- Jo May 31, 2006 09:12 AM
What are the best chow finds in Siena? We are looking for all types, fancy or not so. thanks
Hosteria Il Carroccio in Siena was one of my favorite restaurants in Italy. It's very small, with terrific rustic food. I believe that I found it from the Slow Food Osteria guide.
We've had many delicious meals at Il Biondo. It's casual and the staff are charming. Their pici with porcini are heavenly. Good variety of fish. Excellent antipasto assortment.
Near Sienna we had two excellent meals.
One was La Bottega del 30 in Villa a Sesta near San Gusme. This is the Michelin one star place with the ex-Parisian chef married to an Italian. Reservations are necessary at least in the evening. I don't know whether they're open for lunch.
Phone: 0577 359226 fax 0577 359226 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The way to find it is to find the big statue of the horse and park there and walk. It's right there. This may have been the best meal we had in Italy. It was definitely worth going out of your way for. There wasn't a menu; she just kept bringing things. The prices were high, but not outrageous. They had excellent homemade bread and grissini. They started us out with a complimentary glass of good Spumante from San Grimigno grapes. This was followed by a triple amuse bouche of Pecorino Cheese with Olive Oil, Asparagus with Quail Egg, and Snail with Basil Butter. Next came an antipasto of Sformata di Asparagi which was a wonderful asparagus mousse with a balsamic vinegar reduction, and a Zuccinni Flower stuffed with mushrooms and cheese with a cheese crisp. For the pasta course we had Malfatti, strictly speaking not pasta, little balls of spinach and ricotta in a pecorino sauce. It was wonderful. We also had spaghetti with shaved parmesan and mushrooms and a sauce of wild nettles and tomatoes. This was also excellent. For the meat course we had Osso Buco and Steak. The osso Buco was served off the bone and the steak was very rare. Both were excellent. Most of theat course came back with us for lunch the next day. They were served with cannelli beans, a veggie mousse, nettles, and a vegetable tart and fried shredded parsnip. Then came a trio of desserts: Semifreddo with caramel sauce, Chocolate Mousse with Coconut Sauce, and Flourless Chocolate Cake. All three were outstanding. Bonni said of the mousse It may be the best thing Ive ever had in my life. We had a bottle of an excellent 2000 Brunello La Mannella. The bill came to 138 euros for two, not cheap, but definitely worth it.
The other really good place we tried in the same area was Trattoria La Grotta de Rana in San Sano. Park at the frog fountain and youre there. This was a cozy little family run place, with mom in the kitchen and father and son in front. We started out with Ribollita, a thick bean and chard stew over a base of bread. This is a traditional Tuscan dish and was very delicious. We didnt see it on any other menus. For pasta we had Malfatti con Fonduta de Formaggio et Pancetta this was very similar to the malfatti described above except the balls were larger and the pancetta in the sauce was a good addition. For meat course we had Cinghale Umido, which was braised boar in a very tasty sauce. For contorni we had a very good cauliflower mousse and canelli beans which were nothing special. For dessert we had Torte Cioccolatte which was an outstanding very rich chocolate cake that was as much fudge as cake. We had half a bottle of a good Montepulciano. They had a very good wine list, and when I ordered a half liter of red he brought a full bottle of the Montepulciano. When it came time for the bill, he came and checked the bottle. We had drunk half of it and thats what we were charged for. The whole bill came to 54 euros, but we had basically eaten only one meal between us., since we shared everything.
We also ate at another Michelin one star in Sienna, that while the food was very good, I cant really recommend it. We thought a bit pretentious and it tried to be a little too French. It just wasnt what we were looking for. That place was Bodega de Nane.