Villa di Piazzano

When I asked Lori what she wanted for her birthday this year she said she’d like to go to Tuscany and visit our friends at the Villa di Piazzano. We’ve been to the Villa many times and always return because to leave the Villa is like leaving relatives behind in Tuscany. Many places can offer a nice room but few can make you feel like family. The Villa itself is a virtual landmark with a long and rich history. The Wimpole family has managed to upgrade and modernize the Villa in tasteful manner adding all the modern amenities you would expect but still maintaining the “Old World” charm. They have recently added a new Sommelier and do wine tastings in the afternoon. We always are sure to dine at least one evening at the Villa with our friend the bubbly Chef Gabriella. Well I can go on forever with our pauses for the Villa but as they say “TRY IT YOU”LL LIKE IT”.

 

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Ristorante Walter Redaelli, Bettolle, Tuscany, Italy

Back home on the ranch in the Cortona area of Tuscany, we decided to try some new places.  We had a conversation with Alessandra the owner of Villa di Piazzano inquiring about any new and exciting restaurants in the area.  She recommended Walter Redaelli.  Coincidentally, we ran into her and her family two days later having dinner at Walter Redaelli.  We had dinner and lunch at Walter the same day.  We liked it so much at lunch we had to try a dinner. Walter uses only the finest locally sourced in season products.  Once the bread basket arrived we knew we were in for something special.  The wine list was excellent with many of my favorite local wines including a reasonably priced Brunello by the glass.  They had the largest Brunello glass we have ever seen.  The pasta course consisted of the most wonderful fluffy mushroom and truffle gnocchi topped with a Gorgonzola sauce.  We also had the Pici which is a hand rolled pasta served in southern Tuscany. The Pici was prepared with artichokes and a tiny bits of Cinta Sense bacon (local bacon).  It was delicately flavored to perfection with parsley from the garden and pecorino cheese.  The Primi was the most amazing Beef Carpaccio with a bit of arugula and cheese dressed with a balsamic reduction.  We also had a wonderful Salmon Carpiccio with artichokes. In the evening we had a special stewed neck of beef that cut with a fork and melted in your mouth.  Deserts were amazing !!  Prior to desert we had a tasting of several local chocolates.  Of course we finished with a bit of local desert wine… This is truly a fine dining experience in Tuscany!!  You cannot go wrong with anything on the menu.  We can’t wait to return in the Spring and try the seasonal specials.

 

Walter Redaelli

53040 Bettolle –
Sinalunga (Siena)
Via XXI Aprile, 10
Tel. / Fax 0577 623447
cell: 335 397648

 

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La Bucaccia, Cortona, Tuscany, Italy

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In the Famous hilltop village of Cortona, La Bucaccia is conveniently located near the center of town. The owner and manager, Romano personally greets all of his guest with his unique style of humor. The menu is traditional Tuscan with some excellent specialities of the day. La Bucaccia’s wine cellar is Ramano’s pride and joy. He will gladly give you a guided tour and help you select a fine choice to accompany your dinner.  Romano loves to play with the guest cameras and has perfected this technique of photographing them through a wine glass.  We have dined there several times and have always enjoyed our meal. This evening we were accompanied by our dearest friends Bianca and  Enzo.

I would certainly recommend that you visit La Bucaccia for an enjoyable meal and entertaining evening.

BTW: The bottle of 1995 Avignonesi Vin Santo was not in the cellar, We acquired it elsewhere and shared some with Romano… This bottle is hard to find and is a heavenly experience.

Link to La Bucaccia

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Biondi Santi, MONTALCINO, ITALY

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We were honored to have a private tour and tasting at Biondi-Santi the birthplace of Brunello di Montalcino. Private tours are the only type available at Biondi-Santi.  I recommend booking well in advance because they are very limited. Our tasting included a 2000 Brunello. This is the epitome of wine tasting in Montalcino.

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Ristorante di Poggio Antico, Tuscany, Italy

The Ristorante di Poggio Antico is located on the vineyard Poggio Antico and is run independently by Roberto Minnetti is another true fine dining experience in Tuscany. We enjoyed Lori’s birthday lunch out on the patio so much we returned with Josh and Kelly the next year for dinner inside. The firsts included traditional Tuscan bread salad and a foie gras accompanied by rock candy. Pasta was made in the house and had that marvelous texture you find only in homemade pasta. Wine choices are easy being as the house wine is Poggio Antico for lunch we had the light Rosso(very nice) and for dinner my favorite Brunello(Heavenly). The pork, lamb and fish mains all received universal accolades. The Minnetti’s made us feel very welcome and we will surely return as soon as possible.

Ristorante di Poggio Antico directly (phone/fax +39 0577 849200, email ristorantedipoggioantico@gmail.com).

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Palazzo del Capitano

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Located in the center of the small Tuscan town of San Quirico d’Orcia is this charming boutique hotel Palazzo dell Capitano. San Quirico is conveniently located near MONTALCINO, PIENZA, MONTEPULCIANO making it a nice hub for wine tasting. The room we stayed  in was rather large and decorated in a Tuscan fashion. In town, there are two wonderful restaurants (that I will review in a future post) one independently owned and one that is owned by the hotel.  Each morning at the hotel they put out a wonderful breakfast buffet including these awesome baked goods. I recommend after dropping your bags, parking outside of town and walking up the stairs. The Hotel did offer garage parking however it’s only large enough for a SMART car,LOL, I dented the side of our BMW trying to get it in. We both enjoyed our stay at Palazzo del Capitano and would highly recommend it to others.

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