Jump to content

Montalcino, Italy


MMM
 Share

Recommended Posts

We will be in Montalcino for a few days at the beginning of November. Just wondering if anyone has been there recently or what your old favorite places to eat are - in the town and aroundabout that area? Any suggestions on good wine buys?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We will be in Montalcino for a few days at the beginning of November. Just wondering if anyone has been there recently or what your old favorite places to eat are - in the town and aroundabout that area? Any suggestions on good wine buys?

Bar: Bar alle Logge, especialy between 5 and 7:30 when they put out a spread of food to go with aperitivi.

Wine Bar: Osticcio (though they were renovating the last time we were there and did not go). Great artisinal cheeses and wonderful wines, superb view.

Enoteca fortezza, superb for wine, good cheese & meats.

Restaurants in town:

Very good indeed:

Giglio - more modern takes on classics, great wines open by the glass, lovely host.

Il Re di Macchia - classic Montalcinese, well executed.

Grappolo Blu - old school trattoria with modern twists, cheap, nice list of rosso di montalcino is you stay away from Banfi

L'Assedio - new, modern, hip, very good. Very traditional with very light touch. Loved their zuppa di ceci and the trippa.

Good home style traditional food:

Porto Cassero - when its on its a bargain and a lot of fun. always jamed at main mea times but ehy serve all lunch and dinner.

Outside the walls:

Il Pozzo in Sant'Angelo in Colle - Bistecca Fiorentina, pinci, veggie specials, salumi

Rosticceria Mario in Buonconvento - used to be very homey and traidtional and cheap, now with the sons taking over going upscale but a great value for what it is.

Bosco della Spina in Lupompesi just outside Vescovado di Murlo - incredible: very traditional dishes, exptremely simple, with incredible artisan ingredients. Superb wine list. The waiter walk around like he has a stick up his wazoo but he is really charming once you get him to smile and relax.

Conte Matto in Trequanda - superb ingredients, very traditional, good birds and incredible salumi di cinta sinese {owner Davide is buddies with the head of the Cinta Sinese consorzio! Cinta Sinese is the Tuscan equivalent to Jamon Iberico Bellota and, imo, better!} Great wines.

Taverna Moranda in Montechiello - a little frenchified but really tasty, great Brunello by the glass.

I Poggioli in Buonconvento - recommended for seafood but we did not eat any the one time I was there. A little heavy with Germanic overtones.

Two Pizzerie

Murlo

Antica Campagne in Torreneri

Havent been to either but its where our Montalcinese friends go for Pizza

One more further afield:

Antica Campania in Monte Antico - huge table sized pizza, individual sized pizza, great tortelli di Patate. 45 minute drive thru nice countryside.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Dean. That's a nice list to ponder.

Annotated with a couple of additions. Another place which comes highly recommended but we have yet to try is La Crociona on the road to St Antimo. The folk at Pierangolini wine shop rave and they seem to be into food. In a 7 room country in in the middle of Brunello vineyards.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmmmm. I find La Crociona, which is an agriturismo with lodgings but no restaurant. They however recommend La Crocina, a nearby osteria - different ownership, to their guests.

We have only 3 nights there, staying at Il Giglio, and like to drive off somewhere to explore and have lunch, then try to eat lightly at night. That's always a challenge as there are so many tempting places to try. Your suggestions sound wonderful!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmmmm. I find La Crociona, which is an agriturismo with lodgings but no restaurant. They however recommend La Crocina, a nearby osteria - different ownership, to their guests.

We have only 3 nights there, staying at Il Giglio, and like to drive off somewhere to explore and have lunch, then try to eat lightly at night. That's always a challenge as there are so many tempting places to try. Your suggestions sound wonderful!

La Crocina is it. But with only 3 nights, here is what I wold do:

Bosco della Spina

Giglio

Taverna Grapolo Blu

Lunch:

Trequanda for Conte Matto. Spend morning in Trequanda, then go to either Pienza or follow the Il Sodoma trail and see his fresco in Sant'Anna in Carampane and at Monte Oliveto. Monte Oliveto can be done on a separate day with lunch in Buonconvento.

If La Crocina is open for lunch, go there and spend the day at St Antimo and explore the area there. Otherwise follow the road past St Antimo and come around to Castiglione d'Orcia and try one of the restaurants there. Rocca d'Orcia is an amazing site as well. Bassomondo in Castelnuova dell'Abbate is reputed to be solid but not spectacular. Or take the white road from St Antimo (the "middle road, not to St Antimo or the town) to San' Angelo in colle and lunch at Il Pozzo.

