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Pitigliano: Osteria Il Tufo Allegro

Vicolo della Costituzione, 5 , Phone: 0564.616192

Closing day: Tuesday, Wednesday lunch

Reviewed by: ellens from NJ, review #754

When: 2004

Wonderful, creative, small restaurant tucked down off a small vicolo in centro storico. Worth searching out.

Directions: In Centro Storico. Park and walk into the main piazza (Piazza della Repubblica), take the road to the left (I think it's Via Zuccarelli). Vicolo della Constituzione will be on the left.

We searched out this restaurant because of Dean's review on Slowtrav. Eight of us were driving from the Pienza area to the sea at Talamone and got to Pitigliano around 1:30 in the afternoon. We knew only that the restaurant was in Pitigliano so we drove around a bit looking at signs before we stopped and went into a wine shop to ask for directions. (A wine shop seemed a likely source since so much of Dean's review focused on the wines they enjoyed.) The proprietor was helping a couple select and pack a picnic lunch and it was fifteen minutes before he turned his attention to us. When he did he was extremely helpful, showing me a map of the area and then walking us outside and pointing the way.

We arrived at Il Tufo Allegro at 2 pm and were concerned that they would not seat us so late but, after a short consultation with the chef, we were shown to a beautiful, small room in the back with only one other table occupied. Everything, especially the soups, was wonderful.

Everyone had two courses and several bottles of wine were consumed - the total came to about 25 euros per person.

Reviewed by: dean from MD (moderator), review #693

When: 2002

One of the great wine lists I have ever seen with superb food. Wonderful staff. You can dine in old cellars dug 5 levels into the rock below the restaurant!

What a find. We expected just the run of the mill Tuscan menu and we got a marvelous meal.

Kay had crostini di fegatini (assorted treatments of liver and other parts) and I had a super rich pate of fagionelli (some sort of bird, maybe pheasant) with chestnuts and a jelly made from balsamico. We accompanied this with a bottle of Quarz from Cantina Terlano, a massive and crisp sauvignon blanc made in Alto Adige.

Next up were Lombrichelli al ragu del’anatra and papardelle (made with saffron) with lamb sauce. These were incredible. Kay lightened up with agrodolce di verdure - roasted vegetables in a sweet and sour sauce with grapes, almonds and tarragon vinegar. I had a huge roast porcini.

We drank 1997 Avvotore from Moris Farms, one of the 2-3 most famous wines from Morellino di Scansano. It’s a cabernet, warm and smooth from the 2 years age.

We also ate at IL Tufo Allegro for our final meal in the Maremma. Kay wanted something light to drink so I ordered Lunare, Cantina Terlano’s gewürztraminer from Alto Adige. Gianfranco, the waiter told us it was "finito" so I could not restrain myself any longer and went for the Sagrantino di Montefalco 25 Anni from Arnolfo Caprai. From a crisp light gewürztraminer to a huge and tannic red... Kay is a real trooper when it comes to indulging me. We were both glad we went with the Caprai as it turned out to be a fantastic bottle.

We sat in the basement in one of the two rooms carved out from the tufo. There were crucifixes carved into the wall just like those of the Christian shrine by Sovana, and we wondered if they were ancient or if they were modern touches but we did not ask. The chef came down to deliver every course and to talk about our love of wine. Kay started with a salad of warm bacala with potatoes and a puree of ceci and a pesto of zucchini while I had zuppa di porcini. Kay went on to cinghiale while I had the buglione di agnello. We finished with a tiny bit of cheese- gutus and escarum. One is a blue aged pecorino and the other is a plain aged pecorino but I forget which is which. The cheeses were superb especially with the huge red wine. The wine was so good that I asked Gianfranco if I could buy 2 bottles "da asporto" and they let us. The wine shop in town had the wine but it was already closed and the next day we were off. I think I paid about 5 euro more at the restaurant than I would have at the shop. The meal with the 3 bottles was under 250 euro but 180 of that was wine. A meal this good for 70 euro just amazes. Kay drove home.

Reviewed by: Edna from NY, review #207

When: 2002

This is a very cheerful osteria located in cellars that have been carved out of the cliffs.

There are great wine cellars five levels below the street. The food was really good - rustic, plentiful, delicious and moderate. I enjoyed the tagliolini with tomatoes, chunks of ricotta and fennel. I've also become addicted to tomato salads. In general, this is a fascinating town to walk - filled with antiquity.

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

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