The meat is the first thing you will see when entering Perseus. A real triumph of steaks, fillets and ribs worthy of a baroque still life occupies the entire counter at the entrance of the restaurant, announcing clearly what you have to expect inside. We say it right away: Perseus is not a place for vegetarians. Here you will really feel at the top of the food chain.
The restaurant winds through five rooms and the dark colors, the constant presence of customers (it is a very popular place for Florentines and not, so this is to be expected) and the overload of rustic decorations on the walls make it almost a labyrinthine place. If Florence is full of typical restaurants, then Perseus is the definitive typical trattoria, the largest, the one with the richest offer.
Perseus is a short distance from Piazza della Libertà and Piazza Savonarola, just outside the Historic Center. Together with the second Perseus of Fiesole, another seven restaurants in the Florence area and one in Milan, are part of the brand “Casa e trattoria” which aims to promote and enhance the authentic Tuscan tradition, through the very high selection and quality of its products.
The quality of the meat is so good, at Perseus, that the restaurant can easily take on a familiar and relaxed appearance, devoid of any haughtiness or sense of exclusivity. This is reflected in the many witticisms and jokes of the staff who, far from being stiff and compact, often exchanges jokes with customers. This is the use of the city (and also its beauty) so it’s better to face the evening with a sense of humor as well as appetite.
The menu is strongly traditional, with a very clear prevalence of meat and some incursions into the world of fish. Needless to say, the best dishes that you should taste here are those of the earth: vegetables, if you don’t love rare meat, and beef in all its forms, if instead your hunger is more robust, as we hope. In any case, always take a look at the dishes of the day, which reserve great surprises.
At the table, you will find a plate of raw vegetables to prepare the palate for the rain of protein that will come. The two best meat dishes are obviously the tartare and the Florentine. Both are carried on a trolley cart to the table: the tartare is topped and the steak cut in front of you. The waiters are very nice, so do not hesitate to converse a little, ask questions and tell them your preferences. Also listen to their advice on the seasoning of meat, because they are very prepared, as well as friendly.
What about the meat itself? More than the taste, which is excellent, you will be impressed with its consistency, tender, almost creamy. Many, at the sight of the true Florentine, served always and strictly rare, they wonder how they will eat it. Their opinion changes at the first bite. The flesh of a fruit would not be more delicate than this beef. The same goes for the tartare which, once seasoned to perfection, preserves an unparalleled taste and freshness.
Perseus is a restaurant with something in common with the character from which it takes its name: it’s mythological. It is no coincidence that it is literally stormed every night, and that is why we recommend that you book ahead of time. If you are in Florence, you can not miss it for anything in the world. You just have to be very hungry and let yourself go to the voracity.