Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

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Dennis Atick
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Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#1 Post by Dennis Atick » July 6th, 2019, 12:42 pm

Hi all. Since this board has always been very helpful to me with food and travel recommendations, I thought I would post a bit about food on our recent trip to Italy. Just got back a couple days ago after 12 days on the ground in Italy. We covered a lot of territory, perhaps too much, but that's another story. Here's my food (and some wine) journal. This was a family trip, not a wine trip, but I found some fun bottles on lists at remarkable prices relative to how tough it is, in general, to not get jobbed buying off lists in the USofA. Oh, the bottles you can find for $35 euros off lists in Italy!

Our itinerary was Rome > Montalcino > Positano > Rome.

ROME:
We stayed in Campo De Fiori- Highly recommend- lots of beautiful streets to wander and great food, coffee, and wine around every corner.
Our plane was two hours late getting out of Atl and we missed our first day lunch reservation, but squeezed in a quick mid-afternoon snack at Antico Forno Roscioli which was steps from our apartment. Pizza slices by weight and tasty treats at the counter. Worth a stop for afternoon snack.
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Colline Emiliane
Dinner first night at Colline Emiliane. Family pasta shop that cranks out the fresh pasta daily and gets a good bit of buzz. Long line out front, glad we had reservations. Humble, slightly sterile room, maybe 20 tables. Not a terribly interesting wine list. Had some regional bubbles btg. Tortellini in Brodo and Pappardelle Bolognese were standouts. Oh, and that Charcuterie platter. Overall, didn't live up to the hype, and was one of the less memorable meals.
Colline Tortellini.jpg
Colline Meats.jpg
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Pizzeria Emma
Lunch: Part of the Roscioli empire, the best pizza we had in Italy. Paper thin crust that had just the right amount of chew, uncanny how tasty the red sauce is for a seemingly simple thing. The bufala mozzarella unlike any I've had. So good.
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Roscioli Salumeria
Outside of the farm lunch in Montalcino, best dining experience of our trip, amidst many very good experiences. Crowded deli counter upstairs, wine cellar down stairs, bustling and joyful place that just makes you happy to be alive. Book weeks in advance and be thankful you did. We sat in the wine cellar. Food, ambiance (loud, fun), staff, wine list...all A+ and as good as advertised. We tried to visit again when we came back to Rome a week later, but all booked up and the wait here can be looongg.
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Deli counter upstairs.
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Downstairs dining in wine Room
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Pieropan. $36 euros off the list. All day long. So many nice values, and a very deep list (all the way to verticals of DRC, Leroy and more) wish I had more time.
Roscioli Meet.jpeg
Meets and Cheeses. Remarkable at $18e. So freaking good.
Pasta alla Gricia Roscioli.jpeg
Pasta Alla Gricia. omg.
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Spaghetti Carbonara. omg x2


La Zanzara
Stopped in here on a whim after the Vatican as it's in the neighborhood and I'd heard good things. More of a hipster-bistro vibe here, but this eggplant parmesan-grandma style. Wow. Is there bad food in Rome?
La Zanzara.jpeg

Sant Eustachio
Great place for an afternoon coffee break, just steps from the Pantheon. Campy, old school, and they disregard the Italian-no milky coffees after lunch- rule. It was bloody hot the whole time we were in Italy, the iced shakerato or granita with espresso and chocolate was the way to go.
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Da Francesca Pizzeria

Da Francesca was recommended in one of the older Berserker posts and it was the surprise of the trip. One of the top 3 nights. Another humble room, old school wood paneling, kids running around, but the food is just so dialed in. Uncanny. Another excellent wine list with wish I had more time to work over. Tried to get a Valentini Trebbiano off the list for $90! but they were already gone. Our server took me across the street to their temp-controlled wine room/deli and turned me on to the Girolama Russo Etna Bianco that was wicked good for $35.
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Sometimes, the simplest things are the best.
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Fettucine alla gricia with black truffle shavings.

On to Montalcino
Last edited by Dennis Atick on July 7th, 2019, 9:25 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Italy Eats 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#2 Post by Ethan Abraham » July 6th, 2019, 12:54 pm

Wow! I just figured out how to bookmark threads for this one.

