave us extra things,  in this case it was the extra drinks as well as the zucchini flowers and I think the bread. This was our most expensive meal of the trip but we got our moneys worth and the left over steak appeared the next day in a salad.

I seared it quickly in a little olive oil and then tossed it with some balsamic vinegar with some arugula, a good use of left overs.

If you are in Florence I would highly recommend Perseus, but be prepared to eat your steak rare and bring a large appetite.

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