Tuscany

A repeat client of  Aielli & Benevento is biking through Umbria and Tuscany so thought we would arrange a road map of quality meals.  While it is very hard to find bad food in the Tuscan and Umbrian hills , here is our short list  of dinner/ luncheon spots worth pedaling to.

From Michelin ranked to Trip Advisor recommended, …we welcome your comments.

> Osteria Acquacheta (di Giulio Ciolfi) (Montepulciano)

Via del Teatro 2 | Tel#: 0578 717086 |www.acquacheta.eu/english.html

Closed Tuesdays. Two seatings @ lunch1215 pm  & 2:15pm. This is the place to eat when in Montepulciano. The place is very small, informal, and a bit crowded, but the food was excellent. There were lots of locals eating at wood tables lining a narrow space, and the menu was “cucina tipica” for southern Tuscany.

> La Tenda Rossa (Cerbaia in Val di Pesa)

Address: Piazza del Monumento 9/14 | | Hours: Monday to Saturday lunch and dinner/closed lunchtime Monday | Tel#:: 055 826132 | www.latendarossa.it; .info@latendarossa.it .

You’ll have to travel outside of the city to reach this spot. But you will eat at a restaurant maintained by 3 families. And for that the Michelin guide says it’s 3 times as good.

> Osteria di Passignano (Badia a Passignano)

Address: Via Passignano 33 | Hours: 12:15 – 14:15 / 19:30 – 22:00 | Tel#: 055 807 1278 | www.osteriadipassignano.com.

This restaurant isn’t inside the city, but halfway between Siena and Florence in chianti classico (picture rolling hills and cypress lined roads in the most famous region in Tuscany). You could stay at the Agriturismo Fonte de’ Medici — it takes incredible willpower not to board a plane instantly to do just that. I could be there by tomorrow, poolside, with a wine cellar visit and reservation at Osteria di Passignano. Perfection.

> Il Tempio del Gusto (Spoleto)

Address: Via Arco di Druso, 11 I Tel#: 0743/47121; Tel #: 339/3988288 | www.iltempiodelgusto.com|  info@iltempiodelgusto.com | Chiusura settimanale il Giovedì.

The Winery + Restaurant aka THE TEMPLE OF TASTE sits on the ruins of the temple and the old road preconsolare. This restaurant was recently named a Top Ten by Trip Advisor’s users’ survey of all Italy restaurants. The chef and owner is Eros Patriz.

> Ristorante Coccorone (Montefalco, Perugia)

Address: L.go Tempestivi, 11 I Tel#: 0742 379535; coccorone@libero.it | website: Closed Wednesdays | www.coccorone.com

Some will claim “Coccorone is the best restaurant in Umbria.” The restaurant is very nicely decorated in red and gold and romantically lit.The small city of Montefalco is a lovely place to drink wine and sit on the terrace of this restaurant and have a very nice and relaxing meal. The restaurant’s specialties: Bistecca Chianina and Pasta al Sagrantino. We also recommend the Stringozzi ai funghi porcini. The service is always helpful and friendly.

> Il Goccino (Lucignano, Arezzo)

Address: Via Giacomo Matteotti, 90 |

Tel#:  0575 836707 | www.ilgoccino.it/en/ Best for lunch.  Outside terrace. The Chic Pea soup will not disappoint. The Lamb Chops and salad excellent. The dining room and even the restroom is filled with interesting art work.

> Ristorante Arnolfo (Colle di Val d’Elsa )

Address: Via XX Settembre, 52 | Tel#: 0577/920549 | www.arnolfo.com

Fodor’s review: Food lovers should not miss Arnolfo, one of Tuscany’s most highly regarded restaurants. Chef Gaetano Trovato sets high standards of creativity; his dishes daringly ride the line between innovation and tradition, almost always with spectacular results. The menu changes frequently but you are always sure to find fish and lots of fresh vegetables in the summer. You’re in for a treat if the specials include carrè di agnello al vino rosso e sella alle olive (rack of lamb in a red wine sauce and lamb saddle with olives).

> Ristorante Albergaccio (Castellina in Chianti)

Address: Via Fiorentina, 63 | Tel#: 0577 741042 | posta@albergacciocast.com | www.albergacciocast.com

(1 Michelin star) Fodor’s review: “The fact that the dining room can seat only 35 guests makes a meal here an intimate experience. The ever-changing menu mixes traditional and creative dishes. In late September and October zuppa di funghi e castagne (mushroom and chestnut soup) is a treat; grilled meats and seafood are on the list throughout the year. There’s also an excellent wine list.