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Recommend me you favourite restaurant around Tuscany :)

Recommend me you favourite restaurant around Tuscany :)

Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 03:19 AM
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Recommend me you favourite restaurant around Tuscany :)

Currently planning our five days around Tuscany, and loving as we do good food and even better wines, it would be great to hear your restaurant recommendations; we are not after high-end expensive places but more local village places that offer in your opinion outstanding food ...

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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 04:56 AM
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My favourite restaurant in Tuscany (and probably in Italy, perhaps even my favourite restaurant ever!) is Il Canto del Maggio (www.cantodelmaggio.com), located at Penna la Alta, a few miles from Montevarchi in the Chianti region of Tuscany. You'll need a car to get there, and it is definitely off the beaten track - but SO worth it!! It's one of those rare places that combines wonderful food and great service with an unforgettable setting.

I first ate there in 2000 (with my family - we liked it so much we ate there three times in one week!); we then returned just last month to find the place just as wonderful as ever.

The setting is stunning - the restaurant is perched on the edge of a tiny old village on the hillside just outside the small town of Penna. You drive up a single track, winding road and then, after parking in the restaurant carpark, you have to walk down a pretty old cobbled lane to get to the actual restaurant.

Tables are dotted around a beautiful garden and terrace, with views of the Tuscan countryside beyond.

Service is always smiling and friendly, the prices are extremely reasonable, and the food is heavenly. Last time we ate there we paid around 75 euros for two, for a 3 1/2 course meal (we shared an antipasto course) with aperitifs, wine and espresso. We had crostini, an amazing pasta dish with porcini musrooms, broad beans and pancetta that was probably the best pasta I've ever eaten, then guinea fowl (for me) and wild boar (for hubby), and lastly a dessert of white chocolate mousse with (I think) green tea ice cream. Almost all the other diners were Italian, and there were also two extremely friendly house cats.
It's not somewhere you'll find in many tourist guides and there are very few references to it on the web. Probably because it's such a find, people want to keep it to themselves!!!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 04:56 AM
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Vechie Murra in San Gimignano.

We ate there a year ago May inside the restaurant, and had minestrone soup and veal with mushrooms - I think that my wife was more than just a little bit embarassed when I began to lick the plate.

We are lucky enough to be returning in 3 weeks, and have made a reservation for dinner on the terrace which has, I am told, a wonderful view out on to the hillside.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 05:19 AM
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I'll second Il Canto del Maggio. Mr Mauro and his daughter Simona run a wonderful place. We've eaten there many times. The Val di Chiana beef with a bottle of Brunello is not to be missed. I think my picture is still hanging by the telephone.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 05:34 AM
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See if this helps:


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 Jun 23rd, 2006, 05:38 AM
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Bob has a great list..we have eaten in several of these restaurants and really enjoyed them.....would add two...In Montecchiello, Osteria La Porta..just a favorite and in Trequanda, Il Conte Matto for delicious regional food in a rustic atmosphere.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 05:54 AM
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A delicious topic for sure. Here's a list provided by Zack at Tuscan House. Several places he mentions are familiar to traveling Fodorites. Having met him, I'd say you could rely on his recommendations. Buon appetito.

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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 06:38 AM
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The best I had on my last trip: Taverna Grappolo Blu in Montalcino, 3 evenings in a row.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 08:36 AM
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La Chiusa is madly expensive.

According to several reports, Boccon di Vino has slipped very badly.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 08:44 AM
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I second Bob's list. Boccon di Vino is our favorite restaurant in all of Tuscany. The view is unsurpassed!!! Make reservations early so you can eat outside. The restaurant is closed on Tuesday.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 08:47 AM
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I second Cane e Gato in Siena...one of my more memorable meals in Italy. Expensive but well worth it.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 09:12 AM
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Cane e Gato was great...but expensive.

We loved the experience at Ristoro di Lamole in the hills a little south of Greve. Drive up a narrow road about 7 km south of greve past vineyards. We gad lunch outside on the patio. Great food. Great olio. Great vino. Relaxed atmosphere. Wonderful service. Very reasonaby priced. We bought a ton of olio and a lot of vino from their store, too.

In Monticchiello, we loved Osteria la Porta at the entrance to town. Also has beautiful views.
The road that leas into Monticchiello is like a Tuscan postcard.

