Tuscany:Restaurants in a beautiful country setting or with a great view of the countryside...
Hi! I am gettting married in Siena and would like to have a small dinner reception in a restaurant in the tuscan countryside. I have narrowed(!!!) my choices to the below:
Siena:Palazzo Ravizza restaurant(good views).
Siena:Villa Scacciapensiere restaurant(good views)
Murlo:Bosco della Spina
Castellina:Osteria Alla Piazza
Radda:Relais Fattoria Vignale
Volpaia:La Bottega di Volpaia
Panzano:Oltre il Giardino
Lamole:Ristoro di lamole
Greve:Taverna del Guerrino
Greve:La Cantinetta di Rignana
Montalcino:Fattoria dei barbi
Montalcino:Osteria del Vecchio Castello
Any opinions or alternate suggestions?
If you are talking about a restaurant with a view I'd go for il Vecchia Mura in San Gimignano where if is spring/summer you can have it outside on beautiful terrace overlooking Tuscany - really beautiful and easy to get to and the food is good and reasonably priced too. Volpaia is quite difficult to get to the roads are quite windy.....
I adore Poggio Antico, and it is one of the finest restaurants around. Very inventive chef-owner and his wife.
I think the village of Volpaia and its tiny winding roads may be too much for all your guests.
Fattoria del Barbi is a nice old facility with lovely grounds and may work. Good wine.
One of my favorite meals of all time was at Ristoro di lamole, sitting on a table outisde on the veranda watching the sun set -- both the setting and the food were sensational. But it is pretty far off the beaten track (we were staying at La Locanda outside Volpaia, and I don't think the road were paved half the way between Volpaia and Lamole), and might not be the easiest for you to get to from a wedding ceremony in Sienna.
I also really love the restaurant at Badia Coltibuono in Gaiole that someone else mentioned, and it seemed closer to major roads.
While I've enjoyed several meals at La Bottega di Volpaia while staying near there, I don't think either the food or the view compared to either Lamole or Badia Coltibuono.
Whatever you pick, you've got great options, and it sounds like it will be a lovely wedding!
I would vote for Osteria alla Piazza in Castellina and Oltre il Giardino in Panzano. We've been to both many times and love them. As far as Al Gallopapa in Castellina, we went there this past April for the first (and last time). It was not a pleasant experience. It was like a snooty French restuarant disguised as Italian. The food was ok, but very pretentious, and the waiter was always looking down his nose at us, probably he sensed we didn't "get it". Had I known what the place was all about, I would have steered clear. When I'm in Tuscany, I want a nice classic Tuscan dining experience. Plus I got violently ill later that evening. Perhaps a coincidence.
I highly recommend Albergo Casalta in Strove. We had a really great meal there in October. it is between Florence and Siena, closer to Siena, about 3-5 miles off the autostrada. not sure how many people in your group. the place is small. but they have a really great restaurant that combines traditional regional dishes with innovative recipes. the only drawback might be it is a small place. the hotel that is connected to it has about 10 rooms, I think. so might combine the dinner and a place for you all to stay.
I have eaten several times at Badia Coltibuono in Gaiole near Radda. The setting is a tenth century monastery with a four star restaurant in a new building next door. The food was excellent and they are well known for their wines and olive oil which is sold here (SF). The owner was at the next table when our party of 11 visited. They even made a special item for the two vegetarians in our group.
Also somewhere in downtown Siena in an alley is Ristorante Guido which has been famous for years with autographed photos all over the arched brick walls. I had a brilliant torta rustica di carciofi.
Agreed. They are stunning. Planted very unusually, and there is one vineyard with a perfect circle in the middle. The buildings are lovely, and there is a stunning veranda on which
I partook in an amazing dinner under the full moon.
It's like a place where Thomas Jefferson would have lived. Or the Italian version of him.
Hmmm, is that how Monticello got started?
We love Al Gallopapa in Castellina.....not much of a view, as it's in the commune's wine storage tunnel area. Still, the space is elegant while still somewhat rustic. For more than 4 people, they like to do a set menu, as the food is not simple: beautiful as well as delicious. I have seen it closed for a private party, so maybe it would work for you. Do an image search on google. They have a pretty comprehensive website: http://www.gallopapa.com/home_eng.htm
Get the book - "Too Much Tuscan Sun" It is written by a tour guide from the area. It is hilarious accounts of his experiences with visitors to Tuscany, in particular Chianti. He is serious about his food and his descriptions of his favourite places make me hungry and desiring to return. His book was recommended by a friend of his when I was paying a trade visit to Dievole. It was a great read. Dario (Castagna)now has his business based out of a Relais et Chateau property in Chianti. I suggest any Relais property for a nice experience. Many have fine restaurants, or the network of connections to get you to a nice property.
Congratulations and best wishes!
A lot of these (exx Montefollonico and Montepulciano) are a LONG drive from Siena, and driving around Tuscany on secondary roads can be extremely slow - where are your guests staying? How are they getting around? Getting parked and in and out of Siena also has to be factored in.
You probably should think out what the maximum distance/drive time ought to be and work within that radius. There are a whole lot of tuscan restaurants in the country or hill towns with great views!
San Gimignano is a nice town when the hordes of bus tourists arent there - crowding up the main street - problem is they are there dawn to dusk.
I would very strongly suggest going to the town of San Gimignano--soooo close to Siena only about a 20-30 min drive. There are restaruants there that overlook the entire tuscan countryside. its the most gorgeous town ive ever been to, and my favorite town in all of italy i would have to say. very romantic, and some of the best food ive ever had. there is one restaurant in particular that has huge windows that look onto the hills--ill work on getting the name.