Third day, go to Bagno Vignoni (stop for caffe at Il Barrino, go look at the mills and hike down the cliff to see at least the upper three) in the morning and then go to Montechiello for lunch at Taverna di Moranda. As always, be sure to check for closing days and hours of operation.

Another day could be Montepulciano with a light but wonderful meal at Il Gambi di Gatto, a crazy good intensely foodie wine bar. We went adn the guy appologized for only having 20 olive oils open: "It is past seasons, mi dispiace!". Hsis idea of a small winery, 300 total cases production! If in Montepulciano be sure to go to San Baiggio at the foot of the town.

Lots of eating but all good!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our 3 days in Montalcino sped by much too quickly - not enought time or stamina to try out all the restaurants we would have liked. Still, we had some great meals, usually as lunch excursions. En route we detoured to Bosco della Spina, which we found to be a lovely spot with exceptional versions of traditional Tuscan food. We were one of 3 tables being served lunch and the service was excellent and the setting most attractive.

Next day we visited the tiny town of Montechiello, south of Montepulciano, and had lunch at Enoteca la Porta, located just as you enter the town. It was a lovely, sunny Nov. 2nd so we opted to sit outside on the terrace overlooking the spectacular countryside. Very good food here too including a special of Burrata (mozzarella-like cheese from Puglia with a soft buttery center) garnished with fresh tomato cubes and olive oil, Tortino of pumpkin w/shavings of Parmesan and black truffle, Papparedelle w/Brasato (stewed beef chunks) sauce, Pici (typical hand-made thick spaghetti) w/Cinta Senese pork sauce, and Stinco di Maiale with cubed grilled polenta. Drank the house red and white wines, which were local and very tasty. This place was crowded with people - it was Sunday, warm and sunny, very good food.

Our 3rd lunch was at Il Pozzo in Sant Angelo in Colle, after visiting the Abbey of Sant Antimo. We wanted to try La Crocina, but it was closed that day, and we never even saw it. At Il Pozzo we were the only guests and had more very well-prepared, traditional foods: Tagliatelle al Ragu, Bruschetta al Pomodoro (drenched in a particularly tasty newly-pressed local olive oil), Cinghiale alla Cacciatora, Vitella con Funghi, and a bonus of fried Funghi Porcini slices which was a special that day. Our wine was a delicious 2006 Rosso di Montalcino from the nearby Il Poggione vineyard.

In Montalcino, we breakfested daily at the Bar alle Logge on the most delicious cappuccino and pastries with a spectacular view over the glorious countryside to boot. Of course there are plenty of places in town where you can taste Brunellos and Rossos of the region. We enjoyed the Enoteca at the Fortezza for a tasting of Brunello, served by a very friendly and well-informed young woman.

I'd also like to mention a surprisingly exceptional restaurant we stopped at (again for lunch - and again we were the only customers) on the road from Volterra to the sea near Cecina. It's Mocajo in Casino di Terra near Guardistallo and definitely worth seeking out. I chose it because it is highlighted in the Gambero Rosso guide for its excellent food and wines at reasonable prices. It is run by a brother and sister team: she's the chef, he's the sommelier and runs the dining room. The building is non-descript but the interior is lovely, with round tables draped in pale cream cloths, each with a single candle and Champagne flutes. We were served by the brother, who immediately brought warm cornmeal breadsticks and a plate of 3 different house-made rolls, and offered prosecco. Great start! We accepted his suggestion to let him bring us a series of small courses. Another good idea! These were: borlotti bean soup w/chickpea flour, baccala and a dark green, garnished with a tiny violet; next 3 shot glass tastes - (1) pureed fig, anchovy and parsely, (2) a dense mushroom mixture (can't remember what else was in it but it was great), (3) orange zabayon w/scattering of caviar; next a warm autumn salad of rabbit, duck breast, pear, chestnut and grapes; then tortino of grains w/guanciale (cheek) of senese pork with shavings of local strong cheese on red pepper sauce; tortelli w/ricotta & tiny cubes of salami from the Garfagnana w/ribollita sauce; a flat pasta w/rosemary in a sauce of local pigeon w/pine nuts; finally, main course of little plates of roast pheasant again with pignoli and a dab of pureed potatoes. Then there were 2 desserts: a small glass of pineapple sorbetto with a stick of fresh pineapple, and a hazlenut semifreddo with nocino (hazlenut liqueur made by the nearby Trappist Sisters of Guardistallo), and the same nocino to drink! We took his suggestions for wine which were a Friulian Collio from Venica, and a local 2007 La Regola Ligustro Montescudaio merlot. The tasting menu cost 45 euros and I didn't see what the wines cost, but our credit card bill shows the meal coming out at $163. We thought it was simply sensational.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...