Dario is no ordinary butcher…
Well, in the simplest sense of the word, perhaps he is. He runs a small butcher shop in the tuscan town of Panzano, but unlike other food celebrity figures, you will see him here running the shop every day of the week.
He is a true maestro in every sense of the word. Even routine things that other icons wouldn’t dare be seen doing, such as answering the phone for orders, Dario does.. And does so with passion. When we entered, we were immediately offered a bicchiere of wine, even just for looking. We were given bread with lardo, olive oil, even fresh salami. In the commerce part of the shop, a simple yet stylish meat cabinet gives you a glimpse of just what the place is about. Fresh cuts cryovac’d and out for display, and everything available to eat in the kitchen is available to take home as a cut.
So what is it about Dario’s that is so important? It’s the little things. The attention to detail, the passion behind the work, and of course the quality of the meat. It’s not your typical Italian venue where customer service doesn’t exist, and even if it’s become one of the World’s great landmarks for meat lovers, the staff still enjoy interacting with customers and making sure they are well looked after.
Oh, it’s worth noting too that he is the King of Tuscany’s regional dish: The bistecca alla Fiorentina: A monstrous 1KG+ piece of T-Bone cooked on the bone, from a special type of beef called Chianina which has more age than your typical cow when slaughtered and needs more attention when cooked as a result.
Upstairs, we were treated to a recently developed kitchen and dining hall complete with a large communal table and smaller ones in the corners. The big one gave us firm views of the coal pit where the chefs prepared the meat using nothing but a few levers, a plate and some red hot coals.
For lunch, you have some great small options. We opted for the ‘Super Dario’ consisting of a 250g deconstructed beef burger and a plate of assorted house specialities like tomato puree and fresh fagioli.
Seeing the beef ready to go on made you salivate, and looking at the colour of the patty gave testament to the institution Dario has created.
Even with the coffee they go the extra mile, serving with Tuscan olive oil cake free of charge really adds to the homely feel.
And that, in a nutshell, is what Dario’s is about. It’s an institution and a mecca for meat lovers the World over. If you are ever in Tuscany, take the scenic route and head to Panzano where you will see Dario working his magic.
Antica Macelleria Cecchini
Via XX Luglio 11, Panzano, Tuscany