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Chianti/Siena/San Gimignano Advice

Finally got around to doing our trip report, and I just wanted to thank you for the Malborghetto recommendation! We loved this place and we hadn't seen/heard anything about it before your post (which we got the one time we logged onto email during our trip!). We were so sad to miss Osteria alla Piazza (direction/timing mixup), but we'll add it to our long list of reasons to return!

Feb 20, 2012
AFG7 in Italy

Chianti/Siena/San Gimignano Advice

Yes, and thanks for reminding me to do a very belated trip report. And thanks to all of the Chowhounders who helped with our research! In sum, we really only had good meals, but the standouts for us were Tratorria del'Orso (if you're going to be in/driving through Orvietto), Malborghetto and Osteria del Castello. We spent most of our evenings at our hotel, La Fonterelle (an amazing hotel but very expensive), which we enjoyed. It has a beautiful setting and generally very good food (particularly the spelt pasta!), but we preferred the more casual places. We were just too tired to drive anywhere at the end of the day! A more detailed report is below. You really can't go wrong!

July 3: On way from Rome to Tuscany, we stopped at Orvietto and had a delicious meal at Trattoria Dell’Orso. No menu, just daily specials. We split a fettucine with tomato sauce and fettucine with truffles. Yum!! Absolutely delicious. Highly recommend.

July 4- Lunch at Latte Di Luna (fettucine with truffles, gnocchi with meat sauce) in Pienza. This was good, but we were a bit disappointed after reading all the rave reviews. Maybe we misordered?

July 5- Due to a direction/timing mixup, we miss our reservation at Osteria Alla Piazza. My fault- I thought the restaurant was in Castellina and didn't realize it is outside of town. We ended up choosing a place by the tower called Antica Trattoria Le Torre. Although it wasn't a highlight of the trip overall, we have our first Riboletta, and it is true love. We also have some good fried polenta with mushrooms, but the Riboletta is the real highlight. Castellina is beautiful and, with Pienza, is my favorite town. We went to a tasting at Fonterutoli right outside of Castellina after lunch- Fonterutoli is a beautiful old tiny town that you wouldn't know existed from the highway. The Chianti DOCG is excellent.

We didn't eat at Badia e Caltibuono, but the setting is very attractive. We stopped there for a wine tasting. It might be worth stopping there for dinner, but I can't speak to the quality of the food.

We have dinner at Osteria del Castello at Brolio. We arrive about 10 mibnutes before it opens so we drive up to the castle-- lovely. Dinner is perfect-- so far, the best meal of the trip. We split an antipasta and eggplant pie, then the pici, then the beef. The eggplant pie and pici are both outstanding, especially the eggplant pie (and I don't even like eggplant!). The wine, all from the local Brolio winery, are all very good to excellent. For dessert, we share a green apple sorbetto, which is the best ice cream of the trip. We love this place. We went back another day to walk around the castle and go for a wine tasting. I'd recommend.

July 6- We go to La Bottega in the ancient town of Volpaia. Beautiful spot and my husband's pasta with truffles and riboletta are both delicious (we were not eating light on this trip). Not a highlight, but I would recommend it. We didn't do the formal tour but we wandered around and did taste some wine.

Siena for the evening. It turns out that our chosen restaurant (Il Carroccio) is closed as are several of our backup spots. After some aimless wandering, we find Enoteca I Terzi and get a glass of wine. We see a celebratory parade by the winning Contrade of Palio. After lots of walking around, we finally settle on La Taverna di San Giuseppe for dinner. We have a cocktail on the Piazza del Campo before heading to dinner. Beautiful setting as the sun sets. The restaurant is in a beautiful old location-- smething like the crypt of a church. The gnocchi in pecorino fondue with truffles is excellent. The pasta with beef ragu is good. The beef is just okay. We fiinish with a little tour of the underground room they use to store the wines and cheeses and have an excellent taste of cheese. All in all, Siena was the one place where things didn't go smoothly, but it worked out in the end.

