Hi, as you might guess I'm looking for recommendations for a restaurant to go to for steak, and a bakery for bread. The steak question has, of course, come up multiple times before, but I think I'm probably coming at it from somewhat different priorities than others. As to bread I've not seen anything definite.
First thing: the Bistecca alla Fiorentina. Here's the thing. I absolutely, POSITIVELY do not care at all about: price, service, atmosphere, location, level of tourist population, or any other incidental detail. On price, I should also say that this goes both ways: it could be the most expensive steak in town, or the cheapest, for all I care: 25 Euro or 250, whatever. I'm looking for the restaurant which serves absolutely the best steak.
I've been to Sostanza. The steak was very good. But, there will be some restaurant in the city where the chef or the owner is just simply obsessed. He will have stopped at nothing not just to find the ultimate Chianina farm, but hand-selected the individual loins. He'll have installed the perfectly-designed grille and will have worked his life on grilling it to perfection - until he can do it by feel. That's what I'm looking for. If there truly is nowhere better than Sostanza for this level, I'd return - but I'd like to see if there are other options - that raise the bar even higher. I should also note that what I'm looking for here is "ultimate" by Tuscan expectations - done in the way that *they* would think best possible.
Next, though, might be harder: bread. It seems strange to me that most recommendations I see concerning bakeries, regardless of the source, seem to be much more orientated towards pastries rather than breads. Those that do exist tend to be concerned more with sourdough breads, that is to say, breads in a modern idiom. What I would like to find is the bakery in Florence that makes the best bread, in the traditional idiom, i.e. not sour. Just plain basic (white) bread, not fancy breads with various added flavours or bits - made to the highest possible standard.
While I'm at it, although this is a bit incidental to this post - feel free to skip this if you want, I'd love to find restaurants in Rome that do the best authentic Bucatini all'Amatriciana and Abbacchio al Forno. Same qualities apply, namely everything incidental is beside the point. On the former, it's worth noting that the pasta used MUST be Bucatini, and on the latter, I'm *not* looking for all'scottadito.
In exchange I can offer various bits of wisdom on chocolate, if you're interested.
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