A steakhouse, when it comes down to it is judged by the steak it serves. The first cut of that steak and then the first bite, if you are a steak aficionado that will define your entire experience. Chianina in Long Beach has such confidence in its steak that they don’t even have steak knives. Such a perfect cut of beef, a regular knife will more than do and that first bite, well, it will leave you speechless.
Chianina partners with a rancher in Utah that raises this cattle breed that has been raised in Central Italy for over 2200 years. The cattle are raised on an all-natural vegetarian diet which leads to a leaner and more muscular breed and of course higher quality beef. To get an idea of the quality of the cattle and the care the rancher and Chianina take to make sure that you get the highest quality beef when you dine at Chianina, currently they are serving anything from this ranch as of yet. The rancher does not feel it is quite ready and Chianina wants to make sure they don’t rush things, so while Chianina beef is coming soon, in the meantime they are serving Piedmontese beef, which is still a cut above what you are going to find at other steakhouses. It does not matter the cut you choose, you won’t be disappointed with the tenderness and rich flavor and one look at it and you can tell the quality by the beautiful marbleization of each cut. If you are looking for something a little different you can try the Colorado rack of lamb, linguini with clams and depending on the season whatever fish is currently at a high sustainable level. Chianina takes great care to not use any fish that is currently being overfished.
Chianina was wise to use such quality beef for their steak as the appetizer portion of the menu is so amazing that you would need something impressive to follow up these delicacies. The pork belly is an absolute must. It gives you that salty and richness that only pork can give you and it is so tender you are going to feel as if you are slicing into butter. If you ever had pork chops and applesauce, well this is the very upscale and high-class big brother version as the pork belly is paired with a smooth and creamy caramel apple puree that finishes the dish with a perfect sweetness to balance out the pork. You are also going to find diver scallops with chorizo, roasted bone marrow, lobster crostini and one that you won’t find every night but if they offer it when you are there, order the steak tartar. The quality of the beef that Chianina uses is clearly evident in the steak tartar as you are hit with tenderness, freshness and rich flavor in every bite of this dish that lets the steak speak for itself without a lot of extra ingredients.
The menu at Chianina is not only created with the amazing flavors in the kitchen, but also from the farm-to-table that philosophy that seems to really be the core value of the restaurant. Chianiana is always bringing in the freshest produce from vendors such as Lot 59 in Long Beach. The freshness does not end with the produce; Chianiana always is looking for other items that can enhance their menu. One such recent example was when Chianiana was offered a complete pig and they were able to create a number of short term amazing pork dishes to take advantage of this. Chianina offers a standard menu, but you really never do know what just might have on special on any given night. The freshness and surprises continue until your meal is finished as Chianina also creates their own ice cream and you are going to come across amazing flavors such as maple and bacon. Whatever ice cream flavor is on the menu, the creaminess and richness that accompanies the ice cream is a great way to complete your evening.
While the quality of the steak and fresh ingredients will keep your pallet salivating to return to Chianina, there is more to this steakhouse than the food. Chianina is a beautiful and intimate restaurant that has created an atmosphere that makes you are more than a guest, you are part of the family. The staff makes your dining experience personal; they take the time to understand you while sharing the menu in a storybook way that brings it more to life than just reading it.
One visit to Chianina will cause you to put this steakhouse against all others. While the steak sets the tone for the restaurant, it is all of the little nuances of the warm and friendly atmosphere that is sure to keep you coming back.
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