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Siena: Ristorante Medi Evo

Via dei Rossi, 40 , Phone: 0577-280-315

Closing day: Thursday

Reviewed by: Kevin Clark from Italy, review #2117

When: 2006

Wonderful food, friendly service, and a sense of humor. We had two excellent dinners here.

Directions: Off Via Bancchi di Sopra

This was a TuscanHouse recommendation but we actually stumbled on it as we explored Siena and liked the look of the menu. There's one large dining room with a medieval look, decorated with contrade flags and palio photos. The waiter (owner?) seemed a little formal - almost stand-offish - at first, but this improved through the meal and the service was excellent throughout.

On our first visit, I began with tagliolini con porcini - perfectly cooked and tender pasta with the best porcini sauce of the trip. Kim had pici mediterranea (with tomato, basil, and capers) which was also good. I then had the filetto con salsa di Chianti. The filet was perfectly cooked with a marvelously rich wine sauce. Kim had contrafiletto with a balsamico sauce which was also good. We also shared a portion of fried potatoes. With dinner we had an excellent bottle of 2001 Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico.

For dessert we had seen what looked like profiteroles being served (probably our favorite dessert). They turned out to be bignoline with a pear filling and a dark chocolate sauce and they were incredible. The sauce was especially good and we told the waiter that we wanted a liter to take away. We were given a complimentary vin santo which was a nice touch. With all of this, dinner cost just over 90.

This meal also provided one of the funniest moments of our trip. I'm reasonably fluent with what I call "restaurant Italian" - I can read a menu and order in Italian with fairly good pronunciation, but if the conversation gets much beyond that, I have to rely on Kim to translate. After ordering and a couple of "grazies", the American couple at the next table turned to me and complimented me on my excellent Italian and were convinced that I must be a language teacher! We still laugh about that.

A few days later, we returned for another dinner. We had no reservation and the restaurant was nearly full so we were afraid we might be turned away. Kim asked our waiter/owner from the previous night if he had a table for two. He replied that if they didn't have one, they would make one for us. Obviously we had passed muster on the earlier visit!

This time, Kim had the tagliolini with porcini which was as good as when I'd had it on our first visit. I had pappardelle with a cinghiale sauce which may have been the best cinghiale of the trip. Kim was repeating my meal of our first visit, so she then had the filetto with the salsa di Chianti. I had the scallopine senese (a tomato and tarragon sauce) and we again had some fried potatoes. We again had the Lamole di Lamole Chianti with our meal. We had no room for dessert after this meal, but after he cleared our table, the waiter appeared with a plate of nearly frozen dark chocolate truffles and a big smile. Clearly he had remembered our request on the first visit for more of the excellent chocolate sauce and must have put these in the freezer as soon as we walked into the restaurant! I guess he wasn't all that stand-offish after all! With water and coffee, dinner this time cost just over 80.

This was one of our favorite restaurants in Siena, and we will definitely be back.

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

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