Tuscany - restaurants around Arezzo?
Planning a trip to Tuscany in mid-June with a group of friends. We'll be staying at a villa in Pergine Valdarno, near Arezzo, for a week.
We're planning day trips to Florence, Siena, Montepulicano, etc., and I'm doing well with restaurant recos in those towns. But what about near our villa? I'm guessing we'll want to spend a few evenings near home. And I'd love to find a great local place we could go to a few times.
I plan on getting the Slow Food guide, but would love any 'hound recos.
Also - good local olive oil, butchers, or vineyards would be great.
We've been in Tuscany this week, a pleasant break from Paris and ventured out to Arezzo yesterday where after consulting some local experts, we went to eat at a place on the flat - the Antica Fonte. The menu had many Tuscan specialties and we tried a number.
Our firsts included spinach with lemon and olive oil, lampredotto (the dark part of tripes) which was magnificent and baccala salad which came with capers and lettuce and was also wonderful.
Mains included peposa (a beef stew with red wine reduced like crazy with spicy peppercorns), sliced duck breast cooked perfectly with a strawberry sauce, papparadelle al ragu and gnocchi with salmon.
Desserts were a semifreddo with caramelized nuts, a creme caramel and a chocolate concoction.
Our bill with a bottle and 1/2 of wine, bottled water and the usual Tuscan bread was 112 E, tus 56 E per couple.
This was way better than we had expected a place to be, chosn on the fly.
John Talbott's Paris
I recommend a trip to nearby Lucignano, a gorgeous elliptical hilltown with the marvelous Da Toto osteria inside it, right near the main church. It's a rarity to see tourists there, and the food reflects it. They make their own wine as well.