Antica Osteria Di Vico in Chianti
I wrote this post in response to another yesterday, but I am copying it here too since I feel strongly that this osteria deserves its own spot.
We just returned from Tuscany and were staying in Barberino Val D'Elsa (near Poggibonsi, Tavernalle, etc.). We had two divine meals at Antica Osteria Di Vico in the tiny town of Vico D'Elsa. I regret that I didn't write down the owners' names, but they are a married couple probably in their 40's, and he is an incredible cook of Tuscan fare. The real thing. Simple, delicious, fresh, home-cooked meats, grilled and stewed, pastas, vegetables, etc. Especially outstanding were primi courses, tagletelle with a very rich game sauce (the night we were there, ther game was rabbit and it was cooked with mushrooms) and the chef's special spagetti with gorgonzola, lemon and orange rind (superb!). Of course, for secondi, the bistecca alla fiorintina t-bone was cooked perfectly, and the other outstanding secondi was the Peposa, traditional Tuscan beef stew in wine and peppercorns--out of this world (I had peposa elsewhere and it wasn't anywhere near as delicious). The chef's wife is also a great cook and she seems to handle the desserts and provides the service. She made a lucious chocolate cake and a creamy, intense lemon ice cream, served in half of a large frozen lemon. The owners are also into making jellies, from wine, basil, etc., which they serve with meats and cheese We purchased some to take home. Good wines, too--and grappa. Also, very reasonably priced, so we ate extremely well and abundantly, my husband, myself, and our 10 year old son. We had antipasti, primi, secondi, contorni, and dulce courses. We ordered 2 bottles of water, and my husband and I had the house wine, espresso, and grappa. Our bill was about 110 euros for the three of us (plus tip). The place itself is very basic--and old country house with a a patio out back that is wrapped in wild vines. Nothing fancy at all, but rich in so many ways. The owners are really great people and they were very warm and friendly. He is into jazz and they host a small "jazz festival" on the premises in July--wish we could be there! Outside there is an old wine press under the canopy and a cool old thresher parked on the property. Anyway, give this place a try! We researched and ate at many places in the moderate price range while in Italy for 11 days, including in Florence, and this restaurant served the best meals we ate.