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Re: Italy Eats 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#3 Post by Dennis Atick » July 6th, 2019, 1:23 pm

MONTALCINO

La Sosta
We were late getting into Montalcino due to way too many human beings at Roma Termini and an Avis counter that was overwhelmed. And them some traffic. But the drive up is full of beauty once you get out of the city. We ran into La Sosta in Montalcino on a whim for a quick bite. A newish place, hipster vibe, mostly natural wines. Excellent charcuterie.
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It was 101 degrees when we hit Montalcino, I asked the owner for something white, cool, and interesting. This San Lorenzo Le Oche fit the bill. 100% Verdicchio. Slightly oxidative with an oily texture. Tons in reserve. Nutty and lively acidity. Screaming value. One I will seek out.
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Drogerhia Franci
Dinner at Drogheria Franci right across from the Fortezza.
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2016 Emidio Pepe Trebbiano off the list for $38 Euros. Holy mother, yes please.
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Tomatoes and burrata from a guy in town.
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Spaghetti and black truffles that came in that morning from just up the road. Yum.


Locanda Demetra
After our Saturday morning tasting at Le Ragnaie we headed about 5 mins down the road to Locanda Demetra, a cooking school and farm that also does weekend lunch. This was one of the high points of the trip. Run by three siblings, who bought an abandoned farmhouse and turned it into a rustic, organic hillside-to-table restaurant with a permaculture garden, a cooking school, and rooms upstairs for overnight stays. This place was just stunning. Beautiful people, making beautiful food in an incredible setting. An absolute joy of a two hour plus lunch spent in their backyard overlooking Montalcino and the Tuscan countryside. A+. Highly recommended!
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Front of Locanda Demtra.
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Side entrance near garden.
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All local wine list. 101 degree day. Time for a really delicious sparkling Sangiovese form Le Chiuse. Method Ancestrale, first of its kind made in Montalcino and damn good. $30Euros.
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Savory Cheesecake Amouse.
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Really interesting and delicious eggplant flan with fresh eggplant out of their garden.
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Dry fruit crusted Cinta Senese (local pig) with potato and fresh horseradish puree.
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Fresh tagliatelle with wild boar ragu cooked for 8 hours. zomg!
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The bench with a view.

Il Grifo
We were stuffed most of the day after the long lunch at Locanda Demetra, but we found an appetite for pizza later in the night at Il Grifo in Montalcino. Solid pies. It cooled off enough finally that night to consider a red wine and the Oddero at $20 off the list did the trick. Decent pizza, too.
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Positano
I don't have much to say about dining in Positano. We were busy with boat excursions to Capri and hikes and werent's super focused on food. That being said, we went to two of the more highly recommended places (Guarrnica, Ritrovo) and they were passable, at best. Great views, though! The food here in general was more touristy/beachy than I had hoped. Beach scene restaurants all seem to regress to a mean regardless of where you are on the planet. Trade-off is these views, I suppose.
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From our apartment, on Liparita near the top 'o the hill. Never felt full consider each night we walked nearly 400 stairs to get home!
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I did find some of Marisa Cuomo's wines, she seems to be the go-to for Amalfi Coast wine. Her vineyards are crazy extreme, terraced slopes cut into the cliffs around Amalfi, which you can see as you approach the area by boat.
Last edited by Dennis Atick on July 6th, 2019, 5:15 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Italy Eats 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#4 Post by Dennis Atick » July 6th, 2019, 1:24 pm

Ethan Abraham wrote:
July 6th, 2019, 12:54 pm
Wow! I just figured out how to bookmark threads for this one.
[thumbs-up.gif]
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Re: Italy Eats 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#5 Post by Barry L i p t o n » July 6th, 2019, 3:20 pm

Great tips, thanks! Already have my Roscioli reservation, and now I know what wine I’ll order!

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Re: Italy Eats 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#6 Post by Jim Stewart » July 6th, 2019, 3:36 pm

Oh man, Dennis!!!! Tagliere always works, but some of those plated meals look fantastic. What a trip! You carpe diem'd pretty good!
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Re: Italy Eats 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#7 Post by Dennis Atick » July 6th, 2019, 4:02 pm

Barry L i p t o n wrote:
July 6th, 2019, 3:20 pm
Great tips, thanks! Already have my Roscioli reservation, and now I know what wine I’ll order!
[cheers.gif] I absolutely loved that place. My kind of restaurant. Enjoy!
Jim Stewart wrote:
July 6th, 2019, 3:36 pm

