Dario Cecchini

BY Lisa Lindblad

September 26, 2010

Dario Cecchini is a real character;  he is also an inspired cook who, for the last 35 years, has run his tiny butchery near Greve and then two restaurants, Mac Dario and Solociccia (ciccia being the Florentine word for meat). The first is a take-off on MacDonald’s and the second is his more “fine dining” table.  His food, centered around meat, of course, is celebrated while his prices, in this expensive country, are a steal.  When Anthony Bourdain came to Tuscany for a segment of No Reservations, it was to Dario Cecchini that he headed first.

Mac Dario’s menu is his take on the glorious hamburger and, for 10 and 20 Euros, these are the menus he offers:

half pound burger in a crisp crumb crust
garlic and sage roasted potatoes
vegetables and sliced onions
our sauces
Tuscan bread
water with or without bubbles

and menu #2

raw garden vegetables to dip in olive oil
Chianti sushi (steak tartar)
Chianti tuna (a pork dish)
pork roasted with herbs and garlic
meatloaf with sweet bell pepper sauce
Tuscan bread
water with or without bubbles

Solociccia, is Dario’s ‘fine dining’ restaurant, is open for lunch and dinner on just a few days of the week.  At 30 Euros a head and 2 hours at table, this alone would make the trip to Solociccia worthwhile.  But there is much more to Solociccia than this.

Dario’s own words give the best insight in to the dining experience at Solociccia:

This is the home of a butcher.
All that you will eat is the fruit of my work and that of my family.
You will not choose from a menu, though you will be treated well, and with great
respect, if you return the favour. You will eat at a communal table, together in “convivio”.
There will be six meat courses, chosen at my discretion,
with seasonal vegetables, white beans with olive oil, focaccia, bread, cake, coffee,
a quarter liter of our own wine, and after-dinner liqueurs.
P.S. You are also free to bring your own wine, without corkage fee.

Last night, at the home of my good friends, Oliva and Maurizio, I tasted Darios Tonno di Chianti, a preparation of pork shoulder,  unique to him, which is on his menu at Solociccia as well as being sold to take away.  While it looks like tuna, flaking away in small, tender chunks, it has a gentle pork taste, can be cut with a fork and is pure ambrosia.

Viva la Ciccia!

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John Derian Goes West