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Mar 4, 2013 05:16 PM

Belated Trip Report: Minchilli, Florence & Siena November 2012

My husband and I visited Florence and Siena in early November 2012. This was the first time I used Chowhound to find restaurants.

Chowhound: This is a great resource. I've used it for more places now, and it's become a regular part of my travel planning routine.

Elizabeth Minchilli: Her knowledge runs deep, and her advice is utterly reliable. I'd follow her taste buds anywhere.

Siena: My husband and I dined at Osteria Le Logge. While not excellent, the food was quite good. The high point was tasting the first olive oil of the season which was spicy and delicious.

Florence: Neither my husband nor I can eat a big lunch and a big dinner. For lighter bites, 'Ino and Le Volpe e L'Uva were great solutions. I'd put 'Ino among my favorite sandwich shops in the world (Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor, MI & Pickles and Potter in Leeds, UK). Le Volpe is a wonderful wine bar. Writing about it makes my mouth water for the Brunello I drank there.

We had a long, leisurely lunch at Il Santo Bevitore [ISB]. Our meals included risotto with Gorgonzola & radicchio; a salad of spinach, pine nuts, cheese & pear; chicken "meatloaf" with pistachios; steak with walnuts. The food was excellent. To us, several of the ingredient combinations were unexpected and delectable. ISB's atmosphere was appealing, too: welcoming, sophisticated and relaxed. It seemed like locals and tourists frequented ISB. If the Italians had taken over New Amsterdam from the Dutch instead of the British, I imagine New York City would be a lot like ISB.

Following the advice of Ms. Minchilli, we had lunch on a Sunday at Trattoria Tre Soldi. This was traditional Tuscan fare, and it was the best meal we ate. Dishes we feasted on included: gnochetti with pumpkin & ricotta; Centi Senese - pork shoulder with white beans & red onion; and a white peach and bergamot sorbetto. The house wine was the owner's own DOCG Chianti from Ruffino. It was terrific and cost 9 Euros a bottle. That isn't a typo. It cost 9 Euros. The restaurant was filled with Florentine families out for a special meal, which made the experience feel more authentic.

Florence has an abundance of restaurants worth a visit. While we love to eat, there were many other things we wanted to do. The restaurants we went to fit our schedule and vice versa. I'd happily return to any of them and check out others.

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  1. Could you tell us the name of the DOCG Rufina (nb) winery that the owner of Tre Soldi owns. I presume the Folonari family (Ruffino) does not own Tre Soldi... or does it?


    9 Replies
    1. re: allende

      I don't remember the name of the winery. We didn't take a picture of the label because its unlikely one could find this wine outside the restaurant. The wine list and waiter explained that the owner produced his own wine. The label said DOCG Ruffino. Sorry I can't answer your question.

      1. re: inkieD

        Im assuming OP meant DOGC Rufina, the chianti sub-zone rather than the Ruffino vineyard, arent you?

        Wondering if it might be this wine, Dreolino

        saw a couple wineblog reports on drinking it at I Tre Soldi

        1. re: jen kalb

          I, too, presumed the OP was referring to Rufina (as I said in my nb), not Ruffino, but the OP didn't know the difference.

          The wine the OP is talking about is not from "the owner's own DOCG Chianti from Ruffino." As far as I know, the owner doesn't own a vineyard in Rufina. As far as I know, the wine is bottled for the trattoria by someone in Rufina. If someone has other information, please correct my mistake.

          Opinions, likes, and dislikes of restaurants (on this site) are wonderful (that's what makes the site so interesting)... but the amount of factual mis-information here, sometimes leads one to despair :)

          1. re: allende

            I made it clear that I was a newbie to Chowhound. If I knew much about Tuscany, I wouldn't have needed to use this web site to figure out where to eat.

            Knowing the difference between Ruffino and Rufina requires significant knowledge of the region. My intention was not to misinform. After benefiting from this web site, I felt obliged to contribute to it.

            In the past two years, I've lived in three countries and traveled in 10 others. If I can remember the basic words in whatever country I find myself, I declare victory.

            I would like to be corrected and learn from those who clearly know more, like Allende and Jen Kalb.

            I found Allende's tone condescending and hurtful. When a person has those feelings, he or she will be far less likely to engage. Doesn't that defeat the purpose?

            I have no idea what "nb" and "OP" stand for. Translation would be nice.

            1. re: inkieD

              Your dining report was a delight to read, and if I were heading to Florence I would be saving this thread. Always nice to read reports by someone who both enjoys food and has a way with words. Thank you!

              1. re: inkieD

                it was great to have your report - both to know you had a good visit and to add to the info base here, thanks for sharing.

                you were the "OP" on this thread - the "original poster" - is discussion board jargon.

                1. re: inkieD


                  Sorry if you thought my tone was condescending and hurtful.
                  It was not meant to be that way. I apologize to you.

                  1. re: allende

                    Thank you, Allende. I accept your apology.

              2. re: jen kalb

                You are probably correct. I truly don't remember.

          2. So glad to hear you had a great trip. (am blushing from your nice words!)