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Siena: Ristorante Nello La Taverna

Via del Porrione, 28 , Phone: 0577.289.043

Closing day: Sunday

Reviewed by: Kevin Clark from Italy, review #2090

When: 2006

Somewhat modern menu with some interesting choices. A nice change from the typical-Tuscan menus at many places in Siena.

Directions: A block off the Campo

Ristorante Nello is a nice little place just off the Campo with a few tables outside and a larger dining room inside. The menu was a bit modern and there was much more emphasis on presentation than in most places we ate in Tuscany (not always a good thing, in our view, but not overdone here). Service was a little strange at times, but basically OK and very friendly. We ate here once for lunch and again a few days later for dinner and both meals were very good.

On our first visit, we had a table outside and enjoyed being in the open and watching the world go by. I had crostini with porcini and melted cheese to start, and Kim had "tonno di Chianti" which is not tuna at all, but a cured pork served with white beans and was excellent. We both followed with ravioli filled with goats cheese and eggplant in a sauce of squash flowers. The ravioli melted in your mouth, and the sauce was a perfect complement. We were stuffed, but couldn't resist the homemade sfogliatelle (puff pastry) flled with ice cream and served with a raspberry sauce - deadly good! With wine, water, and coffee lunch ran us €75.

For dinner a few days later, we were seated inside, as the weather had turned rainy and cool. Even on a Saturday night, the dining room was half empty - not a good sign. We both began with the "tonno di Chianti" which was as good as we'd remembered. I then had papardelle with an excellent cinghiale sauce while Kim had a filet steak and salad. With wine, water, and coffee dinner was €67.

It wasn't my favorite place of the trip, but Nello was a nice change from the very usual menu and presentation.

Reviewed by: valeria from Italy, review #1138

When: 2005

Supreme food, charming atmosphere, but ... more expensive than average.

, photo by

Eating in Siena is mostly a positive experience, and it's not any different at Nello's. Food was a supreme experience, even if the amount wasn't exactly big. This was good for me because, though it might not seem, at the end of the meal it turned out to be quite enough.

The atmosphere is charming, elegant, but don't go there if you're looking for a typical family-run tuscan restaurant. The price is not low but it's surely right for the quality of the food.

PS Don't miss the Tao (a dessert with chocolate) if you are greedy!!!

Reviewed by: Monica Pileggi from MD, review #896

When: 2004

Our best meal!

Antonio and Alexandra, owners of Piccolo Hotel Oliveta, treated us to dinner at Nello la Taverna. Alberto, the owner of Nello and a friend of Antonio's, took very good care of us. We had a fabulous dinner and consider it our best meal out of the whole trip.

We started with a glass of champagne, followed by the antipasti. My octopus "sopresata" was excellent, thinly sliced. Reenie had a paté appetizer. White wine was served with our primi (eggplant ravioli with julienne zucchini) and red wine with our secondo (rolled rabbit stuffed with pancetta and sauce). We all shared a variety of desserts along with a strong after dinner drink. Everything was just wonderful. Since we didn't pay for dinner, I don't know the total amount of the bill, but from what I remember from the menu, the prices were quite reasonable and comparable to the other places we dined in. The exception would be that we normally ordered house wine. We were served some wonderful wines, such as a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Nello La Taverna

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

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