Want to hear about a little traditional Tuscan treat?
I’ve been meaning to share my latest Italian dining experience from our recent adventure to the Tuscan countryside, but have been inclined to put my posts on hold given the unprecedented circumstances this 2020 has sprung upon us.
I am now ready to share my story reflecting the unforgettable food adventure from an eatery which will really got your taste buds flowing, as I’m sure we could all appreciate a light-hearted restaurant review for all the foodies out there.
Look out for this one once we’re all safe and back to business!
For context, you may have gathered from previous posts that my engagement took place in Italy at the beginning of last year, which prompted mine an Nick’s trip out to Tuscany to kick-start 2020 and most importantly, suss out the best bites in the area.
For all those who can appreciate a rural landscape, you’ll soon find you’re spoiled for choice both for rustic eateries and also the endless quaint and stunning villages around the province of Siena, Italy. One place which strongly stood out for me was the legendary local town of Chiusdino.
Chiusdino is a fascinating medieval village perched on a hill in the Metalliferous Hills, overlooking the Val di Merse. And most importantly, central to this village lies the dining out hidden gem which could not escape a review in my blog; introducing La Grotta Di Tiurzi.
Housed in a cave like setting, this humble restaurant didn’t just look the part of an authentic dining out experience; the aromas from the Italian cooking and fresh local ingredients from the kitchen were the real deal and will soon get your appetite going. The quality of the food itself sure ended up fulfilling expectations.
We brought along my parents who of course traveled out on the trip with us, as it was a weekend filled with sight-seeing, wedding coordination and a whole lot of food tasting – all of which I knew they’d also enjoy.
Upon pre-booking our table of four at La Grotta Di Tiurzi, we were delighted to have arrived by 20:00pm and were all seated in the most relaxed area of the small and intimate restaurant. It didn’t take long until the local red wine was ordered, alongside La Grotta’s recommended classic meat & cheese antipasti starters.
What I loved the most about this place was the modest atmosphere and the romantic family-ran background of the business; the Mother as Head Chef alongside her daughters who were helping both in the kitchen and waitressing on tables.
The family were all from Sardinia so it was interesting to try out the Tuscan menu with a Sardinian twist, such as the cold meats and Sardinian cheeses.
Now let’s get straight to the main dishes!
Of course, being in Italy, I just had to order my all time favourite – the classic Ragu with tagliatelle.
Bolognese Ragu – always so simple, yet so effective. I found the simplicity of the menu descriptions a great example of the restaurant’s charm – completely original and real. ‘Tagliatelle in meat beef sauce‘ – YES PLEASE!
Next up – the gastronomical black ink pasta with fish egg sauce – another delicious dish which tastes exactly like your classic Italian plate, despite the dark spaghetti colouring which may prompt hesitance amongst the more fussy diner. So fear not, as I would highly recommend this dish for those wanting a simplistic tasting pasta dish;
Ideal for anyone who loves pasta.
Below captured is Nicholas himself taking one for the team with ordering the unknown ‘Pici alle briciole‘. We soon discovered this meal was essentially pici pasta with crumbs of toasted bread and chilli pepper. Another example of a dish with the simplest of ingredients but done very well.
Now for large gnocci with spinach and fresh cheese in tomato sauce. Pictured below on the right – don’t let the portion size mislead you, this was also a VERY satisfying dish and finalised to perfection with a sprinkle of Parmesan.
Pictured above to the left is another stripped back ingredient dish – sliced orange with a sweet balsamic vinegar serving as a well-seasoned side dish. This plate exudes flavour which astonishingly accompanied all of our pasta dishes extremely well. The acidity mixed superbly with the saltier relishing of the pasta dishes.
As you’ll see from the outside of La Grotta photographed below, this place really is a hidden secret – you could quite easily sweep past this restaurant without realising the Italian culinary delight, alongside it’s medieval charm in a cosy atmosphere. A serious MUST FOOD STOP!
In Chiusdino, you can also find the birthplace of San Galgano, moreso renowned for the link to the stunning roofless Abbey located 15 minutes away by car. Quick emphasis on STUNNING – with this being our wedding venue and all… Not being bias at all.
Our next trip awaits and I can’t wait to next update my foodie followers with more local recommendations once we get the chance to re-visit this beautiful part of the world.
Monday 12:30–3pm, 7–11:30pm
Tuesday 12:30–3pm, 7–11:30pm
Thursday 12:30–3pm, 7–11:30pm
Friday 12:30–3pm, 7–11:30pm
Saturday 12:30–3pm, 7–11:30pm
Sunday 12:30–3pm, 7–11:30pm.