Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Trequanda: Ristorante Conte MattoVia Taverne 40 , Phone: 0577.662079
Reviewed by: Jim B from USA, review #3598
Long on reputation but short on passion, Conte Matto doesn't make our "Favorite Tuscan Restaurant" list.
My wife and I arrived at Conte Matto in Trequanda with high expectations, after reading the rave reviews here in Slow Travel Italy and other sources. Would this, in fact, be our finest meal in Tuscany?
None of the antipasti called out to us, so we each had a primo and secondo (as always, tasting each other’s dishes) and shared a side of greens. I had gnocchi with mushrooms and shaved truffle that I thought was just OK and Jess liked a good bit more. She had a traditional zuppa of cream and chickpeas that we both thought was “pretty good.”
Both our secondi had sweet and heavy sauces that showed good flavor but became more overwhelming as the meal progressed. Mine was one that receives frequent mention: wild boar chunks topped with a cocoa-based sauce with pine nuts and raisins, served with winter squash slices. Jess had a tender beef "fillet" with a balsamic reduction, a side of *almost* carmelized small onions, and a conserve of fig and pine nuts. The onions were disappointingly crunchy. Our greens were flavor-full: sautéed with lots of salt and garlic, they reminded Jess of her neighborhood Italian restaurant on Long Island. Our half-bottle of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (Corte alla Flora ’05) made the most of the meaty mains and heavy sauces.
For dessert, we tried to communicate that we wanted one order of tiramisu split between us, but the waitress brought us two orders. Turns out it was the Right Thing To Do; it was the tastiest and creamiest tiramisu I’d had to date.
Our total bill was 82 euros. The service was genial but not particularly welcoming. We left feeling like we had been to a big restaurant that was more interested in turning tables than maintaining passion and vitality in their food. Conte Matto may have once been a “find,” but we're guessing that the increase in popularity has dimmed the brightness of the star. (We pray mightily that this doesn’t happen to our other favorite Tuscan restaurants.)
Given the quality and value of other restaurants in south-central Tuscany, we would not return to Conte Matto –-except, perhaps, for dessert!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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