Rustic live fire cooking: grilled meats, pastas with wild game, and hunters sandwiches.
The Food: grilled meats, fresh pasta with meat sauces, salumi and pecorino cheeses
The Scene: Hunters gathering at the bar with cured meat sandwiches and the restaurant crowded with large families with three generations sharing pastas topped with meat sauces and platters of grilled meats.
La Speranza offers an amazing, experience; everything that you might hope to find. Quintessential Tusany.
Located at a small junction between two country roads, La Speranza appears to be a rural truck-stop (albeit not for large trucks), a meeting place for hunters, a small restaurant, with a grocery/bar with the air of a local tavern. This place is popular with hunters and the locals who pour in on a Sunday lunch or dinner from the neighboring towns.
This is the place to come for grilled meats. Try the restaurant for fresh local pici pasta topped with a wonderful nuanced meat ragu or any of the meats from the wood burning grill. On Sundays the casual dining room is full of large parties sharing platters piled high with grilled meats: sausages, steaks, pork spareribs and grilled lamb. The local red wine from Colle Val d’Elsa or Montalcino (not far away) makes for a perfect accompaniment. A carafe of the house red is a great choice, neither fruity nor tannic, it is well balanced and pleasant to drink; it goes well with the grilled meats without being overbearing or harsh. Desserts come from a local pasticceria.
The adjacent bar offers a quick coffee to people passing by and what is easily one of the best Panino con Porchetta [Herbed Roasted Pork (belly and loin) Sandwich] in all of Tuscany. It comes with two thick hand-sliced slabs of crusty white bread and packed with thick sliced porchetta, roasted herb stuffed pork belly and loin. Where porchetta is too often sliced thin and dead dry – this is the antithesis – thick, unctuous with fat, salty and savory. The meat counter is full of local cured meats, most better than anything you will find in the bigger cities: fresh Tuscan sausages to eat raw, wild boar salami, prosciutto and salami, as well as all types of pecorino cheeses.
Pass by early in the morning and instead it is the perfect place for coffee, and the pastry case offers a small selection of pastries, kept warm. Try the cream filled croissant for the crisp shattering layers of flaky dough and a surprise burst of thick warm pastry cream inside.
Signature Dishes: Pici al Ragu (Thick Spaghetti with Meat Sauce), Grigliata Mista (Mixed Grilled Meats)
Get It!: Panino con Porchetta (Roasted Pork Sandwich) at the bar
TIP: The adjacent bar serves excellent rustic sandwiches (try the porchetta!) filled with delicious cured meats on soft crusty bread.
Localita’ La Speranza, Colle di Val d’Elsa. tel: +39 0577 929696. Closed Tuesday.