Dish of the week: Villa Toscana

Villa Toscana’s new Buttero Festival menu is inspired by the cowboys of Tuscany Discuss this article

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Executive chef Stefano Viola has one mission in his kitchen: “At Villa Toscana, we try to bring real Tuscan life to our guests,” he says. It’s a method that has garnered a clutch of regulars, eager to try the Italian restaurant’s ever-evolving seasonal menu.

Every month, the restaurant celebrates a different aspect of Tuscany — the region in central Italy — whether that’s an individual ingredient or a local tradition that represents its rich culture.

This month, Viola and his team are paying tribute to the region’s “buttero” — the now rare cowboys of Tuscany.

Local to the Maremma region, the buttero steered their herds of cattle across the land in search of greener pastures. In between travelling by horseback, from sunrise to sunset, they made their meals from hunks of bread, chicory and beef.

In their honour, Viola has crafted a special menu that includes prime cuts of beef flown in from Italy, as well as Ireland. “The taste of Irish meat is very close to ours,” says the Italian native, explaining his decision to include Irish cattle.

While diners will be able to pick out their preferred cut from the display and choose how to have it cooked, the sharing platter, pictured left, will also be available. It calls for at least three hungry diners to take it on.

The generous portion includes a weighty T-bone steak, succulent slices of rib-eye and tender lamb chops. Accompanying the meats is a medley of grilled vegetables. If you’re a fan of steak (or just want to pretend to be a cowboy for a night), this is one menu you’ll not want to miss.
Dhs475. More packages starting from Dhs115. Mar 18-31, 7pm-11pm. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Corniche Road (02 694 4444).

By Vanessa Fitter
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

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