Salivate over the steaks at Newstead’s Florentine Italian Grill and Wine Room
In Brisbane, the name Gianni Greghini is synonymous with authentic Italian cuisine. As the head honcho behind Hamilton’s Gusto da Gianni and Newstead’s Gianni’s Kitchen, the man is responsible for delivering delicious concepts imbued with pure Italian flair. Gianni’s newest restaurant takes tastebuds to the heart of Tuscany, where steak lovers around the world worship the sacred culinary art of bistecca alla Fiorentina. Florentine Italian Grill and Wine Room pairs the authentic bistecca experience with rustic enoteca vibes, serving up a menu imbued with irresistible meaty magnetism.
Italy’s Tuscany region known for a lot of things, including its picturesque landscapes, gorgeous architecture and artistic legacy for a start. Perhaps overshadowed by its cultural significance is Tuscany’s reputation as a steak-lover’s mecca – more specifically, the love of bistecca alla Fiorentina. Gianni Greghini’s new eatery is looking to introduce Newstead eaters to this traditional Italian steak experience, complete with a level of authenticity evoking Florence’s famed bistecca bastions. For Florentine Italian Grill and Wine Room, Gianni has crafted a concept that combines a traditional Italian grill with that of a modern-Australian steakhouse, favouring world-famous Chianina beef. To make room for the concept, Gianni’s Deli has been transformed into an intimate eatery reminiscent of a Tuscan-style winery. New tables (made by The Slab Lads) have been constructed from recycled timber and coated in an epoxy resin to capture the imperfections and highlights on the wood, while the kitchen has been equipped with a new Synergy Grill imported from the UK.
First things first – let it be known that proper bistecca alla Fiorentina can only be made using meat from Chianina cattle. This particular breed of cow – known as one of the largest breeds in the world – is typically only bred in central Italy and the sizeable T-bone it produces is the cut required for bistecca alla Fiorentina. It’s rare to encounter Chianina cattle in Australia, but Gianni and his team have linked up with Isola Chianina in South Gippsland, which has managed to successfully and ethically breed the porcelain-white Chianina cows in its rich grazing fields. The cows are 100-percent grass fed and grow slower compared to other breeds, which allows the meat to retain marbling of fat along with a greater level of muscling, leaving the meat deeply coloured, lean and full of flavour. At this stage, Florentine is the only Queensland restaurant serving Chianina beef.
Florentine Italian Grill uses Chianina throughout its menu, spotlighting the meat’s versatility across a range of sharable dishes and succulent cuts. The menu’s centrepiece is undeniably the bistecca alla Fiorentina – an impressive 1.5-kg hunk of beef, served medium rare and sizzling on a hot Italian soap stone. Although served with condiments, the bistecca alla Fiorentina is cooked only with olive oil and salt, enhancing the natural aromas and flavours of the meat. Beyond the bistecca alla Fiorentina, Florentine serves other cuts of grilled Chianina steak, including rib eyes, skirts, and rumps. The beef is also found on the menu in the beef tartare, Tuscan slow-cooked ragu and Chianina chargrilled topside served with confit tuna and fried capers. Beyond the beef, Florentine’s menu features chargrilled spatchcock, fried gnocchi with king brown mushrooms, Gulf prawns with burnt citrus, seared scallops and charcuterie boards. As an importer of Italian wine, Gianni has been able to supply Florentine with an impressive wine list, featuring a selection of ‘super Tuscan’ wines, as well as an array of barolo, sangiovese and brunello varieties that pair perfectly with the fare on offer.
Florentine Italian Grill and Wine Room is now open. For opening hours and contact details, click on over to the Stumble Guide.
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