Oh man, Dennis!!!! Tagliere always works, but some of those plated meals look fantastic. What a trip! You carpe diem'd pretty good!
Thanks, Jim! I may never eat pasta again, but it was good couple weeks of indulgence!
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Re: Italy Eats 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#8 Post by Sh@n A » July 6th, 2019, 5:05 pm

Love Roscioli. Also Pizza Emma. Another one I like in Rome is Al Ceppo.
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#9 Post by dcornutt » July 8th, 2019, 2:28 am

Fantastic journal Dennis. Glad you are home safe and enjoyed the trip.
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#10 Post by Dennis Atick » July 8th, 2019, 5:32 am

dcornutt wrote:
July 8th, 2019, 2:28 am
Fantastic journal Dennis. Glad you are home safe and enjoyed the trip.
Thanks, Don. Hope to see you soon!
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#11 Post by Bdklein » July 8th, 2019, 1:14 pm

Il Ritrovo wasn’t good? Wow.
No good seafood in Positano? Wow.

Thanks for sharing your trip details .
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#12 Post by James Sanders » July 8th, 2019, 3:12 pm

Great post, Dennis. We've been fans of Roscioli and their many offshoots for a while. For members of this board, I would think Rimessa would be a must for Rome. It's basically Roscioli with simpler fare and more of a wine focus.

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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#13 Post by bradkaplan » July 8th, 2019, 3:23 pm

Glad you weathered the withering heat wisely with white wines. : )

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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#14 Post by Dennis Atick » July 8th, 2019, 6:29 pm

Bdklein wrote:
July 8th, 2019, 1:14 pm
Il Ritrovo wasn’t good? Wow.
No good seafood in Positano? Wow.

Thanks for sharing your trip details .
Perhaps coming after Rome and Montalcino didn't help. Food just was not special. Seafood a bit of a letdown, especially.
James Sanders wrote:
July 8th, 2019, 3:12 pm
Expand view Topic review: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano
We went back to Rome for a last night before flying out and came really close to going to Rimessa. They had a table, but we were staying closer to Termini and didn't feel like making the trek with an early flight the next day. Went to Hosteria Carbonara instead. Wish we went to Rimessa!
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#15 Post by rob klafter » July 11th, 2019, 6:28 pm

Dennis Atick wrote:
July 8th, 2019, 5:32 am
dcornutt wrote:
July 8th, 2019, 2:28 am
Fantastic journal Dennis. Glad you are home safe and enjoyed the trip.
Thanks, Don. Hope to see you soon!
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#16 Post by dcornutt » July 12th, 2019, 5:56 am

We need to get together. I have missed the last couple of dinners.
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#17 Post by TimF » July 15th, 2019, 5:18 am

Got a reservation for next Thursday in the Roscioli Salumeria wine cellar. Thanks!
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#18 Post by Dennis Atick » July 15th, 2019, 6:53 am

TimF wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 5:18 am
Got a reservation for next Thursday in the Roscioli Salumeria wine cellar. Thanks!
Nice! Enjoy!
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#19 Post by M.Kaplan » July 15th, 2019, 9:44 am

TimF wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 5:18 am
Got a reservation for next Thursday in the Roscioli Salumeria wine cellar. Thanks!
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#20 Post by Michael Martin » July 15th, 2019, 9:48 am

I know you sort of poo poo Positano for food, but one of the best meals I've had was at Le Tre Sorelle right off the beach.

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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#21 Post by Dennis Atick » July 15th, 2019, 1:08 pm

Michael Martin wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 9:48 am
I know you sort of poo poo Positano for food, but one of the best meals I've had was at Le Tre Sorelle right off the beach.
Funny you say that, we were so close to going Le Tre Sorelle the last night and just didn't make it. It felt and looked like it was a place to be, but we we ended up on the other side of the hill and went to another spot.
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#22 Post by RyanC » July 15th, 2019, 2:02 pm

Awesome report. Roscioli is indeed the real deal -- one of my favorite spots on Earth.

Does anyone have any advice of *good* Positano spots? I'll be there for a few days next month and am looking to find something good. I've added Le Tre Sorelle to the list.
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#23 Post by Bdklein » July 15th, 2019, 2:47 pm

RyanC wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 2:02 pm
Awesome report. Roscioli is indeed the real deal -- one of my favorite spots on Earth.