Below is my blog from September that has pictures from both restaurants (not to mention the rest of the trip to Umbria, Tuscany, Florenve, Venice and Rome). Maybe it can give you some other ideas. Have fun. By the way, the next time I go to Tuscany, I am definitely renting a convertible.


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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 09:20 AM
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Both of the Florence restaurants on that list are considered "tourist" restaurants, with the appropriately splashy prices, and Cinghiale Bianco in particular, is just so-so.

La Giostra has good food, but it's nothing but tourists-I know, I used to live in an apartment just down the street from the restaurant. There are far better options in Florence-and most of them you can find by just happening on them as you walk the city.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 09:31 AM
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There are very good recs already on the list, and let me add

San Gimignano: Chiribiri. This is a real favorite of ours.

Bagno Vignoni: La Palapa.

Both of these are well priced, small and delicious.

Outside of Firenze, above Lastra a Signa, Edy Piu. Fabulous. The very bistecca fiorentina and marvelous desserts.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 09:48 AM
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Nuovo Ranch in Bagno a Ripoli in the hills just outside of the center of Florence. I've tried many things there and everything has been wonderful! Especially anything with their yummy truffle sauce!

Nuovo Ranch
50012 Bagno A Ripoli (FI) -
13, v. Bencista' Gorioli
tel: 055 699045, 333 5271852

For in the center of Florence - La Casalinga. It's not expensive and the food is very good for the center of Florence. It's simple but yummy! I don't have the address but it's right near Piazza Santo Spirito.

And now my very very favorite restaurant...

La Cugna - it's in the hills outside of Pistoia (where I live). If you're near the area and with a car, it's most definitely worth a visit! Make sure you make a reservation for Friday and Saturday nights. It gets quite crowded. mmmmm...my mouth is watering just thinking of all their yummy food...I think I just might make my husband take me there tomorrow night!

Ristorante La Cugna
51100 Pistoia (PT) -
tel: 0573 475059

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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 09:58 AM
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These have already been mentioned but:
Chiribiri - San Gimignano
La Porta - Monticchiello
Grappo Blu - Montalcino
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 11:53 AM
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Just returned from Tuscany this past Monday. We had a couple of great meals,(or dishes I would say) and some ok dishes. Of course it's all relative to who's cooking that day, and what you think is good. Two places that I would recommend where the antipasti, primi, secondi where all good would be:

Il Rifugio Just past the motorscooter rental/campground place outside of San G going toward Volerra This was a monastary I believe, an now a restaurant. Nice private hillside setting. Wild boar was very good, as was the puci noodle pasta.

Cinque de Vino a small family run osteria in San Casciano
Viale San Francesco, 32
San Casciano in Val di Pesa
Tel 0558228116
This is about 10 min S of Florence off S92 in the main square of town. Or 25 minutes N of San G. A friend
told us about this place. Marco and Sylvie are gracious hosts and warmly welcome everyone. Their motto is simple food with fresh ingredients. They even thank their suppliers on the menu because they require only the best ingredients. Many daily specials.
We enjoyed juliened artichoke hearts with lemon jiuce, olice oil, spices, and shaved parmesan. Fettuccini with fresh porcini mushrooms in olive oil and butter. The best spinach and ricotta gnocchi, then shared a house specialty Florentine bistecca cooked over an open WOOD fire and served tableside on a hibachi.
2 anitpasti, 2 primi, Florentine steak for 2, 2 desserts, coffee, liter of wine was 90E
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 02:37 PM
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If you are nearby, Ristorante La Staffa D' Oro in Poppiano, 3 km. from Montespertoli would fit your wishes exactly. We rented a villa near Poppiano and on our first evening found La Staffa D'Oro. We ate there 5 out of 7 evenings and were never disappointed. On the Monday evening we arrived to find the restaurant closed is closed on Mondays and the owner Elizabetta and her family were eating. We were welcomed with open arms and served the same meal as the family. The bill when it arrived was always extremely modest.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 03:34 PM
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By far, our favorite restaurant (we were there this past May) was the Osteria Teatro in Cortona, http://www.osteria-del-teatro.it/eng/main.html.

We also enjoyed Grappa Blu in Montacino, and Latte di Luna and the terrace restaurant at Il Chiostro in Pienza.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2006, 03:39 PM
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Let me add to my post above. At the Osteria Teatro, order the STRACCETTI al CHIANTI, cubed beef cooked in wine. The best beef I have ever tasted.
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