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Montalcino: Il Moro

Via Mazzini, 44 , Phone: 0577.849.384

Closing day: Thursday

Reviewed by: cindylearuth from AK, review #2750

When: 2007

An excellent, non-touristy restaurant on a main street in Montalcino. Very good value.

I had read a review on Slow Trav of this restaurant and wanted to give it a try. We got there early, and had to wait for it to open. Even after opening, it looked like there was no one there. Inside, it looked fairly dark and dreary, and it was a beautiful day, so we questioned going in. We finally decided to go inside, and were lead to a lovely balcony off the back of the restaurant that is not visible from outside. There were about four tables out back.

This was one of our best meals, along with a beautiful location to enjoy it. Il Moro is also a great value - we had two primi, two secondi, water, and wine for a total of 36.50 euro! We started with pici with abruzzesa and a tagliattelle e ragu. Both were cooked perfectly and had a nice sauce. Then I had faraona in vin santo, and my husband had coniglio al Brunello. I had never had faraona before - it tasted like quail to me. It was very moist, and the Vin Santo imparted a nice sweet flavor. My husband enjoyed the flavor of his rabbit, but did not enjoy trying to cut the pieces of meat off the tiny bones. We were too full to have dessert.

Try this restaurant, you will be happy you did.

Reviewed by: Kevin Clark from Italy, review #2116

When: 2006

A very good and totally non-touristy place even though it's right on the main street through town. Excellent grilled meats.

Directions: Midway down Via Mazzini between Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Cavour

Il Moro is right on the main street through the center of Montalcino, with tourists wandering up and down, but is very much a local spot. I think we were the only people there who weren't regulars, and we were certainly the only tourists. It's not a fancy place, just a good basic family trattoria. The grandkids provided the entertainmnet, and an older daughter stopped by on her school lunch break for her plate of pasta. A bit like eating in the corner of the family dining room (which of course it is). The menu leans heavily to grilled secondi though other choices were available.

We started with pinci all’aglione (a spicy garlic & tomato sauce) and pappardelle with funghi porcini. I followed with grilled sausages, which were extremely good, and Kim had an equally good mixed grill. We also shared a nice green salad. Desserts seemed to be store-bought and frozen, so we skipped that in favor of a gelato down the street. With house wine, water, coffee lunch was less than €40 - a bargain considering how well we'd eaten.

Reviewed by: kaydee from TN, review #1622

When: 2005

Simple place frequented by locals. Good food, large portions, very reasonable price. Not a tourist place!

Directions: Center of town, down the street from city hall.

We ate at Il Moro twice during our month in Tuscany (May/June 2005). We returned a second time because we really liked what we experienced on our first visit: a local restaurant with good food, large portions, and a very reasonable price.

Our first visit was on a Wednesday. The restaurant is not at all fancy. There are a couple of dining rooms. We ate in the sunny back room. There is a very small terrace that looks off the side of Montalcino across the valley, but on this visit it was too cool for anyone to eat outside. The restaurant seemed filled with local people, and we may have been the only tourists. Most of the tables were occupied by workmen on their lunch break. This was definitely a family place - our waitress and perhaps the grandmother were also trying to take care of a small child. Our waitress spoke absolutely no English but was helpful and friendly.

Charley and I had risotto for a primi, and Kelly had her favorite pasta arrabiata. For our secondi, I had grilled sausages. Charley and Kelly both had grilled chicken. We were hungry for meat, because we found it was usually too expensive to eat in many of the Italian restaurants. The prices were very reasonable. I had a side of fries which we all shared and Charley had a side of beans. We also had a carafe of the house wine. We got lots of food for €38. Most of the workmen seemed to be getting big bowls and platters of food that were shared with the whole table. We liked the fact that they all drank wine with lunch - not something you would see in the USA!

On the second visit (the same week on a Friday) the restaurant wasn't nearly as crowded. We were actually the first ones there, as we like to eat closer to noon and I learned that for Italians the lunch hour is more like 1:00. We ate in the back room again, and more people arrived while we were eating.

We ordered even more food this time, inspired by our previous meal. This time Kelly had a mezzo order of pasta and the grilled chicken. Charley and I shared pasta with gorgonzola cheese (one of my favorites). Then I ordered the grilled meat platter (what I thought the workmen had ordered on our other visit). This came with sausages, a little steak and pork ribs. I shared this with Charley who had the full order of grilled sausages. We also had a couple of shared side orders and a full carafe of wine. Wow! Needless to say, we didn't have much dinner that night. Our bill for this second visit was €45, impacted by the cost of the grilled meat platter.

We liked this place because it was a non-tourist place. The food was simple and extremely good. We definitely understand why local people eat here and must keep coming back.

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

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