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Montepulciano/Rome---brief trip report

m
madoc Nov 13, 2013 10:55 AM

My wife and I spent 4 days in the Montepulciano region and 4 days in Rome Nov 3-12-----perhaps the most enjoyable of our nearly yearly trips to Italy over the past 25+ years. Restaurants are listed in chronological order.
Montepulciano
La Grotta----on outskirts of montepulciano---overall 3 stars out of 4---very good pasta with tartufo bianco,,,osso bucco...coniglio (braised)....excellent vino nobile....very good service...approx 100 euro's.
Piccola Trattoria Guastini--- in nearby Valiano-----four stars--the meal of the trip----warm and welcoming Davide Guastini----fegato bruscheta with caramelized onions and vin santo----like nothing else-----ravioli stuffed with piccione was excellent----coniglio fritti---sounds odd and looked like pieces of fried chicken---delectable----anatra rosti, which was encrusted with fennel--unbelievable----and a wonderful whipped ricotta desert. also had another great vino nobile (banfi)----price was moderate---superior place.
Osteria La Porta (Montichiello))---3+ stars----little place in sweet little hill town near montepulciano---wonderful, warm service----remarkable roast sucling pig with great crispy skin...beef braised in red wine...tender and succulent....nice panforte---another very good vine nobile (carpineto)-----approx 70 euro's.
La Cicconella---- 1-2 stars---sweet people, small restaurant on outskirts of town----otherwise not memorable.

Rome

Armando al Pantheon----3+ stars overall---somewhat reserved but nonetheless friendly service----very nice trattoria feel to the place---bruschetta with tartufo nero was superlative-----tonarelli cacio pepe very good but not excellent----sausage roasted over chicoria very nicely done---faroana arrosto with funghi porcini excellent ----vino nobile (Poliziano) very good but not excellent-----price approx 80 euro's.

Perilli---3 stars overall---nice example of roman cuisine---but somewhat quiet on a sunday night----seated in an english-speaking area, thereby losing some atmosphere-----rigatoni carbonara was excellent----abbachio "cacciotora with rosemary white wine, vinegar excellent---stuffed zucchini a bit dull-----price approx 80 euro's----overakk not clealy worth the 30 euro roundtrip taxi fare.

Nino---near piazza d' espagne----lovely old school, slightly upscale place---first time i felt underdressed without a jacket---3+stars overall---delightful staid but efficient, well-executed service----olive neri with limone---sounds simple but wonderful ,flavorful non-salty olives----papardelle with lepre excellent---cinghiale braised tender and delicious----faroana very nicely done----a great villa antinore wine----100 euro's.

Colline Emiliana---a remarkably bad experience----service was abominable to borderline insulting----both primi and secundi orders were incorrect----food was bland and poorly presented---our worst dining expeience in italy in the many years we have visited.

Lunches---we ate less vigorously at lunch---should just mention great lunches at Ba'Ghetto and Trattoria di cav Gino.

Overall, great foodie experiences in Southern Tuscany and Roma.

  1. minchilli Nov 17, 2013 01:18 AM

    Thanks for the detailed reports. It sounds like you had a great time in Rome. I too have heard horrible stories from Colline Emiliane recently - bad service, rushed with two seatings, mistakes, etc. It's officially off my list. I think it had it's day, but that's long since past.

    Sorry you spent so much on getting to Perilli. I'm always of the opinion that you should stick close to your hotel/ apartment if possible. If you have to start taking expensive taxi rides to simple trattorie, then it changes the experience.

    www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

    1 Reply
    1. re: minchilli
      m
      madoc Nov 19, 2013 09:55 AM

      Thanks Elizabeth----great advice about staying reasonably close to your "place"----nothing like strolling back late in the evening-----special atmosphere, especially in the hill tows.

    2. i
      iamq Nov 17, 2013 04:52 PM

      I am glad to hear that Guastini was so delicious. I am hoping to eat there next year.

      Suckling pig at La Porta? I'm there!

      Thank you!

      1. Ziggy41 Dec 2, 2013 06:21 PM

        Nice report. Guastini was our best meal as well (12 days Tuscany/Rome)

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