Does anyone have any advice of *good* Positano spots? I'll be there for a few days next month and am looking to find something good. I've added Le Tre Sorelle to the list.
We liked Il Ritrovo. Location makes it an interesting meal, too. Been a few years though . Having the waiter pick us up and drop us off at our hotel was pretty special, too.
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#24 Post by Bdklein » July 15th, 2019, 3:07 pm

Btw it’s Italy . Fresh produce and cheese so much better than here in the US. Plus seafood good too. Didn’t have a bad meal in Positano nor Capri for a week. I don’t get the complaints .
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#25 Post by Michael Martin » July 15th, 2019, 4:38 pm

Dennis Atick wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 1:08 pm
Michael Martin wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 9:48 am
I know you sort of poo poo Positano for food, but one of the best meals I've had was at Le Tre Sorelle right off the beach.
Funny you say that, we were so close to going Le Tre Sorelle the last night and just didn't make it. It felt and looked like it was a place to be, but we we ended up on the other side of the hill and went to another spot.
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#26 Post by Dennis Atick » July 15th, 2019, 4:47 pm

RyanC wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 2:02 pm
Awesome report. Roscioli is indeed the real deal -- one of my favorite spots on Earth.

Does anyone have any advice of *good* Positano spots? I'll be there for a few days next month and am looking to find something good. I've added Le Tre Sorelle to the list.
[cheers.gif]
I hate to be the Debbie Downer in this thread, I just wasn't wowed by any of the food in Positano. Maybe Bruce just made better choices. And we weren't seeking Michelin or 4 star dining (as you can see from choices in Rome). Ritrovo was probably the best, and the setting was killer. Guaracino, Bar Bucca, Colline Bakery, Ristorant Max were all just ok. Like they went out of the way not to not find the great products Bruce mentions. It was weird and surprising. Totally different than Rome and Montalcino. Positano was the most obviously saturated tourist place of our trip and the food reflected that imo. Maybe I was just burnt out by the time I got to Positano.

Ryan- One of the best spots, for espresso, cocktails, tasty sandwiches, gelato---Paradise Lounge. Totally casual, walk up from the beach find a seat. Buzzing vibe, great views, strong enough cocktails. And also Good for quick breakfasts, espressos, drinks before dinner, or quick sandwiches/slice of pizza at lunch- was actually our favorite place and we frequented several times while we were there. Enjoy your trip!

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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#27 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » July 15th, 2019, 5:57 pm

La Sponda in the le Sireneuse was lovely, but very expensive.

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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#28 Post by Brent C l a y t o n » July 15th, 2019, 6:05 pm

Go south to the Cilento and you won't be disappointed. Positano and Amalfi are super-touristy. The best seafood I had in Amalfi was the cuoppo fritto misto.
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#29 Post by Mike Wenzel » July 23rd, 2019, 10:28 pm

We really enjoyed Antico Forno Roscioli and Emma on our trip to Rome last October.

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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#30 Post by Robert Pollard-Smith » July 26th, 2019, 10:47 am

We hit Emma twice last October. The Pata Negra Iberica Chorizo pie was nothing short of remarkable...
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#31 Post by Dennis Atick » July 26th, 2019, 11:45 am

Robert Pollard-Smith wrote:
July 26th, 2019, 10:47 am
We hit Emma twice last October. The Pata Negra Iberica Chorizo pie was nothing short of remarkable...
Yum. [cheers.gif]
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#32 Post by bradkaplan » July 26th, 2019, 1:05 pm

Just back from similar trip.

Rome:
- Emma: great pizza, good pasta, awesome burrata plate (surprisingly interesting Italian craft beer list, but went with a cheap white)
- Rimessa Roscioli: excellent all around, especially enjoyed chatting w the somm and the wine list
- Hostaria Farnese: simple and honest, a gem among more touristy Campo di Fiori spots, pizza and pasta
- Su Ghetto and Renato al Ghetto: only if you're keeping kosher
- Enjoyed Roman pizza etc at Forno Campo di Fiori, Antico Forno Rimessa, Forno Monteforte, and Panificio Bonci (maybe the best), probably a few others : )
- Fun bites at Trappizino
- Good gelato at a long list of places, frankly none mindblowing - easily best of the trip was at Dondoli in San Gimignano!
- Honestly underwhelmed w coffee at Caffe Roscioli and Sant' Eustachio (among others), the rest of the world has caught up IMHO

San Gimignano:
- Osteria del Carcere: fantastic meal, especially meats which come from Dario Cecchini
- Dondoli: amazing gelato

