Rec.'s near Cortona, Pienza & Castellina in Chianti, Tuscany
- MSK Mar 1, 2007 11:24 AM
We will be staying at inns (Borgo di Vagli, L'Olmo and Locanda le Piazze) in these locations this summer and would love some input and recommendations.
Cooking classes would also be fun if you know of any!
We stayed a few days in Pienza a couple of years ago and I enthusiastically recommend Il Rossellino, a tiny (20 seats) mom and pop place in the center of town (Piazza di Spagna 4). The first evening the FOH mom brought a basket of fresh porcini for my inspection. I chose one and the mister (BOH) sauted one large porcino cap in butter and thyme. That was my main and I remember it to this day.
Casa Frassi in Chianti-amazing,,, buy some of their wine to take home. We slept after lunch by the pool The view is the one you see in movies
I have fond memories of Pienza as pecorino Toscana central. Walk along the main street and you'll pass cheese shop after cheese shop. All these places are generous with samples so you can taste the full range of pecorinos ranging from fresh to well-aged. (Incidentally, "stagionato" is the word for aged in Italian. We particularly like semi-stagionato.) And if that isn't enough, the shops offer special varieties like pecorino wrapped in ash or leaves or stored in a running stream. If you ask the store to vacuum seal the cheese, you'll be able to bring it into the US with no problem from customs.
I don't remember the name of the restaurant we enjoyed in Pienza. All I can remember is that it is somewhat outside the town -- albeit only a short walk -- and the name of the restaurant or the sign on the restaurant has a rooster on it. Does this ring a bell for anyone?