Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Regional Tuscan Cooking at it's best!

During one of our lightening fast trips to Tuscany for work, we stopped in at a restaurant and locanda we had passed by in the car on numerous occasions but never had the time to stop in. This is a gem, one worth planning your trip around just to immerse yourself in an atmosphere of top notch Tuscan country living.

This is a small locale hosting rooms as well as, the restaurant and being the curious one that I am, we requested to see the rooms; such a nice surprise to find them done tastefullly and with all the amenties one might wish. Granted, it is over the autostrada and very close to the exit so if you plan on staying for a while, it might be noisy but then again, while soggiorning at Hotel Rosati, I never noticed the traffic noise and this hotel is just a few steps away. Great place for an encounter, dinner downstairs and just crawl or race to the room afterwards. Sex, languid, steamy kiss, cozy.

The decor of t
he dinning room is ultra classic rustic Tuscan tables, with tables out side for the hotter months. This is a wonderful place for a quick meal or for something completely sumptious, slow and satisfying. The waitresses are patient and friendly and the food is cooked to order; (grilled specialties). One of my favorites was the bruschetta done with freshly grilled/roasted tuscan bread (which as you all know is salt free not to detract from the food). If you are dinning with more than two people, order different appetizers and share, the salame, cinta senese products as well as the cinghiale are out of this world and NOT to be missed. Do not expect a wine list, when asked she trotted back with three bottles of red, all Tuscan of course, a Montepulciano Rosso, and two Brunellos and all three super reasonably priced. I just picked one, the Montepulciano red and we were super satisfied with it, a perfect marriage with the meal. Two other "not-to-miss" dishes are the fagioli al fiasco and the ceci both boiled and served piping hot in their own cooking juice and dressed with a splash of fresh pressed olive oil (yes it was November time of the olive harvests). Anything chosen from the grill is fabulous as are the pasta dishes and the deserts are all homemade (did not have room for even a glance at those).

So, next trip to Tuscany or first timers, plan a journey through Chiusi (Etruscan heaven), Sarteano (wonderful tombs to visit), Montepulciano, Perugia, Orvieto and Siena and make base camp here at the Chiusi Chianciano crossroad, (Loc. Querce al Pino) you will save a few pennies as well as find some of the best Tuscan meals to be had. Oh, and do not forget to make a stop off in Pienza at the cheese and salame shops, pick u
p a finocchiona and salame both made from the Cinta Senese pork...your taste buds will thank you.

La Locanda della Ribollita

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