one week ouside Montepulciano
We are renting a house for one week in mid June just outside of Montepulciano. We'd like to plan day trips to surrounding towns on their market days, purchase supplies for a home-cooked dinner, and then find a great local restaurant for lunch. We are adventurous eaters but are really just looking for authentic local food. Any suggestions about where to find information on local markets and corresponding restaurants would be appreciated. Thank you.
By all means go to A Gambe di Gatto for lunch in Montepulciano--and plan to spend a while there.
I agree completely with the recommendation of A Gambe di Gatto, whose owners are delightful and will enchant you with their knowledge of wine (and jazz!), and would add the osteria Acquacheta -- be sure to make reservations at the latter.
We're in our 9th of 10 days in Montepulciano--doing what you want to do. Day trips are easy; we've been from Volterra in the West to Cortona in the East and most places in between. We always eat lunch out and usually dinner in. Without a doubt, the best meals (yes we went back) were in La Porta in Monticchiello (just South of Montepulciano). We would have gone back the third time but "Master Chef Australia" is filming their chef for 2 days! The second best place was in Cortona--look for the sign "Dolce Marie B & B" on Via Ghini, 12; and the third best was in Siena: Hosteria IL Carroccio on Via Casato di Sotto, 32 just off the Campo.
Just a heads up--most market vendors travel from town to town, so you'll soon encounter vendors you've seen before. No matter--watching the town folk connect on market days is great people watching.
Market day in Lucignano (over by the A1 autostrada) is Thursday. Make a visit and you can eat in the garden at the outstanding Da Toto, which provides exactly the authentic local food that you are looking for. Go for one of the set menus and let Chef Boris choose.
Mrs T and I are just back from another four day visit and the food was outstanding as always.