Cortona:
- Taverna Pane e Vino: natural wine destination, really cool list of things you won't find elsewhere, nice relatively simple but well-made food - favorite wine of the trip was a 2017 Meigamma Vermentino di Sardegna here, and picked up three wines from the proprietor that were all fun natural wines (GemmaRosa sangiovese rose was really fun)

Orvieto:
- Bottega del Mastro Norcino: fantastic lunch, housemade salumi rocks, excellent porchetta, right along the highway so convenient if you're passing by
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#33 Post by Colin Haggerty » August 10th, 2019, 4:41 pm

We recently traveled to Rome and Tuscany, where we had several wonderful dining experiences. Below is a link to my CellarTracker write-up for the trip. Hopefully some of the photos and descriptions will be helpful to those planning a similar trip.

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CellarTracker: Visiting Rome and Tuscany

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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#34 Post by F.Daner » August 11th, 2019, 5:22 am

Thanks Dennis for the recommendation to Locanda Demetra ! I'm trying to book the cooking school experience as my wife has always wanted to do something like this. We'll at least have lunch there. We leave in 4 weeks: Florence, SML/Camolgi, Bolgheri, Pienza. Can't wait !
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#35 Post by Dennis Atick » August 11th, 2019, 9:47 am

F.Daner wrote:
August 11th, 2019, 5:22 am
Thanks Dennis for the recommendation to Locanda Demetra ! I'm trying to book the cooking school experience as my wife has always wanted to do something like this. We'll at least have lunch there. We leave in 4 weeks: Florence, SML/Camolgi, Bolgheri, Pienza. Can't wait !
Fred- Nice itinerary! Makes me want to go back. We skipped the cooking school at Locanda but it looked like a hit. The family that runs the operation are so sweet. Lovely group of young people. One of the highlights of our trip. Best lunch view in town. Enjoy! And report back!
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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#36 Post by F.Daner » September 18th, 2019, 1:02 am

Hey Dennis, just got back and it was an absolute blast. We had Locanda booked for class and lunch but my buddy got an awesome visit and lunch lined up at Col d'Orca so we had to cancel. I posted about that in wine talk section.

The rest of the write up is in the travel forum:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=163401&p=2811739#p2811739

I'm already thinking about when we go back. Need to lose a little weight first [cheers.gif]

Dennis Atick wrote:
August 11th, 2019, 9:47 am
F.Daner wrote:
August 11th, 2019, 5:22 am
Thanks Dennis for the recommendation to Locanda Demetra ! I'm trying to book the cooking school experience as my wife has always wanted to do something like this. We'll at least have lunch there. We leave in 4 weeks: Florence, SML/Camolgi, Bolgheri, Pienza. Can't wait !
Fred- Nice itinerary! Makes me want to go back. We skipped the cooking school at Locanda but it looked like a hit. The family that runs the operation are so sweet. Lovely group of young people. One of the highlights of our trip. Best lunch view in town. Enjoy! And report back!
Fred

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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#37 Post by F.Daner » September 18th, 2019, 1:19 am

Wow Colin, incredible write up and trip. We trudged some of the same ground in Pienza, Sienna and Florence. Our kids are now 21 and 23 and my wife and I both thought about a future trip with them. I can understand why it was a special trip for you. Looks like we had some of the same wines as well. I saw the 2016 Antinori Tignanello Toscana for $89E in Pienza at the only Enoteca that was not overpriced. Regretting now that I did not pull the trigger. I tried the 13 on the trip and was hunting for that one.

Thanks for sharing. I'm bookmarking for a future Rome trip.



Colin Haggerty wrote:
August 10th, 2019, 4:41 pm
We recently traveled to Rome and Tuscany, where we had several wonderful dining experiences. Below is a link to my CellarTracker write-up for the trip. Hopefully some of the photos and descriptions will be helpful to those planning a similar trip.

Colin [cheers.gif]

CellarTracker: Visiting Rome and Tuscany
Fred

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Re: Eating Italy 2019: Rome, Montalcino, Positano

#38 Post by Colin Haggerty » October 12th, 2019, 5:46 pm

Hi Fred:

I'm sorry that I did not respond to your post earlier. We traveled to London/Galway/Dublin/Paris/Champagne during the second half of September and I have not been in the Epicurean Exploits Forum since returning to Las Vegas on September 29th.

Traveling with your adult children will be something that you will never forget. I hope you get a chance to do it! [give_heart.gif]

Thanks for your kind words.

Colin [cheers.gif]

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