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Eating & Drinking

  • Panzano’s stomachs belong to Dario Cecchini, a cleverly eccentric celebrity butcher. No visit to Panzano is complete without a visit to at least one of his restaurants (see our recommendations below). All are clustered round his famous butcher’s.

    The hills around Panzano are blanketed with vineyards; many of the wine estates are hundreds of years old. Although chestnut was the traditional wood of the region, Chianti is now usually kept in oak barrels for several months. The smaller barrels are known as barriques; the larger are botti. Our recommended wine estates are featured in each of the individual Chianti guides.

    This is just a taster to the Chianti. See our restaurant recommendations below and also see our other guides to top Chianti towns and villages, all accessed through our Destinations listings.

  • Dario Doc

    Dario Doc is the cheaper, speedier, more flexible sister inn to the even meatier L’Officina della Bistecca. This place works well for a lunch on the run but is closed in the evening. Dario Doc is named after the legendary owner, who calls himself “an eighth generation butcher from head to toe.” Beef is king but Tuscan vegetarian dishes are available, too. As for the meat, opt for the quarter-pounder burger or the Chianti sushi, a clever take on beef tartare, or the baked potato topped with lard. The house wine is basic but included – or you can bring your own free of charge.

    Address: Via XX Luglio 11
    50022
    Panzano in Chianti

    Tel: 055 852020
    Web: www.dariocecchini.com

  • L’Officina della Bistecca

    The clue is in the name: this place is a meat-lover’s dream and the temple of Florentine T-bone steak. Although not for the faint-hearted, this Tuscan steakhouse is a memorable experience and is a place beloved by top Italian chefs. Here, the butcher Dario Cecchini is the local legend. Diners sit at a long, communal table and tuck into a meat feast, prepared on an open grill. This includes a succulent 7cm-thick steak. The vast fixed menu (itemised online) costs €50 (vegetarian version too), including wine, coffee and grappa, and with two sittings, 8pm for dinner, or 1pm for lunch. It’s best to book.

    Address: Via XX Luglio 11
    50022
    Panzano in Chianti
    Tel: 055 852020
    Web: www.dariocecchini.com

  • Solociccia

    The name provides a clue: “only flesh” is in the name in Italian. This meat-lover’s dream is one of three restaurants run by Dario Cecchini, Tuscany’s most celebrated butcher. The concept here is to offer “nose to tail eating” and a variety of meat dishes beyond the classic T-bone steak. As with L’Officina della Bistecca, there are vegetarian options, and fixed sittings, in this case at 1pm, 7pm and 9pm. It’s a five-course fixed meal for €30 (children under ten go half-price). It’s best to book.

    Address: Via Chiantigiana 5
    (Entrance via XX Luglio 11)
    50022
    Panzano in Chianti

    Tel: 055 852020
    Web: www.dariocecchini.com

  • L’Enoteca ll Cardo

    This elegant wine bar is a showcase for the Panzano wine-producers but also operates as a bistrot and tea rooms. Come and taste local wines with an inventive salad or a plate of cured meats and cheeses, including crostini with Pecorino and pears. Stop for coffee and cakes or, for a complete for a change, sample the beers, including some made by Tuscan breweries.

    Address: Piazza Bucciarelli 50
    50022
    Panzano in Chianti
    Tel: 055 852907
    Web: www.enotecailcardo.com

  • L’Osteria Le Panzanelle

    Set on the road between Radda and Panzano, this is a bastion of Tuscan home-cooking. With its white-washed walls, it’s an unpretentious but utterly reliable country trattoria. Come for the home cooking, friendly service, short but seasonal menu and the extensive Tuscan wine list. Tuck into the roast rabbit, the pumpkin ravioli or any pasta in wild boar sauce. End with the panna cotta or the homemade, crunchy cantuccini biscuits, ideally dipped in Vin Santo.

    Address: Localita Lucarelli
    53017
    Radda in Chianti
    Tel: 0577 733511
    Web: www.lepanzanelle.it

  • L’Antica Scuderia

    Just north of Panzano is Badia a Passignano, with its Benedictine abbey and Antinori wine estate.  Foodies are spoilt for choice with options. If you resist the pricier, Michelin-starred Antinori gastrodome, then try this elegant, summery spot under the pergola, overlooking the vineyards. The restaurant occupies a former staging post for passing knights. The cooking is modern Tuscan, including Tuscan crostini, lamb with stuffed artichokes, or game in the form of hare, pheasants and wild boar. Grilled meat is very much on the menu, including T-bone steak. Prices range from medium to high, also depending on the wine selection. Good, inexpensive pizzas are also on offer in this child-friendly spot. You could always stock up on Antinori wines afterwards.


    Address: Via di Passignano 17
    Localita Badia a Passignano,
    50028
    Tavernelle Val di Pesa
    Tel: 055 8071623
    Web: www.ristorolanticascuderia.it

  • La Trattoria della Fonte

    Just north of Badia a Passignano, this informal, Antinori-owned inn complements the wine dynasty’s neighbouring fine-dining restaurant, L’Osteria di Passignano. Here, the mood is informal, with the solid Tuscan, mid-priced menu matching the rural setting. Typical dishes include Pienza cheeses, Tuscan cured meats, Florentine T-bone steak and typical crostini. That said, the accompanying Antinori wines can be as modest or magnificent as wished. If you’ve fallen in love with the setting, then ponder an on-site cookery class.

    Address: Via Santa Maria Macerata
    50026 Montefiridolfo
    San Casciano in Val di Pesa
    Tel: 41055 8244700
    Web: www.fontedeimedici.com

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