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Montepulciano: Il Cantuccio

Via delle Cantine, 1 , Phone: 0578.757.870

Closing day: Monday

Reviewed by: Kevin Clark from Italy, review #2420

When: 2007

Good food but the service was a little over the top for our taste. A good choice if you're looking for upscale dining.

Directions: Just off the main street in the lower part of Montepulciano.

If you enjoy a more upscale style of dining with fairly formal service, you'll probably like this restaurant, but that's not really our thing. The meal was good, but we probably won't return as there are better values for our taste.

The dining room was very nice. All of the customers were tourists, and all seemed to be speaking English. The menu was fairly traditional, as were the portions and presentation. This isn't nouvelle cuisine (or paint-the-food-on-the-plates dining) in any sense. The service was the sort of over the top, semi-formal style that just doesn't appeal to us. For example, we ordered a fairly ordinary bottle of Vino Nobile and got the full ceremony - glasses rinsed, bottle decanted, etc. - when simply opening the bottle and putting it on the table would have been just fine. I know many people like this sort of thing, so this may not be as off-putting for many as it was for us.

The food, as I said, was very good. Mom & Dad started with an insalata mista. Kim had pici con sugo di anatra and I had risotto con funghi porcini. The risotto had little or no cheese which was very different from other versions of this dish that I've had, but was very good. Mom and Dad then had agnello alla brace as they love lamb and hadn't had much of it on this trip. Kim had pollo e coniglio alla Etrusca (wine & garlic, if I remember correctly) and I had an excellend cinghiale cacciatore. We also had a side dish of piselli con pancetta which was nice.

We had a bottle of Il Convento Vino Nobile with our meal. With water and coffee dinner cost 130 euros - the most expensive meal of the trip. The markups on wine here seemed much higher than elsewhere (24 for a bottle of Rosso that I could buy in town for 8, for example - perhaps not unusual in the USA, but high compared to other places in this area) which largely accounted for this.

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

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