Tag Archives: T-Bone

Trattoria Mario

The photo does not do the size and deliciousness of the steak any justice

Trattoria Mario was once written up in an American newspaper as one of Florence’s great secrets, which of course led to thousands of visitors wanting to sample the house speciality – Bistecca alla Fiorentina. For a good reason.

Skip breakfast (you’ll need the tummy space) and head there for an early lunch if you don’t fancy waiting outside the tiny trattoria with your nose pressed up against the glass watching people feasting inside. It’s rustic Florentine fare, from the simple seating area with waiters and cooks doing what they do best amongst the loud chattering customers, to the delicious T-Bone steaks they serve there. There is one menu written on the chalkboard next to the kitchen, and beverages are written in ink on the window that separates the kitchen from the seating area.

The menu is limited. They don’t really need much else, people go there for the steak. And with good reason.

Bistecca alla Fiorentina is essentially a large (minimum 700g) T-bone steak of mature beef, aged at least 20 days grilled over hot coals for a quick five minutes each side and then 15 minutes standing on its edge. No seasoning is added until being served, where salt and pepper is liberally sprinkled over with a final drizzle of olive oil and a wedge of lemon on the side.

The steaks are cut to order from an enormous slab of beef. The outside is seared till it’s almost crispy, while the inside of the steak is perfectly rare. The flavour explosion that comes from the first and each subsequent mouthful is insanely good. It needed nothing other than a caraffe of Brunello di Montalcino.

I also love that on their home page it says “we only have indoor seating and we don’t serve pizza”.  No compromise.

Trattoria Mario
Via Rosina 2r
Firenze, Italia
Tel: 055 218550

email: trattoriamario@libero.it

Open for Lunch only.
Seating from 12:00 to 3:30 Monday through Saturday.
Closed Sundays and holidays.

No reservations. We will take your name when you arrive and seat you when space becomes available. Seating is communal.
Cash only. We do not take credit cards or travelers checks.

Prime Society does a damn fine steak…sadly not much else.

It’s been ages since I’ve really craved a steak.  Never been a huge steak fan, but when we were back in Sydney we used to do steak and mash every Monday and since arriving in Singapore my palette seems to have changed.  Given it’s been so long, we thought we’d not push our luck and try somewhere we haven’t been so tried to book a table at Mortons but were told that the earliest reservation they had was at 9.30.  I would have eaten my own arm by then so we decided to give Prime Society a go – D has been wanting to go there for a while now.

Their site is so overly fancy that trying to find the menu and a contact number was difficult to find and for someone like me who has very little patience to start with, they almost lost me there.  But I persevered and ended up speaking to someone who just should not be answering phones for service establishments – she couldn’t get my name right even as I was spelling it and was not rude, just came across as really incompetent but I got my 8pm reservation, so I was happy.

We arrive at the restaurant, which takes up a large corner lot at Dempsey Hill and I am surprised that it is so empty on a Saturday night.  Fair enough, it IS a large restaurant, made to feel even bigger by the very very high ceilings, but that just made it look, well, empty.  And that is never something good for restaurants.

Luckily, things turned around at that point.  The service staff were knowledgeable and attentive while managing to stay discrete and allow D and I to mull over the menu and wine list.  They do suggest wines with each steak, but sadly the amarone they suggested with the T-Bone was not even on the wine list, although a Valpolicella Ripassa was, which sufficed for the evening.

We started with the carnivore plate entree – made for sharing, a combination of cured meats, sausage and sliced steak, served with hommous, olives and sundried tomatoes.  The salami was delicious – all the flavour with not too much salt, but the rest of it was pretty blah.

However, the special T-Bone steak, at a whopping 600g was absolutely superb, and after all, that’s what we came for.  D and I decided to share it and boy were we glad we did – it was huge – even with the bone.  The meat though, was perfect for the two of us – D likes his steak medium, me, medium-rare and the meat got rarer as we got closer to the bone.  The steak itself was melt-in-the-mouth delicious and required none of the red wine jus that we ordered with it.  Sides of garlic potato puree was left pretty much untouched by D and I – he didn’t like the garlic and I thought the consistency reminded me of glue.  The rosemary potatoes were unremarkable and the truffle cauliflower cheese was lovely, but as we make it ourselves at home with lashings of truffle oil, we are a tad spoiled and missed the truffly goodness in tonight’s.

Dessert was the only other winner – Frangelico affogato for me, Amaretto affogato for D served with a shot of delicious espresso and sticky, chewy really good vanilla ice-cream.

They really do need to do something about the ambiance though – the decor is confused – think they are trying to be too-cool-for-school, piping chillout tunes but the high ceilings and lack of soft furnishing just make it lose all its appeal.

All in all, if you really fancy a good steak, go to Prime Society – just don’t expect too much else from the rest of the meal.

Location: Blk 10 #01-20
Dempsey Road
Tel: (65) 6474-7427