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Exclusive private all-organic food and wine tour in Chianti with visit to 2 wineries, tastings, and organic goat cheese Continue reading Chianti Organic: Wine & Artisan Cheese
Who’s Who of Wine, Cheese and Restaurants We begin this full day with a visit to one of the best cheese makers in Tuscany, renowned for fresh sheep’s milk cheese which are made only seasonally. Depending on the time of year we may taste fresh or aged cheeses including everything from sheep’s milk mozzarella to classic pecorino to a soft-ripened “mistake” so great that it … Continue reading Tastemakers and Trendsetters of Chianti
Dario DOC also called McDarios is this famed butchers take on fast food. Continue reading Dario DOC
Charming restaurant in the medeival borgo of San Donato – excellent homemade pasta and long braised meats. Continue reading Antica Trattoria La Toppa
After the overdose of German, French, Dutch and English conversations you’ve heard at the tables of the other restaurants of Chianti, it is worth giving Osteria Le Panzanelle a try. Yes, you will still find tourists here. But you will also find Italians, lots of them; they come here for the great value. This small restaurant in a tiny town between Panzano and Radda in … Continue reading Osteria Le Panzanelle
Rustic trattoria where Chianti locals go for the best Bistecca Fiorentina around – with Chianina beef of course. Continue reading Trattoria “Da Bule”
Osteria Alla Piazza is a peaceful oasis in Chianti. Outside any of the principal towns it is an idyllic escape, at once both typical and unique. Built into one of the many stone medieval borgos that pepper the region, it is both beautiful and charming. Drive by in the evening and you are captivated by the warm glow from within, softly illuminating the old stone … Continue reading Osteria Alla Piazza
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. Continue reading “La Speranza”