Locanda del Baracotto
My T-Bone Tour of Tuscany had taken in the flamboyance of L’Officina della Bistecca in Panzano and the festival atmosphere of the Sagra della Bistecca in Cortona. My next stop was going to be a little bit more intimate: a small bed and breakfast called Locanda del Baracotto, sitting in the shadow of the ancient hill-top town of Lucignano.
The location of this restaurant is confusing, it’s actually in a Bed and Breakfast called Le Caselle (you can click here for the exact location). The experience was going to be different here: The Bistecca alla Fiorentina (T-Bone steak) was going to be one part of an authentic Italian feast.
A promising start
As I arrived at Locanda I saw an small, ancient grill in the garden. It looked authentic and I started feeling excited.
We ordered a large serving of Antipasti and Burrata, two portions of Pasta (beef tagliatelle and gnocchi with Gorgonzola and walnuts) as well as 1.2kg of Bistecca alla Fiornetina (T-bone steak).I checked with the staff that it was authentic T-Bone from the Chianina breed and it was (the Chianina breed is the local Tuscan breed and one of Europe’s most ancient and muscular cow breeds).
After the exceptional first and second courses of food, I braved the thunderstorm outside to watch the grill chef work his magic. The chef was pleased to have some company, and though his English was as limited as my Italian, we both starred at the steak and smiled at each other – speaking the language of steak.
I went back to my table and the steak arrived shortly after. It was served sliced and on a cast iron tray. The steak was served medium (as a compromise to the fussy Englishman I was travelling with). Unlike the Bistecca Fiorentina at the festival and in Panzano, this T-Bone had a massive Fillet.
This steak was a decent piece of meat. The sirloin had enough chew and a good amount of taste. The fillet simply fell apart if you pushed it with your fork or placed it on your tongue. This steak was much better than the steak at the festival and at Officina della Bistecca. But, I’ll be honest, some parts of the steak were cooked more than I liked. I also struggled to finish this steak as the enormous appetisers had taken their toll.
Locanda del Barracotto is a gem in the Tuscan country side. Their Bistecca alla Fiorentina is exceptional, the staff are passionate, friendly, attentive and do not miss any small detail. The value is astonishing too, four full courses of excellent food cost 50 euro each after the staff rounded down the bill to an even 100 euro. It doesn’t come better than that.