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Montepulciano: Borgo Buio

Via Borgo Buio 10 , Phone: 0578 717497
Closing day: Monday

Reviewed by: Tessmar from CA, review #3338

When: 2009

Wonderfully romantic atmosphere, helpful staff, and good food

Directions: The restaurant shares it's name with a street that angles off the main street in Montepulciano (which at this point is called via di Gracciano nel Corso), just off Piazza Michelozzo, Torre Pdi Pucinella and Chiesa San Agostino

The web site pictures do not do justice to this place. The vaulted brick ceiling of the ground floor of the building divides the ristorante into several smaller chambers that are suffused with warm lighting and filled with interesting art work and photographs. The menu changes frequently so from a culinary standpoint each time you go it is a fresh experience.

The waitress was surprised when I ordered spaghetti puttenesca, as she said she could not recall anyone else ever asking for the dish. Despite that it was exactly as it should be, with a perfect blend of the right ingredients as well as the spice balance that defines this pasta dish. My wife had penne with pesto and the pesto was also perfect, without the overpowering oil dominance that can spoil this sauce.

We were with friends who are limited as to the dishes they will eat, and so I had asked in the afternoon when I made reservations if they could get pizza, even though the restaurant usually only makes it for lunch. This was a mistake, as the two pizzas were rather bland and the crust almost soggy. Perhaps this is because the pizza chef for lunch does not work at night and someone else was filling in.

On the other hand the bruschetta pomodoro was spectacular, even though that is not usually a term one thinks of with such a simple dish. It is so easy to have this be boring or sloppy with oil, but in this case it was in total balance with chopped rather than whole tomatoes, and had a flavor that can only be called lively. It was the best bruschetta we had on our trip.

Borgo Buio is not inexpensive, but given the surroundings and generally high quality of the food I think it is worth the price.

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

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