There are several good places to eat within 10 minutes of the house, for supper close to home. Four are only a couple of fields away within the neighbouring landholdings; at Medieval Borgo Amorosa and within the historic Organic Beef ‘Ranch’ and hunting estate, Tenuta La Fratta. Both are within clear sight of the house, but despite the apparent proximity they’re not easily walk-able, however particularly at night we consider the totally unlit journey unsafe on foot. For Lunch out whilst exploring (or over 25 minutes away) there are many excellent places to eat out around these parts and in the ‘Our Tuscany’ pages we talk about our favourites for each location.
La Toraia The Bull House Steak House at Tenuta La Fratta is just 1 minute away by car. 1.5 km (open Weds or Thursday through Sunday depending upon the time of year). Simple but stylish steakhouse with tons of atmosphere. Right on the ranch – set within the immensely significant bull house – where the first stud book for the Chianina White Oxon was held. Good pastas, great organic grass fed beef – and excellent cured meats. Good / well priced wine list. Principally for carnivores but one excellent vegetarian dish the ‘Tempo’ burger plate – as well as a couple of non meaty pastas. We recommend an early table on weekend nights (from 7.30 pm) as from 8.30 – 9pm the place is packed with regular local diners slowing the service somewhat. Lunch is served weekends only 12.30-15.00* Dinner 19.30-22.30 * Ask us to call and check first if you want to book a later table… We recommend : avoid the Tagliata cut steak which can be very hard.
I Due Apostoli The Two Apostles farm restaurant 1 minute away also within the territory of the La Fratta Ranch. Ex farm workers’ canteen a cavernous interior that’s cool year round (bring a light sweater for Spring and Autumn dining) serving pizza, pastas, and again the excellent La Fratta beef. Open from Weds/Thursday through Sunday depending upon the time of year. We recommend : avoid the Tagliata cut steak which can be very hard.
Il Brigante Gentiluomo The Gentleman Brigand Pizzeria and Trattoria is 2 minutes away from the house, on the road towards Torrita, Pienza, Montepulciano. Inexpensive set lunch menu, Pizza and other dishes in the evenings. Service can vary unfortunately although the owning family are really lovely. Closed Monday evenings only. Lunch 12-2, Dinner 7-11 We recommend: you must tell them you come from Siena House to guarantee better than ‘tourist quality’ service.
L’Enoteca The Wine Bar at the Locanda Amorosa, at 2 minutes away (definitely not walkable). Amorosa is a long established hotel with 2 restaurants including the wine bar. Prices are not low but the quality is high. Location is splendid : glamorous Tuscany at it’s best. We recommend: The cheese selection is superb, a cheese board plus a good red under the cherry tree whilst it’s still light.
Locanda Amorosa Restaurant ‘Le Coccole’ 2 minutes away by car but absolutely not walkable, just opened and we are yet to try it!
A little further away but still very local…
Il Forcillo The Fork trattoria in Sinalunga, 5 minutes away by car is the place to head to if you are looking for the real Italian family run restaurant feel. Extensive menu, not much English spoken, Aunties and Grandmas take care of front of house whilst sons and uncles cook. Super atmosphere – a favourite with the locals, good prices and service. Advance booking essential all week. Park on street outside (avoid the yellow painted spaces) or closer to the train station at the bottom of the hill (self explanatory once you’re there) Open Tuesday through saturday. We recommend: don’t arrive earlier than 8pm “unless you are planning to watch the water boil”
Ristorante Walter Redaelli at Bettolle, 12 minutes away by car. Modern Tuscan cuisine showcasing highest quality ingredients elaborated by our very down to earth local celebrity chef Walter Redaelli. Great food, super service and an award winning wine list. Outdoor dining or very comfortable interior. This is the place to head to if desiring something a little more ‘special’ Open all week, Lunch 12-2.30, Dinner 7.30-9.30 We recommend : Walter pays close attention to all details and we consider this place pretty flawless. Deserts are a very strong point however in the sense that arguably in this area the deserts choices are somewhat limited whilst at Walter’s deserts are as good as the rest of the menu.
