By Stephanie Wolden
“I don’t think I’d be impressed,” said the platinum blonde mother of three. “I’m from Texas.”
“Trust me,” I said, as I rung up her new leather handbag, “there isn’t a steak in the world like the ones you’ll find here in Florence.”
It’s true that many restaurants in Florence serve up a fabulous Bistecca Fiorentina, but few come with an experience quite like the family-style offering at Il Latini. Down the narrow cobblestone street of via dei Palchetti near the Arno River, you’ll find tourists and locals alike cluttered in a small piazza, complimentary glasses of wine in hand, communing and waiting for their turns to be seated.
As you’re ushered to your table, ducking under salt-packed salamis and toddler-sized cuts of beef, busy red-apron-clad waiters shout out a hearty “buona sera!” Then, after you’ve made your way through the sounds of clinking glasses and plates bouncing off platters, the crowd already seated at your table welcomes you in a melodious assortment of languages.
One after the other, heaping trays of food are brought out for the whole table, with the star attraction being the famous Bistecca alla Fiorentina made from the naturally grazing Chianina beef cattle of Tuscany. “Se derrite en la boca!” (“It melts in your mouth!”) will soon become your new favorite phrase.
Il Latini is open for lunch 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. and dinner 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. It is located halfway between Santa Maria Novella and the Arno River at via dei Palchetti 6/r (Palazzo Rucellai) – 50123 – Firenze, (+39) 055 210916, www.illatini.com.
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