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San Giovanni d'Asso: La Locanda del Castello

Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, 4 , Phone: 0577.802.063

Closing day: Wednesday

Reviewed by: Kevin Clark from Italy, review #2396

When: 2007

A very nice meal, somewhat more upscale than most of the places we tried on this trip. Excellent food and a friendly waiter from Naples!

Directions: In the castle at the top of the town

We ended up here after our visit to Monte Oliveto Maggiore kind of by accident after the place we'd planned to eat in Chiusure was closed that day (an error on the TuscanHouse restaurant list!). It turned out to be a very nice meal in very pleasant surroundings. We were a little early (maybe 12:30) so we were almost the only customers, though a few more came in later.

It's located in the hotel of the same name, in the castle in the center of town. The castle also houses the Truffle Museum which we must go back someday to visit. The dining room was very well furnished, if a bit fancier than most of the places we visited. The menu was interesting and the service was excellent and very friendly, especially when the waiter learned that we lived in Naples. He was from Naples himself and was very happy to hear that we loved his hometown! It turned out that he has a friend who works in one of our favorite restaurants outside Naples (Family Nest in Bacoli, where we had a very nice mini-GTG with Poet123 and her husband last year).

Mom and I both started with the maccheroni alla chitarra con pesto di herbe e pecorino. The pasta was clearly fresh and homemade and the sauce was wonderful. Kim had ravioli con ricotta e salvia and her Dad had pici con ragu senese (a strong contender in our "best ragu" contest). For secondi, Mom and Dad both had a plate of carciofi. Kim had bocconcini di cinghiale con polenta and I had tagliata di brace served with some excellent roasted potatoes. Both dishes were outstanding. We shared a bottle of a very nice Orcia Rosso, and had water and coffee. Lunch came to just under 120 Euros, a little more than our average but not bad for the quality of the meal.

Reviewed by: ellens from NJ, review #751

When: 2004

Hard to find but worth the effort - beautiful room and excellent food at unbelievably low prices.

Directions: Built into the castle walls, the restaurant is a little hard to find but worth it. There is a back door entrance from the town's main parking area. To reach the front entrance, turn left just past the parking lot and follow around the castle wall to the other side.

Our group of 15 had an excellent meal here on a Monday night. The owner warned us that because it was a small restaurant and we were a large group he might not be able to please everyone if we all chose the same dishes. Not to worry, there was sufficient variety, everyone got what they wanted and no one was disappointed. The only thing more pleasant than the food and the atmosphere was the check - at only 32 euros per person (including copious amounts of wine)we were sure there must have been a mistake but there was not.

Reviewed by: Joanna from NY, review #635

When: 2003

Elegant restaurant in an out of the way town in southern Tuscany. My best meal on my most recent trip.

Directions: Within the castle walls right in town

An elegant and innovative family run (young couple with some serious culinary training and mom behind the register) restaurant inside the castle walls. They do this incredible raviolone with a poached egg inside. And they do something incredible with eggplant as a contorno. Their beefsteak Fiorentina is fabulous. There were four of us and the service was friendly and interested. Dinner probably came to about $40 per person.

The website for the hotel La Locanda del Castello includes restaurant info.

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

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