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Castiglione della Pascaia: Taverna Ristorante Nel Buco Di Gigi Berardi

Phone: 0564 934460

Reviewed by: Dog_Mother from NY, review #2165

When: 2006

We would DEFINITELY eat here again—for the food, the service, the ambiance, and to hear Gigi(the owner)sing!

Nel Buco, photo by Dog Mother

We were the first to arrive for dinner at 7:00 pm on a Friday night. Shortly thereafter came two couples traveling together from Kansas, who told us this is their second time to eat at Nel Buco on their trip. The food was so good, they said, they just had to return. They raved about the food and wine at Nel Buco!

Before too much time elapsed, the entire restaurant filled, which I would guess was a total of about 10 tables. Nel Buco is a cozy, small, grotto-esque place (no wonder it is called "Nel Buco" - Italian for "In the Hole"). Gigi, the owner, and our waitperson are charming. When Gigi wasn't singing on his karaoke system, they played CDs by Mina, Gloria Estefan, and what sounded like "The Best of the 50's from the USA".

Our meal started with antipasti: salami, bruschetta, cantalope. We shared a bowl of the best ribbolita I have ever had, and the portion for each of us was enormous. Before we ate it, Gigi came over with a bottle of the greenest olive oil and says we must pour it on the soup and then poured a generous amount on our soup for us. He was VERY generous with the liquid green, which smelled and tasted like heaven itself. One of us ordered pici with mushroom sauce and the other white fish (I'm sorry, I forgot to get the name of the fish) with pasta. We asked for a wine recommendation based on what we were ordering and the fact that we would be sharing food and he suggested Arpeggio, a light red wine that truly was perfect with the meal.

For dessert, my husband had a cake that was called "poor cake" and he said it was delicious. I had TiraBuco, the restaurant's twist on tiramisu. It was BETTER than any tiramisu I have had, same flavors but with a custard base. An espresso for me to bring a finish to the meal, and we leave extremely satisfied.

Price of meal for two €54, including: Bottle of wine, bottle of water, two antipasti, one primo piatti, two secondi, two desserts, one espresso.

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

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