Help us focus: Siena
My husband and I are heading to Siena for two nights/three days in November.
Any recs on where we *must* eat while we're there? (We like authentic, but not overly fancy/stuffy, restaurants.)
What should we plan to bring home?
Also, are there any good wine/food day tours that depart from Siena?
My husband and I spent 4 nights in Siena in March of 2006. We had dinner at Taverna di San Giuseppe twice and really enjoyed it. Great food, good atmosphere, not at all fancy/stuffy. I'm sorry I can't remember what we ate there, but I know we really liked it. At that time of year there were a few Americans in the restaurant, but the majority were Italian.I suspect it will be the same in November. They have a website, www.tavernasangiuseppe.it. Their address is Via Giovanni Duprè 132. I think you'll like it.
First the food. We've been going to Siena for many years now and have had the good fortune to eat at many of the city's wonderful restaurants. For reviews and more details check out the dining page on my Siena website: http://www.sienaitaly.com/pages/sidin.html
Second, there is a new wine train that runs from Siena south to Montalcino and I believe they have added other culinary and wine destinations as well. Check the website out at: http://www.winestation.it/xscegliete_engl.htm
Note that this is a new tour and I have had no personal experience with it.
You might also check out Roberto Bechi's website. he's been featured on several of Rick Steves' shows on Tuscany and is a specialist on intimate and unique tours of Tuscany: http://www.toursbyroberto.com/
One of the best meals during our recent three-week tour of Italy was at Il Carroccio, a small osteria on Via del Casato di Sotto. Our tasting menu included a magnificent ribollita,the best of many we sampled on our trip, pappardelle with wild boar sauce, and a sublime veal stew.To finish the meal, Renata, the proprietor, presented us with biscotti and ricciarelli with Vin Santo. A truly memorable and delicious meal.
For a wine/food day during your stay, rent a car and drive North on SS 222 to Castello di Verrazzano for their "Wine and Food Experience," a three hour sybaritic indulgence of local gastronomic specialties, like wild boar salami,head cheese,and roast loin of pork with salad and white beans, coupled with pairings of Chianti, Vin Santo and Grappa from their cellars. We brought home some of their Classico Riserva, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and countless pictures of this majestic hilltop property overlooking the Greve valley.