Le Macine The Mill Stones Pizzeria in Torrita di Siena, 12 minutes away by car, hidden away behind another property, the Hotel Rottelle and easy to miss. Pizza plus other Tuscan dishes available. Friendly and informal, cosy interior with vaulted ceilings typical for the area. Pizza is recommended, thin and crispy and baked in a wood oven as it should be, fun to watch the Pizzaiolo pizza chef preparing and cooking the pizza. This place is high up overlooking the valley so long long views to be had if dining on the pretty terrace in daylight. Closed on Wednesdays, pizza evenings only. We recommend: Go for Pizza. Avoid it on Friday and Saturday evenings unless going early. Always tell the staff you came from here as otherwise you might get ‘tourist quality’ service.
Pizzeria Paradiso Paradise Pizzeria in Trequanda, 10 minutes away. Our daughter’s absolute favourite pizza but also excellent ice cream made in house. Immensely popular and very very busy on Friday Saturday and Sunday nights all Summer long as it’s right en route from the coast for the Italians returning from seaside weekends. We recommend: Get there by 8 for brisk service. Dining outside is nice in the Summer but take a mosquito repellent or go covered… be ready for a lively atmosphere with a lot of children having fun!
20-30 minutes away from the house but well worth the drive…
- La Bandita Town House Caffe, Pienza (image above) Malvin always describes this place as ‘New York meets Tuscany’ and it’s a firm favourite of ours. Modern Dining, open kitchen, commitment to fantastic ingredients and big personality.
- Buca Delle Fate, Pienza. Go for Gnocchi and Pici, with wild boar ragu or porcini mushrooms. Very Italian family run and very busy always, menu unchanged for over 30 years and Amanda’s favourite place for pasta.
- Osteria l’Aquachetta, Montepulciano. Steak and some interesting old style vegetable dishes from once upon a time. Very informal long table dining that we are assured by the boss is the ‘true Tuscan style’. Two seatings around 7 and 9 pm.
- La Grotta, Montepulciano. High end Tuscan cuisine next door to San Biagio, great location good food easy parking.
- La Botte Piena, Montefollonico. Long time favourite in the area with new chef and newly back on our menu. Just inside the walls of Montefollonico, lovely little town to explore. Opt for downstairs rather than upstairs.
- La Porta, Montichiello. This is another sweet town to explore in conjunction with dinner and La Porta is a restaurant with good reputation locally.
- Zenzero, Lucignano. Newly opened and appreciated by our guests. A more substantial town to wander, Lucignano also has a superb gelateria so maybe skip dessert…
Do you need to book ahead for restaurants in our area? – yes and no… Good restaurants fill up ! if you’re very sure you want to eat at Forcillo or Toraia on a Friday night for example, these places fill up with ‘local’ diners (in truth people are driving from over half an hour away to eat at the Toraia). Places where you can eat outside – such as Relais La Leopoldina or La Grotta will tend to have space on fine evenings (inside) if you have not booked early, but in case of cool / wet weather will not. We advise our guests to make the decision in the morning for evening meals on weekends. Sunday Lunch is also immensely important in Italy and so must be booked ahead – probably by Saturday am. Some places – such as La Bandita Townhouse should always be booked. La Bandita Townhouse Cafe in Pienza is in the pretty town centre of Pienza which is always popular in the Summer and can be very busy on weekends. We advise guests heading out to Pienza in the morning to decide right away if they want to dine at the Townhouse Cafe, taking a peek at the menu and the place as they pass on their way into town, booking right then and there if interested. As town gets busy so do the restaurants. Whilst there are many good places to eat in Pienza we personally love the Bandita Townhouse Cafe and La Buca Delle Fate. In recent months guests have been really enjoying the Terrazza Val D’Orcia and the restaurant at the hotel Il Chiostro, both the latter having super views. Always tell the restaurants that you are staying at Siena House as this makes you ‘local’ and deserving of the very best treatment.
WORD OF MOUTH Siena House is in a non touristy immediate area where you can dine in excellent restaurants at good prices and eat in a room full of local diners.