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San Casciano: Cinque di Vino

Viale San Franceso, 32 , Phone: 0558228116
Closing day: Monday

Reviewed by: coldbrews from NC, review #3805

When: 2011

Excellent food served by a husband/wife team that make you feel like old friends from the moment you walk in the door.

Directions: The restaurant itself is on a piazza so you cannot drive to the front door. you have to park in a public space a block or more away and walk.

Me, Marco and a Bistecca at Cinque di Vino, photo by

I read about Cinque di Vino online before we left for Italy and made reservations with Marco directly for a Tuesday evening. As soon as my wife and I entered the restaurant, we were warmly greeted my Marco and his wife Silvia.

The restaurant is relatively small with about 9 tables inside and maybe 5 or so in a glassed sunroom-type structure on the front. It's a sort of rustic atmosphere with wooden tables and chairs. As the restaurant filled up, it was clear almost all the diners were local Italians and not tourists.

Marco did a great job of explaining the specials offered that evening as well as anything else on the menu. He had several specials with white truffles, but said they may not be offered since they hadn't arrived. Just then, a man walked in with a small paper bag delivering the truffles. Marco brought them over to us so we could see.

In the end, we ordered the assorted antipasto platter for two that he had strongly recommended and we are glad we did. Each of the 6 different items were to be eaten in a specific order, and each was delicious - the highlight of our trip. Three in particular stood out - fried zucchini flowers that were amazing, Marco's "tuna" which is shredded pork over a bed of white beans, which was fabulous, and crostini with sauteed onions with a balsamic sauce - great.

For the main course, I wanted the bistecca alla Fiorentina, but it would probably be too big for me and my wife doesn't like rare meat. I had heard that many restaurants will refuse to serve it if anyone wants it cooked more than rare. Marco told us he brings his bistecca to the table on its own small grill and he would cut some for my wife so it could cook more. The bistecca, about 2 3/4 lbs was very good and very flavorful. I got to eat mine on the rare side and my wife got to eat hers more medium. Marco said the bistecca is one of his specialties, and judging by the other tables that ordered it, it seems to be true.

For dessert, my wife had creme brulee and I had a chocolate cake that was probably the best I ever had - it just dissolved in my mouth.

All told, for the antipasto, the bistecca, roast potatoes, desserts, a bottle of wine, bottled water, and the coperto it was 101 Euros. The bistecca was 37 euros per kilo, which was reasonable compared to other restaurants I saw during our stay. It was a great meal and we will remember the antipasto for a long time. Marco treated us like old friends throughout the evening. I highly recommend eating at Cinque di Vino.

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

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