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Central Tuscany ~ planning restaurant itinerary!

Central Tuscany ~ planning restaurant itinerary!

Old Mar 26th, 2005, 06:27 AM
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Central Tuscany ~ planning restaurant itinerary!


We have a 3BR villa rented during the May / June period. The villa is close to Bucine ~ which is about 45 minutes east of Siena (just west of the A1). Hopefully, the answers to this posting will assist other Tuscany travelers as well find those special Tuscan restaurants and dishes.

We love Italy and its food and wine. We have planned our travel itinerary which includes the big ones (e.g., Siena Pisa Montepulciano Montalcino San Gimignano Arezzo Florence).

HOWEVER, our group would love to plan our food itinerary. As we drive to those tourist destinations, what are the special restaurants AND dishes that should not be missed. We are looking for restaurants along the "highway" or actually in the destinations.

Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us.
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 06:59 AM
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Hi, Sounds like a fabulous trip. Take a look at divinacucina.com. She makes a lot of great recommendations for Florence and throughout Tuscany. Also (I have not tried this yet) I have read that there's good lists on the slow food site. And there are restaurant reviews on slowtrav.com.

Hope your mouth doesn't water too much as you read...
j

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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 08:34 AM
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Judy Witts of Divina Cucina does offer great tips for dining in the Chianti region. For Southern Tuscany, I trust the recommendations offered by the owners of Tuscan House, a villa and apartment rental agency.
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 10:12 AM
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You have some good sources above, and here is my list compiled over the years:

GOOD EATS IN TOSCANA !

Here are some of the best places to eat in Tuscany based on feedback from my clients. Reservations are mandatory for most:
* inexpensive ** moderate *** expensive
__________________________________________________ ____

FLORENCE: Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco ** Across the Arno & good.
La Giostra *** 12 Borgo Pinti Superb, but must reserve

SIENA: Osteria le Logge ** Just off the Campo—great for lunch
Cane e Gato *** A fixed menu feast—allow 4 hours.

LUCCA: Buca di San Antonio ** Near San Michele—very pleasant
Il Giglio ** Piazza del Giglio—a favorite with locals

COLLE VAL D’ ELSA: Arnolfo *** Excellent gourmet cuisine

SAN GIMIGNANO: Le Vecchie Mura * Good Tuscan fare—not fancy

MONTERIGGIONI: Il Pozzo ** Rustic taverna in ancient fortress

CASTELLINA : Al Gallopapa** Varied menu in heart of Chianti

MONTEFOLLINICO: La Chiusa *** Remote, but best in Tuscany.

MONTEPULCIANO: La Grotta ** Excellent—near San Biagio Church
Caffe Poliziano * Great for lunch

PIENZA: Latte du Luna ** Best choice in this lovely village

SAN QUIRICO: Trattoria al Vecchio Forno * Authentic Tuscan fare

MONTALCINO: Boccon di Vino** Excellent—fixed menu at lunch
Grappolo Blu * You will find the locals here

BAGNO VIGNONI: Osteria del Leone* Good choice in this spa hamlet
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 12:38 PM
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I second Arnolfo in COLLE VAL D’ ELSA, it was wonderful! Reserve soon and the dress is business casual. www.arnolfo.com
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 06:12 PM
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Bob's list is excellent--we have dined at many of these places. I would add http://www.leloggedelvignola.it in Montepulciano. Also, contrary to most people, I would delete La Grotta in Montepulciano. Al Gallopapa is outstanding (try the ossobuco here)! Also, Osteria del Leone in Bagno Vignoni is very good--as Bob says. Oh--how I wish I were at anyone of these places right now. I have more recommendations from our travels on my site if interested. http://www.janeandken.com/italy2004/ItalyHomePage.html
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Old Mar 26th, 2005, 07:54 PM
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I'll vote for the Siena suggestions in the earlier response - La Loge (excellent risotto and pasta and decently-priced good selection of Super Tuscans) and Cane E Gato ( well worth the 4 -5 hour meal).
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 10:06 AM
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Florence: Cavolo Nero is a must (Excellent lamb, pasta, seafood, desserts and wine). It is also recommended highly by Judy of Divina Cucina fame. Her cooking classes are fabulous and a lot of fun. As mentioned previously you should check the restaurant selections on her website as well.
Le Barrique is close to Cavolo Nero and is in the Oltrano district as well. This restaurant is also excellent with great wine and is the least expensive of the two. Wonderful service at both restaurants; however, Cavolo Nero is definitely the more/most romantic of the two.

Siena: Osteria le Logge (mentioned previously and right off the Campo). If they have the fish lasagna as a special this is NOT to be missed! Their pasta and wine selection is good as well. Also in Siena is an excellent enoteca/wine bar where you can order fresh pasta while sampling an extensive collection of great wines by the glass. I believe the name was Enoteca I Terzi.

