You Might Want To Think Twice Before Ordering A Well Done Steak At A Restaurant In Italy

In America, when you walk into a restaurant and ask for your steak to be cooked well done, you will likely get what you ordered. The same cannot be said for the culinary experts, chefs, and foodies who will make your meal during your next Italian vacation. It's no secret that Italians take their food very seriously. Yes, the same people who wrap their cantaloupe in prosciutto are against putting pineapple on their pizzas. It may be confusing, but when in Rome, do as the Romans do. So when you are in Florence, and you order their famous Bistecca alla Fiorentina, you will be met with a huge culture shock if you ask for your steak well done. In fact, according to one TikToker, you will be flat-out denied. User Rob Murgatroyd shared to his over 43,000 followers his experience ordering the Tuscan meat well done. He says in the video and reiterates in the caption, the waiter "pointed to a sign that literally stated, 'Don't even ask for your steak well done.'" His video has been liked more than 71,000 times, so it clearly hit a nerve with some viewers. 

Before you scream at the Italian servers in your best Gordon Ramsay voice, "It's RAW!" you should probably take a moment to embrace the Italian way of preparing the dish. Here's why you should never make the mistake of ordering your Bistecca Alla Fiorentina well done for a more authentic Italian dining experience.

Preparing your steak well done could ruin the flavors

According to Rob Murgatroyd's viral video, the Tuscan restaurant refused to prepare his Bistecca alla Fiorentina well done because, as his server said, the dish must be served rare because "it's the best way to have the steak." Other travelers who have dared to order the dish in Italy agree. Both the message boards on Rick Steves and Fodor's advised against ordering the dish ben cotto (aka well done) because you might actually insult the chef. Renowned chef Jamie Oliver defines the popular dish as "the king of all Italian steaks," saying "it's essentially a fat T-bone or porterhouse steak." The meat is seared on both sides, making the outside crusty but the inside moist and juicy, especially with a splash of lemon juice. 

Insisting your dish be made ben cotto could actually ruin the flavors and textures, rendering the outside "tough as old boots," per The Florentine. This is one of those cases where you should definitely "do as the Romans do" and have the dish the way it was intended — or just refrain from ordering it altogether if you need your steak well done. However, if you want your dining experience to be authentic, The Florentine offers a list of the best restaurants in Florence to sample Bistecca alla Fiorentina, including Alla Vecchia Bettola, L'Osteria di Giovanni, and Trattoria Sostanza, which was named one of the World's 50 Best Restaurants