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Castelnuovo dell'Abate: Antica Osteria del Bassomondo

Via di Bassomondo, 7 , Phone: 0577.835619

Closing day: Monday

Reviewed by: Doru from Canada, review #2771

When: 2007

A relaxed setting, in a rustic atmosphere, offering good food and good value.

Directions: On the road to Abazzia di Sant'Antimo, at the entrance to Castelnuovo dell'Abate.

A group of cyclists stopped for lunch at Osteria del Bassomondo, photo by Doru

We were driving from to the Abbazia di Sant’Antimo and have just decided that we must have lunch when the first houses of Castelnuovo dell’Abate appeared in front of us. At the intersection, two restaurants. We parked on the side of the road and walked across to Ristorante La Piazzetta. It turned out it was closed on Tuesdays and, by default, we then became customers of the Antica Osteria del Bassomondo.

It turned out to be an excellent default. The Osteria is a typical Mom and Pop restaurant. In fact more Mom and Mom as a few women of varying ages did the reception, sitting, cooking and waiting. At a long table, to the side near the kitchen a long table was occupied by the men of the family, and a couple of people who seemed to be local workers. They all looked as if they just come in from the fields after a morning of work. A few minutes later a boy with a backpack joined them, probably back from school. A very peaceful, rustic scene.

We had a very good pinci con funghi (thick, hand rolled spaghetti with mushrooms); an arrosto misto (which included chicken, duck and piglet–polo, aranta and maialino); a polo arrosto (roast of chicken); and patatine fritte (thin fries). Bread, mineral water, three coffees (two for me, because the coffee was very good and the afternoon still young) and a glass of red completed a very satisfying lunch.

Cost for two - 34.60 euro, a bargain by any standards.

Reviewed by: Kim (moderator) from NJ, review #1448

When: 2005

Really basic food, no ambience, family-run restaurant; not bad for lunch when hiking to the abbey & you don't have a car to get to a better place in Montalcino.

Directions: There’s a sign for Bassomondo as you enter the town, it’s to your left.

Chris and I ate at Bassomondo on the day we hiked from Montalcino to the Abbey of Sant'Antimo. It's the only place we remembered in the area, that seemed open, and honestly I was too darn thirsty to search for something else.

We sat outside at a small table at a funny angle, crammed in between picnic tables occupied by workmen but in the shade and comfortable. Once I completely downed the first liter of water our waitress brought, I felt much better from the effects of the hike.

For our primi, Chris ordered the pinci con funghi and I the pinci con ragu both were fine, almost delicious but who knows at this point if it was the food or the fact that we were ravenous from the walk. For our secondi, we both ordered the sausage with what we thought would be beans (reminiscent of the sausage I enjoyed at Grappolo Blu). Imagine our surprise when we received sausage accompanied with something that well, looked like, well, I don’t know what it looked like – a large lump of stuffed derma perhaps. Turned out to be pig’s liver sausage! Hey, what did we know, beans and pigs liver both start with ‘F.’ We both gave it a mild taste but passed.

We skipped dessert and other than an inordinately long time to get the check (twenty minutes) which actually forced us inside to track down our waitress, the service was fine. The bill for the two of us, with two bottles of water and two carafes of the house red came to 40 euro. I think we'd both give it one star (i.e., if you're there and need a place to eat, it's acceptable but nothing to go out of your way for).

Reviewed by: Tracy from NC, review #160

When: 2001

We ate here a few times in June 2001 and loved it.

Directions: Near the Sant'Antimo monastery.

Reviewed by: Tom from CA, review #161

When: 2001

This place is just where you turn to go to the monastery. I had some great Ravioli there.

Directions: Near the Sant'Antimo monastery.

Reviewed by: Pauline from NM (moderator), review #159

When: 2000

We had a good lunch here between the 12:45 chanting and the 2:45 chanting. A simple and inexpensive family-run restaurant. Recommended by TuscanHouse.

Directions: Near Sant'Antimo monastery.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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