Via XX Luglio,

11 Panzano in Chianti

Firenze, Italy

tel.+39 055 852727

August 2009

Solociccia is the brainchild of Panzano’s famous rock-star butcher Dario Cecchini, who seems to be everywhere in this small, hillside town. Panzano is technically part of the commune of Greve, in Tuscany’s Chianti Classico, but it is such a unique microclimate that it really deserves to be recognized for its own special qualities. This gorgeous, scenic village is home to some of Italy’s most celebrated producers, including Fontodi, Castello di Rampolla and La Massa.

Cecchini’s butcher shop is one of the best-known in all of Italy, drawing visitors from around the world. His Florentine steaks, available only through advance reservation, are the stuff of legend. Just across the street, Cecchini runs Solociccia, an informal eatery that features a wide assortment of local dishes (Cecchini also runs a more upscale restaurant right around the corner). Solociccia offers two seatings at dinner; 7pm and 9pm, at communal tables. Reservations are essential. The prix-fixe menu will delight carnivores for its breadth, but Solociccia is not a place for those who don’t like red meat, as there are no choices to be made. Instead, diners will be greeted with a seemingly endless array of local specialties served family-style. Incredibly, the dinner costs just 30 euros per person (all inclusive), which makes it one of the very best deals in Italy. Guests can drink the house wine (which is more than respectable) or bring their own at no extra charge. Given the dismal storage conditions in Panzano’s wine shops, I suggest purchasing a few bottles at any one of the local wineries that sell directly to the public.

Absolutely everything was divine; in fact I had seconds of many of the dishes! The purity and simplicity of the cuisine was remarkable. I brought along a bottle of Fontodi’s 2006 Flaccianello, which other than being, oh, about ten years too young, was extraordinary for its sumptuous, radiant fruit. This delicious dinner was a fitting end to a wonderful week in Tuscany. 


Spicy meat ragu on toast

Batter-fried meats and vegetables

Sautéed marinated beef

Fresh raw garden vegetables

Homemade focaccia

Bread from Panzano

Garbanzo and white beans

Roasted beef

Boiled beef and vegetable salad

Braised beef

Olive oil cake 


2006   Fontodi Flaccianello 96

[Photo and credit: Solociccia, Firenze, Italy]

--Antonio Galloni