Wine / Food

The area surrounding the Arceno Estate is laden with exciting Enoteca’s, Osteria’s, Ristorante’s and Taverna’s whose Owners are committed to providing an authentic Tuscan food and wine experience.

I have just begun to document the wonderful gastronomical experiences I have been privileged to have in Tuscany. Enjoy!

Restaurant Pizzeria Il Bivacco, Colonna Del Grillo (outside Castelnuovo Berardenga)

tel. 0577352009 

IMG_2184

Do not miss an opportunity to go to this local favourite.

An extensive list of local wines and a menu of hearty traditional Tuscan food awaits you. Il Bivacco, literally has something for everyone!

The options range from fresh handmade pasta (gnocchi, tagliatelle, pici, risotto, spaghetti etc), seasonal specials (mushrooms, truffle, artichoke, chestnut etc), fish dishes, local cheeses, antipasto’s, soups and meats (wild boar, duck, pork, steaks etc).

This is our absolute favourite place for thin crust wood fire pizza which you can watch being made. The cook efficiently twirls the pizza dough in the air and loads up the pie with your choice of white or tomato sauce and toppings. Made the traditional way…..the pizza with the pig cheek is succulent.

You can sit on the restaurant side or at a table in the room with the vaulted ceiling. We always sit on the side with the vaulted ceiling so we can watch the Italian families come and go, seasonal workers filling their hungry bellies and local expats trying to decide what to eat.

The environment at night has a steady hum as the male waiters buzz by you, running from table to table taking orders.

Pick out your Florentine steak and watch it being grilled at the back of the room. If you have a dog, they will give you the steak bone to take home to your faithful canine.

This place is just a treat, now look at this satisfied customer below.

IMG_6967

Villa A Sesta (outside Castelnuovo Berardenga) 

Osteria Alla Villa (no web site)
tel. +39 345 170 5441

This quaint Osteria is located in the charming village of Villa A Sesta. We simply refer to the Osteria as “Rodolfo’s”.

Rodolfo is the Proprietor and his talented wife Angie, does all the incredible Tuscan cooking.

The menu is simple, authentically Tuscan and the ingredients are fresh. The result is a world-class meal which is not pretentious and served in a cosy environment.

IMG_2549

The menu has seasonal changes, which when they appear Rodolfo may say “my family or friend gave me the pumpkins”. There is an array of homemade pasta’s, wild meats, fish, appetizer’s, salads and desserts. The portions are a good size and you do not leave hungry except, for your next meal!

We especially enjoy the artichoke piccolo torta (small torte) nestled in chicken livers simmered in Vin Santo.

IMG_2547
The artichoke tart nestled in chicken livers simmered in Vin Santo, Yum!

The fresh homemade seasonal zucca (pumpkin) filled ravioli with butter and sage sauce as well as, the osso buco, fresh wild boar stew served over polenta and anatra (duck), with a red wine reduction keeps us coming back for more.  The desserts are delicious and the wine list which is local, is excellent. Try the red house wine!

 If you have dinner in the summer, dine on the patio and enjoy watching the birds swoop around the church tower at sunset.

SIENA:

La Taverna di San Giuseppe
http://www.tavernasangiuseppe.it
tel. +39 0577 42286

Following my week of Italian classes my husband and I celebrated at La Taverna di San Giuseppe. Literally located at the top of the alleyway (described in my post of May 21st), near Il Campo parking. As you descend to the Piazza del Campo stop at the taverna if it is open and make a reservation on route.

IMG_0598
It is a great location if you want to grab a typical Tuscan lunch following a day shopping or studying in Siena. The walk back up the alley to the taverna will make you hungry and feel deserving!

The tavern is always packed with visitors, students and locals when we’ve been there. The typical Tuscan food is fresh and the service is attentive. There is always a buzz in the air due the interior of the taverna. The environment is somewhat like a grotto and if you want to snuggle up, ask for the table at the back left. Make sure you visit the wine cellar.

IMG_0609
They do speak some English but I prefer to fumble through the pronunciation of my food and order in Italian. They are particularly patient.

They have an extensive wine list but the Chianti Classico house wine is excellent with the food, and as the server stated it is “forte” on the strong side.

During our meal we had appetizers of warm Tuscan style chicken liver pate served with warmed toasted bread and beef spleen and fungi crostini served with polenta as well.

The homemade pastas are worth ordering and I had the pici with wild boar sauce and the in season fungi while my husband had the spring inspired gnocchi. Delicious!

The tiramisu which we shared, was the best I have had with fresh hazelnuts bits on the top. We finished with espresso and we were set sailing for the rest of the day.