There's something wonderfully comforting about ancient traditions, from harvest festivals, to human sacrifices that ensured next year's harvest festival would be just as off-the-chain. Plating the past without sacrificing taste: La Fiorentina Tuscan Grill, debuting Thursday.
The former steakhouse is now drawing on centuries-old recipes to create what Alberto Lombardi's calling "the most authentic restaurant I have", buoyed by a completely redone menu featuring everything from diver scallops over risotto to steaks sourced from ludicrously tall Chianina cattle, noted for their thick cut, exceptional flavor, and resistance to being tipped. Here are three of the new best friends you'll make/eat:
Fettuccine: The Grill's preparing this number the same way Italian grandmothers have for generations, with jumbo lump crab meat, heirloom tomatoes, parsley, and olive oil. In another old-school move, twice per dinner service they'll be making the pasta right in the dining area, leaving patrons fit to be bow-tied.
Pork Milanese: They're marinating their pork (and veal) in milk a full 24hrs to ensure maximum tenderness, then giving it a light breading before serving it with rosemary roasted potatoes and a baby wild arugula salad -- if seeing rosemary and baby in the same description fills you with terror, you are very old, and will have to have someone else cut your wild arugula salad for you.
Veal Osso Bucco: This wintertime comfort-food staple's coming at you with mirepoix veggies, white wine, tomato conserva, and veal jus, all sided by tagliolini burro e salvia -- presumably the Old World variety, and not the Central American kind that just leaves you on your back, imagining you're at the receiving end of an ancient tradition.