San Gimignano: Ristorante Il Pino - always excellent, pasta and meat dishes were top notch. Another great wine list and not touristy at all. It has a sophisticated and elegant cave-like interior but requires nice casual attire only. This restaurant is near the entrance gate closest to the Hotel Antico Pozzo, on the road actually bordering the gate. This was so good that we made sure to include San Gimi on our second visit to Tuscany as well.

If you need further recommendations for Southern Tuscany or Northern Umbria just let me know. Enjoy!
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 11:25 AM
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Philip, That's the way I like to plan a trip. There are so many wonderful restaurants in the area, we planned our days around where we wanted to have lunch or dinner. I'll second Bob's suggestions of Gallopappas, Boccon di vino, and La Chiusa. One of our favorite meals was lunch at I Setti Consoli in Orvieto. Another day we drove from Radda down a white road through Volpaia and had a wonderful lunch on the terrace at La Mole. The view was unforgettable. Have a wonderful time.
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 11:53 AM
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All great advice above. Not only great food and wine, but lovely aesthetics and sometimes fabulous views.

I would like to suggest that you have two restaurants on your list for any given day as you travel throughout Tuscany because each restaurant usually closes one day a week. So as to not be disappointed, always have a backup.
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 12:43 PM
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Last fall the three favorites of our two week trip were Locando Amorosa near Sinilunga, Il Sette Consoli in Orvietto and the La Chuisa in Montefollonica.
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Old Apr 14th, 2005, 06:39 AM
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Thanks for all your suggestions. I have included some of my Restaurant Itinerary below (had to change significantly because of fodors limitations). The actual Restaurant Itinerary is a part of my Tuscany Itinerary and is in a table format (including map, color pictures). If anybody would like to see our Tuscan itinerary, pls let me know on this Post.

Siena
Osteria le Logge 0577 480 13 Moderate Cost Closed Sunday Location Off campo, lunch great; exc risotto/pasta; fish lasagna

Cane e Gato High cost One seating @ 8 fixed menu

Tenuta Lupinari Bucine (our villa) €31 Closed Sun & Wed Includes wine

La Torre 0577 28 75 48 Closed Thurs

San Gimignano, Volterra, etc.
Ristorante Il Pino Located in S. Gimmy Closed Thurs Order: pasta/meat dishes

Le Vecchie Mura In S. Gimmy Low cost Closed Tues Good Tuscan fare; not fancy; view

Arnolfo Colle di Val d’Elsa High cost Closed Tues &Wed lunch; www.arnolfo.com; gourmet

Il Pozzo Monte-Riggioni Mod exp. Closed Sun evening & Monday Rustic taverna in ancient fortress

Montalcino, Montepulciano, etc.
Boccon di Vino In Montalcino Mod expensive Closed Tues View; excellent; fixed lunch menu

Grappolo Blu In Montalcino Low cost; Closed Fri; You will find locals

Latte du Luna In Pienza Mod exp.Best choice lovely village

La Grotta In Montepulciano Mod exp. Closed Wed; Excellent, near San Biagio

Caffe Poliziano In Montepulciano Low cost Great for lunch; www.caffepoliziano.it

Le Logge del Vignola In Montepulciano; Table by window

La Chiusa In Montefollonico Make reservations; High cost; closed Tues Remote, best in Tuscany

Osteria del Leone 39 0577 887300 In Bagno Vignoni Low cost Good choice spa hamlet

Florence
Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco Mod cost Closed Tues & Wed Across Arno

La Giostra High cost 12 Borgo Pinti
Cavolo Nero Florence Exc lamp, pasta, seafood

Miscellaneous
Trattoria La Lancia dc ‘Oro In Arezzo
Al Gallopapa 39 0577 741939 In Castellina Try ossobuco

Trattoria al Vecchio Forno In San Quirico Low cost Authentic Tuscan fare

Osteria del Leone 39 0577 88730 In Bagno Vignoni Low cost Good choice spa hamlet

Hope this helps fellow travelers ~ have fun!
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Old Apr 14th, 2005, 07:43 AM
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Philip, I would just note that the website for Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco in Florence says they are closed Wed only (not Tues & Wed).
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 07:48 AM
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bookmarking!
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 08:31 AM
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This one's a keeper. Thanks all.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 06:58 AM
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Lots of good ones here. I would,however,drop Boccon di Vino from the list. They seem to be slipping.
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Old Dec 29th, 2006, 07:51 AM
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I noticed that Philip stayed close to Bucine. My family will be staying there in August. Philip, would you mind letting me know how you liked the town of Bucine and what was the best nearby day trip?
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Old Jan 16th, 2007, 09:03 PM
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bookmarking!
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Old Jan 16th, 2007, 09:54 PM
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Sorry to double post!

bobthenavigator - any chance you could associate those price categories/stars into some numerical price ranges? I'm a student so when I'll be on a budget when I get to Italy, and the prices will really decided where I can and can't eat!
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