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Siena: La Taverna di Cecco

Via Cecco Angliolieri, 19 , Phone: 0677.288.318

Closing day: None

Reviewed by: Kevin Clark from Italy, review #2088

When: 2006

Small and very busy with very good Tuscan specialities. Get there early or go late, as it's very popular.

Directions: Just off Piazza Tolomei, a couple of blocks from the Campo

This was the closest restaurant to our apartment on our September trip to Siena. We had dinner there twice and passed by it almost every day for two weeks. The menu is written on a chalkboard, as though it were a list of specials, but it didn't seem to change during our two week stay. Still, the choices were varied and interesting (and there is also a printed menu with more choices), so there was no problem finding interesting things to try.

The restaurant is small and has a few tables out front on the street. It seemed to be popular with early diners as there was almost always someone out front eating by 6:30 or so. We went later and the place was almost completely full on both visits (we didn't book). Most of the customers seemed to be tourists, not surprising in this location. Service was fast-paced and efficient.

On our first visit, we shared an order of a very good pici in cinghiale (wild boar) sauce, the first of many plates of pici enjoyed on this trip. I then had the "bocconcini" of chicken breast served in a sauce of mixed wild mushrooms which was outstanding. Kim had scallopine alla balsamico which was also very good. With a half liter of house wine, water and coffee, dinner was around 40.

On our return, Kim again had the pici with cinghiale sauce and I had pappardelle with a rabbit sauce. Both were very good, though I wasn't thrilled with the bits of bone in my sauce. This time we both had the chicken with wild mushrooms - OK so we're boring! - and it was as good as before. With a nice bottle of Chianti Colli Senesi Riserva (can't remember whose), water, and coffee, dinner was about 60.

Reviewed by: jgk from FL, review #2030

When: 2006

Our favorite! Cucina Senese and a little bit more. Great wine list, great service, great food. Around E20/ person with good wine and dessert.

We ate with Gianni and company 3 times in our 2 weeks in Siena and were delighted each time. Stand out dishes were: Tagliatelle with rucola and funghi, chicken cacciatore, pici with boar ragu, gnocchi with white sauce and sausage, pesto, veggies in agrodolce sauce. Everything we ate was totally homemade, fresh and wonderful. Great tiramisu, too!

Usually a good mix of locals and tourists eat there--more locals. One night there was a big table of Norwegians.

We drank whatever wine Gianni suggested and it was always wonderful. If you go, please say you are from Slow Travel. I showed him the review from last year and he was thrilled with it!

Reviewed by: jgk from FL, review #1380

When: 2005

A Favorite! Wonderful warm service at a family run trattoria. Two menus: daily and traditional. Desserts cooked by the grandmother, of course. Good wine list.

Directions: Just behind Piazza Tolomei.

We loved this place and chose it for our last meal in Siena. The daily menu is written on a dry erase board that they bring to your table. One night I wanted veggies and pasta and there was only risotto al verdure on the menu, so they made me exactly what I wanted. The food is all very fresh and homey tasting. My favorite dish there was Pollo con funghi. It had small pieces of boneless chicken with a large variety of mushrooms, not just porcini like we'd had everywhere else. The combination of mushrooms made the flavor that much more complex ... just like a good blended wine.

Speaking of wine--for our last night we splurged on a wonderful Nobile di Montepulciano. We had originally ordered a pricier bottle but Gianni suggested this one. He put on quite a show decanting it into 3 different glasses for me and the wine lived up to the show. It was just right! There was a good mix of locals and tourists in this friendly spot.

Don't miss it!

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

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