This week I had the opportunity to meet and dine with Dario Cecchini, the world famous Tuscan butcher from Panzano.
You may have seen him on food and travel shows. The man truly loves life, and, of course, meat.
He, alongside Montefili wines, hosted an amazing meat fest at the new Tuscan restaurant Ristoro del Cinghiale. Each course was paired with one of Montefili’s wines.
This first course was simple but delicious. That’s ricotta and “tuna” made of pork. Somehow it tasted like really great tuna. Amazing!
There was also some really flavorful salumi.
Next was a pair of pasta dishes. Gnocchi with sage and mushrooms, and garganelli with a wild boar bolognese sauce. The garganelli was one of the best pasta dishes I’ve had in a while. Very tasty.
Next, the meats! The first dish to come out was a rack of wild boar that also included spare ribs.
The chops were absolutely incredible. Such a nice flavor. But the ribs stole the show. They were seasoned with a dry rub that included cayenne and fennel seed, which just blew me away. Best ribs ever.
And this “Bistecca Fiorentina” porterhouse was one of the most perfectly cooked steaks I’ve seen in my days of eating beef.
Here, the preparation and flavoring is all about the wood-fired oven and the herbs, the true Tuscan style.
If the steak was aged, I couldn’t sense it. But the tenderloin was incredibly tender, and the strip side was delicious. Again, perfectly cooked – great grilled crust and pinkness from end to end. 9/10.
Now that’s what I call a high protein plate! There was also some spinach and crispy potatoes, as you can see. I really shouldn’t gloss over those potatoes – they were so fucking good!
Dessert was a delicious slice of pecorino cheese topped with black truffle.
I’ll be going back here in the next week or so to try more of their menu; perhaps the half pig head and the sweetbreads parmesan. I think it goes without saying that I highly recommend this place. Their chef seems to be really nailing the spirit of Tuscany. He definitely did Dario proud.
On a second trip here, my wife and I had the tripe and polenta, as well as the sweetbreads parm to start:
This tripe was incredible. Easily a top dish of the year.
Next up, we tried the pappardelle with wild boar ragu. Wildly delicious sauce and meat, and the pasta was perfectly cooked.
The wild boar mixed grill was nice too. It comes with belly, sausage and those delicious ribs.
On the side we had some wild mushrooms. Also really great, and I love the wildness of every dish.
For dessert we had a chestnut tart/pie, and rosemary doughnuts. Both were really tasty. I fucking love this place.
One very special dish you can get here, off the menu, is the roasted pig head.
It’s usually available about 75% of the time, but you have to ask your waiter if they have it. It’s slow roasted for hours, so you get that crispy pork skin on the outside, sticky sweet fat just beneath the skin, and all that tender meat on the inside. Especially the cheek.
Give it a shot. This is probably one of the best pig face dishes I’ve had, and I have definitely had more than a handful.
I really like this rough chop beef tartare.
And the new rib eye on the menu is a nice and tender fucker, 8/10.
RISTORO DEL CINGHIALE
122 E 27th St
New York, NY 10016