I had been hearing about the legendary Dario in Tuscany for years. I read Heat written by Bill Buford during my first years living in Rome. I followed Judy's tales of her brash friend. The one who is famous for ferociously quoting Dante and lavishly butchering meat in a tiny Tuscan town in the hills of Chianti.
We were in Tuscany for a few days in February and staying nearby to Panzano de Chianti. Beyond the butcher there are three other choices to sample Darios's wares. Officina della Bistecca, Solaciccia and Dario Doc. Not wanting to brave the winding roads on a stormy night and sadly not being in Tuscany for a s sunday lunch we did not get to try Officina della Bistecca with it's 50 fixed price beef extravaganza. Guess what, we chose the hamburger restaurant.
So this spot is not strictly a burger joint like so many other places I visit. In fact it is just the opposite. Housed in what used to be the very fancy tile shop Bisazza where they fortunately left the snazzy black and white mosaic floor, Ciao Checca has transformed the former decor shop space. It is now bright and airy with sleek white marble, a warm wooden communal table and pops of kelly green.
Now I love a fancy cocktail in a swanky bar. Top shelf booze and artisan bitters well mixed by passionate experts and then poured with flourish into beautiful glasses, that's my idea of a very good thing. Add a comfy place to lounge and good snacks and I am in my happy place. That said, sometimes a cold beer in a slightly dingy spot is just right.