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Panzano: Oltre Il Giardino

Piazza G. Bucciarelli , Phone: 055 852828
Closing day: Monday

Reviewed by: Jane from CA, review #2150

When: 2006

This was an OK lunch, but we have had much better. The location is nice with an outside seating area overlooking the countryside.

The interior dining area is warm and inviting and it looks like a nice place for a wintry night. But, we probably will not try it again, as there are so many places to eat that we know are good. The food is not bad, just rather uninspiring.

Reviewed by: cristina from Italy, review #1963

When: 2006

Overpriced mediocre food. A place that caters to tourists in my opinion.

I had read two good reviews here so since we happened to be in Panzano at lunchtime, I decided to take my visiting uncle and my two children to this restaurant. HUGE mistake.

They have the regular menu then the specials items that are supplied by Dario Cecchini's butcher shop. This mini menu had three items, and we decided to start with the burro di Chianti crostini. I love this stuff and buy it at his shop, it is basically lard that has seasonings added, but because it was placed under the grill, it just tasted oily. Not worth 5 for 5 little pieces. My uncle then decided on the prosciutto and mozzarella plate (4 slices of prosciutto and 3 small mozzarella balls for 12!). I also ordered this for my eldest daughter. For my other, I just ordered pasta al burro (tagliatelle pasta with butter). I had wanted to get pasta al pomodoro for my eldest but they said they didn't have tomato sauce (this is the first time in 12 years of living here that a restaurant has not had tomato sauce, a staple since many children will only have this or pasta al burro). They also did not have spaghetti, penne, fusilli, etc. types of pasta.

As my first course I had bruschetta al pomodoro (grilled Tuscan bread with tomatoes, olive oil and basil). The only thing I tasted was salt. My uncle then had a mixed green salad (well it was lettuce, some carrots, about a 1/4 of a tomato) then I ordered another mozzarella and prosciutto for my daughters to share and I had the fried chicken. The chicken coating was soft and mushy, not crunchy like I had hoped. We drank two 1/2 liters of water with the meal. Total cost was 85. This will not be a place I would ever return to.

Reviewed by: Sandra Pierce from IL, review #993

When: 2004

Casual, fun place with good food and a lovely terrace view - go there!

I read a review of this place in a guidebook and DivinaCucina added it to her website and recommended it since we were staying in Panzano. Glad we went - twice!

The terrace overlooks the countryside and is very pretty at sunset. We started with 2 glasses of prosecco to enjoy the view. Rex had risotto al funghi, I had ravioli with ricotta and spinach, and Stephanie and Alex had penne pomodoro which they polished off. We split a bistecca fiorentina and a side of fagioli. Both were delicious with a bottle of Chianti Classico Riserva from a vineyard just outside Panzano. For dessert, the kids split tiramisu and we had pecorino cheese with red pepper jelly. Total, including 2 liters water and espressos, was about 150.

While eating our main courses, five of our villamates walked in for dinner, too - I guess I talked it up enough! They also loved it and we decided to make a reservation for our last night in Panzano. We made the reservation with Paolo Baldini, the owner, who offered us limoncellos as he wrote down the info.

A few nights later, 13 of us went for dinner, again on the terrace at sunset. We had a couple of bottles of prosecco and several bottles of red wine. Starters included prosciutto and melon, risotto and ravioli, gnocchi gorgonzola, tortelli filled with potato, tagliatelle with piccione (pidgeon), bacon, and tomato, and pasta with cinghiale (wild boar). For secondi, there were lamb chops, a bistecca, peposa (beef simmered in Chianti), and sausages and spare ribs. Veggie sides included spinach, beans, and peas with ham plus a huge platter of patate fritte Paolo sent out for us. For desserts, there were fruit gelatos, tiramisu, and cheese. Paolo sent out 2 bottles of grappa and limoncello, too. He was so jovial - got lots of pictures of him kissing the women! All the staff was very friendly. Don't stay too long though - they flick the outside lights when it is time to leave! Highly recommended!

Reviewed by: colleenk from MA, review #1711

When: 2003

Lovely restaurant with a stunning view and great food!

Our group of 8 had a lovely lunch here. The restaurant is beautiful both inside and for the views from their windows and terrace. The ribolitta was delicious and filling as was the traditional peposa stew. Some in the group had delicious ravoli with butter and sage, another had pasta with wild boar sauce. All of it was delicious and reasonably priced. The service was very accommodating and friendly. A beautiful spot in a beautiful town!

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

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