July 7- Lunch is at Malborghetto in Lecchi. This, along with Osteria del Castello, is a highlight of the trip. My husband gets the tomato soup with bread and the gnocchi with truffles, which comes in a bowl of melted parmesan (insanely good). I get thir specialty pasta, which is a meat sauce with mushrooms, etc. This is also insanely good. We LOVE this place.

Feb 20, 2012
AFG7 in Italy

Chianti/Siena/San Gimignano Advice

Thanks for all of the suggestions/comments! Will be sure to report back on our travels when we return.

Jun 27, 2011
AFG7 in Italy

Chianti/Siena/San Gimignano Advice

My husband and I will be staying north of Siena this July. After reviewing the recommendations on the board and other sources, I've compiled a list of restaurants and now I need help cutting. Anything we can cut or must try? We're open to casual/fancy and cheap/expensive, as long as it's delicious. Romantic settings are a plus!

Siena (2-3 restaurants, lunch and dinner):
La Torre
Osteria Ill Carroccio
Trattoria Da Gano
Osteria Le Logge
Casato Enoristorante

Chianti (3-4 restaurants, lunch and dinner):
Osteria all Piazza (Castellina)
La Bottega (Volpaia)
Ristorante Vignale (Radda)
Le Vigne (Radda)
the Restaurant at Badia Coltibuono (Gaiole)

San Gimignano/Area (2 restaurants, lunch and dinner):
La Saletta (Certaldo)
Arnolfo (Colle Val D'Elsa)
Al Vecchia Mura (SG)
Ristorante Dorando (SG)

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Arnolfo
Via XX Settembre, 50, Colle di Val d’Elsa, Tuscany 53034, IT

La Bottega
loc. Volpaia,piazza della Torre,1, Radda in Chianti, Tuscany , IT

Dorando
vicolo dell'Oro,2, San Gimignano, Tuscany , IT

Jun 24, 2011
AFG7 in Italy

Sunday dinner/Monday lunch in Bologna

Thanks so much for the link and the excellent report. Sounds delicious.

Jun 24, 2011
AFG7 in Italy

Sunday dinner/Monday lunch in Bologna

Thanks for your reply. I've read great reports on Da Amerigo-- we were hoping to stay in town, but perhaps we'll motivate.

Jun 21, 2011
AFG7 in Italy

Sunday dinner/Monday lunch in Bologna

My husband and I will be in Bologna for 24 hours-- too short already, but now I'm realizing that many of the places that are recommended in other Bologna posts are closed on Sunday night and Mondays. We're open on whether it is casual or fancy, cheap or not cheap, as long as it's good. Any recommendations? Thanks in advance for your help!

Jun 21, 2011
AFG7 in Italy

San Antonio- Lunch, TexMex, and Late Night Dining

Thanks for the recs. We ended up getting stuck with work events and just got room service our one free meal! We did strollt o the King WIlliam area, and had a nice time. It looks like we'll be back, so we'll be sure to check out these spots on our next visit.

Mar 07, 2011
AFG7 in Texas

San Antonio- Lunch, TexMex, and Late Night Dining

My husband and I will be in San Antonio this weekend, staying on the Riverwalk. We've got work events both nights, but I'm hoping to pack plenty of delicious food in at lunch on Saturday and Sunday (with at least one Tex Mex stop) and after our events.

I'm hoping to get recommendations for (1) a lunch in walking/biking distance of the Riverwalk (no limitations, just nothing too fancy), (2) a TexMex place that is an easy/short car ride (or bike/walk, of course) from the Riverwalk (I'd love a place with fresh corn tortillas), and (3) a place in walking distance of the Riverwalk that is open late (after 10- fancy or casual is fine). Of course, we want great food, but we would also love places in attractive/interesting/historical/unique/romantic settings. Also, we live in New Orleans, so probably aren't interested in Luke (love Besh, but get plenty of him here!).

Thanks in advance!

Feb 23, 2011
AFG7 in Texas