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Montepulciano: Osteria del Conte

Via S. Donato 19 , Phone: 0578-756-062
Closing day: Wednesday

Reviewed by: SteelerPat from DE, review #3831

When: 2011

Small but inviting, the Osteria del Conte was our favorite dining experience in Italy.

We were directed to the Osteria by our hotel, Meuble il Riccio, who kindly made us a reservation. On arrival at 7:30 the place was already filled with local clients but our table was ready. For the rest of the evening we enjoyed the food, the wine, and the wonderful waitstaff who make you feel like you are dining in their home. The finale was when the owner came out to make certain everyone enjoyed their dinner. While she doesn't speak English, you can tell that making her customers happy is her primary goal.

Also one of the best priced restaurants we encountered -- 23.50 euros per person including wine and dessert (excellent ones). There is also a 30 euro four-course dinner including wine. Everything was homemade. Perfect for the Slow Traveler as they only do one seating per evening. Reservations a must due to its small size.

Reviewed by: Kevin Clark from Italy, review #2415

When: 2007

A very small restaurant with a fairly traditional menu. We had a very nice dinner here.

Directions: Just off Piazza Grande, behind the Duomo

We visited Osteria del Conte after seeing mixed reviews, but it was convenient on an evening when we were looking for a meal in Montepulciano and it did not disappoint.

It's very small, with perhaps 10 tables, and was completely full soon after we were seated. In a busier season (this was April), I think reservations would be required. The menu was fairly traditional for southern Tuscany, with pici and other pastas and a selection of grilled meats. Service was not especially outgoing, but was perfectly OK.

Mom and Dad both started with very nice plates of grilled vegetables. Kim had pici con ragu and I had zuppa di legume which was good but a little bland. Dad followed this with braciola di maiale while the rest of us had tagliata con rosmarino which was excellent. We drank house wine, and with water and coffee dinner cost 85 euros.

Reviewed by: Dog_Mother from NY, review #2166

When: 2006

Small, quiet restaurant with good food. Decor is clean and spare.

Directions: One block from the Piazza Grande at the top of the city.

Osteria del Conte, photo by Dog Mother

We were in Montepulciano during Cantine Aperte. At the end of a lovely day of visiting a number of wineries in the area, we returned to the Piazza Grande and the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Consortium building. The woman in the wine consortium office was so helpful to us all day. We kept popping in with questions, where to park for free, where to catch the bus, how much, etc. She also provided us with a recommendation for dinner, just 200 meters away at the Osteria del Conte.

The special menu item of the day was bistecca fiorentina, which we ordered with a tasty mixed green salad, and yet one more glass of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The bill was 52. Not bad. The steak alone was 42, which isn't too bad for an entire side of beef these days. (If you've ever eaten one of these, you KNOW what I'm talking about!)

I probably would have given this restaurant a smiley face rcommendation if the restaurant had done one more thing: if the host would have expressed some friendliness, enthusiasm, etc. We tried to engage him, but he remained so glum and stoic. Also, there were no other guests in the restaurant until we were paying our bill. I felt like we were eating in a tomb - no life. So, I would not write this restaurant off, but next time would poke my head in to see if the ambiance was a bit more cheerful before sitting down at a table.

Price of meal for two: 52 Included in the price: Two cover charges, one liter bottle of water, bistecca fiorentina for two, two salads. I noticed after we got back home that we were not charged for two glasses of vino nobile.

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

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