Mission: To respond thoughtfully and responsibly to my experiences of drinking and dining at restaurants with regard to the quality, service, preparation, presentation and overall experience received thereat. The standpoint is one who respects the crafts of the chef and sommelier and who seeks to understand their choices in the kitchen and cellar and grow in knowledge. In this, I will seek to be fair, reasoned, direct and constructive and aim to keep my ego in check on our mutual journeys through the worlds of food and wine.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Steak Florentine at Osteria Realblue

Back at the Osteria Realblue Saturday March 16th, this time to try the Steak Florentine, or Bistecca alla Fiorentina. 

The backstory was that at the IWFS Onsemiro dinner Lenglui had boosted up new friend Winston about the Steak at the Osteria so much that he insisted we all book to eat the thing with his Super Tuscan Sassicaia and a 1999 Brunello. He had been impressed by the fact that the Osteria imports the meat from Tuscany and was animated to try. I would have been happy with the Australian Angus but he wanted to eat the real thing so that was that. His point of having Italian meat with Italian wine and so have the total experience was pretty unassailable.

So it was that we arrived at various degrees of lateness thanks to Saturday night KL traffic and the maze that is the Publika Mall and looking forward to trying this special Steak Florentine. This is the T-Bone or Porterhouse from the Short Loin section, the difference being the Porterhouse is cut from the back end and so has more of the tenderloin meat and strip steak on each side of the bone. According to Wikipedia, the meat for Steak Florentine comes from the Chianina or Maremmana breeds and grilled over charcoal or seasoned wood. Ours came with the traditional douse of olive oil and lemon wedges with a little lemon pepper. 

It was a real chunk of meat and it was tremendous. Erring on the side of rare and cut into manageable chunks, it was brilliantly cooked with a lot of the charcoal smell in the steak. The meat was fresh and tender all through, though a shade lean for personal taste. Seems the cattle only graze on the best grass which is higher up on the hills - guess all the exercise makes them leaner than their Australian grain fed Angus cousins. 

Paired with a 1999 Brunello Collosorbo, the meat tamed the somewhat alcoholic and fading wine, the balance was going with the fruit having faded to over expose the alcohol in the wine. Still drinkable and full bodied, once the meat shaved the alcohol the match was good. I had brought a 2005 Tenuta San Guido (second wine from the Sassicaia family) which also went nicely and came across as more drinker friendly - Nice balance and rich and silky full in the mouth and probably due to the grape blend. The fruit paired so nicely once the tannins had softened the beef. A big wine and a belter. Last bottle, unfortunately. 

Earlier we had shared the tuna and whitefish salad and something else which I now forget. The seafood was more like ceviche and very good. We had started the evening with an old favourite, the Fontodi 2007 Chianti. Full, spicy and good smooth tannins and fruit and nicely balanced. A real meaty Chianti but lovely as a quaffer. 

The 1.2kg chunk came out at just under RM800.  Osteria manager Sherri had advised that is better to prebook the meat so that husband and chef Mirko can prepare the meat in advance. Fair point.  Not sure I'd return for the Florentine beef, but most happy to have tried it with friends who seemed to enjoy it immensely. For me, I can now strike it off the list. Unless we find ourselves in Tuscany. How not to try it in its natural home?

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