In Bourdain’s footsteps: Antica Macelleria Cecchini

Mac Dario

Before going to Tuscany we watched the corresponding episode of Anthony Bourdain’s „No Reservations“ (S3E16) which is quite fun. In this episode Bourdain visits a butcher shop/burger joint/meat place of Dario Cecchini – seemingly a quite famous butcher. Being in the area anyways, we paid a visit.

Antica Macelleria Cecchini (the full name of this notorious place) is located in the picturesque village of Panzano in Chianti. As every village in Tuscany it has an antique castle and many, many vineyards. Since the village is located on a hilltop, the view is amazing. Dario’s place is located right in the center:

Antica Macelleria Cecchini - Outside
Antica Macelleria Cecchini – Outside

After seeing „No Reservations“ I was prepared for hundreds of tourists. And in high season that may be so. Since we went in June, there were not that many people around. If you enter through the historic front you come right into the butcher shop…

Antica Macelleria Cecchini - Butcher shop
Antica Macelleria Cecchini – Butcher shop

…in which Dario stands. A very friendly and humongous man, not exactly as theatralic as on TV. The butcher shop itself is rather disappointing as a shop – they basically sell, what they also serve in the restaurant plus some salumi. Through the back of the shop you enter the restaurant:

Antica Macelleria Cecchini - Inside
Antica Macelleria Cecchini – Inside

The restaurant is quite nice, with big shared tables and rather modern interior. They grill burgers and steaks on open fire as you can see. The restaurant opens to a big outside area (for the hundreds of Chinese tourists…). Dario offers during day a rather economic option called Dario DOC where he serves bits and bites made of – correct – meat. In the evening he also has a more sophisticated and intimate dinner option called „Officina della Bistecca“. We went for Dario DOC and started with the smallest (and probably most expansive) beer I’ve ever seen 🙂 Water is for free though.

Antica Macelleria Cecchini - Small beer
Antica Macelleria Cecchini – Small beer

This is an „Accoglienza“ plate (20€):

Sushi del chianti - Tonno del chianti - Arista n porchetta - Cosimino in salsa ardente - Fagioli
Sushi del chianti – Tonno del chianti – Arista in porchetta – Cosimino in salsa ardente – Fagioli

The beef tartare (sushi, left down) was very nice – meaty and juicy and quite pure as I like it. The arista are junks of medium fatty pork, roasted with herbs which were good but a bit too dry. Tonno del chianti (right up) was a fatty piece of pork, cooked and seasoned very well and it actually tasted like tuna – really great. The cosimino (left up) was to sweet to my taste – it was like eating meat loaf with marmalade. In the middle a bowl of the rather tasteless and ubiquitous beans. Together with a plate there were some raw vegetables to dip into salt and olive oil.

Mac Dario
Mac Dario

Mac Dario (10€) was a honest plate: a 250g beef burger, perfectly prepared and very tasty. Together with fresh fried potatoes with sage a great dish for a fair price.

Dario is definitely a fun place to stop by – maybe not worth a detour, but if you’re in the area you can take a look. Overprized for sure but on the other hand also fun (especially if you like Bourdain and have him in mind sitting there). I would love to try the Officina della Bistecca next time I’m in Tuscany…

Spracharbeiter. Kommunikator. Sprecher. Trainer. Historiker. Leidenschaftlicher Koch. Foodie.