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Eating & Drinking

  • Eating & Drinking

    Delightfully torn between tradition and creativity - like the contradictory Tuscans themselves - the wine scene allows for a duality between provenance and personality. In rural Chianti, food and wine are the real religion. Our recommended local wine estates with restaurants include Dievole, Castello di Ama and Castello di Selvole, all featured in this guide. For other estates, do see our individual Chianti guides. In Shopping, also see the wine and oil estate of Azienda Agricola Casanuova di Ama near Lecchi. This has a homely restaurant on the estate so makes a charming lunch spot as well as a place visit for stocking up on wine and oil.

    The local restaurants range from fine-dining to fuss-free inns and all specialise in versions of Tuscan cuisine. Pasta can be made with organic local flour and includes such stalwarts as pappardelle di lepre (pasta ribbons in hare sauce) or the same pasta with wild boar (cinghiale).

    This is just a taster to the Chianti. See our restaurant recommendations below and also consult our other guides to top Chianti towns and villages, all accessed through our Destinations listings. In particular, check our guides to Vagliagli, Radda in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti and Castellina in Chianti, which are all nearby.

  • Il Ristorante Malborghetto

    This much-loved, mid-priced inn is highly-rated by both the locals and visitors. Tuck into their vegetarian-friendly antipasti, including herbs and vegetables from the chef’s kitchen gardens. Typical dishes include Pecorino and pear tortellini, truffled gnocchi, stewed rabbit, wild boar stew, and panna cotta. Book ahead and request a table on the terrace in fine weather. If impressed by dinner do the cookery course with chef Simone Murici, including Chianti Classico wine-pairing. Learn how to make a complete meal, featuring such dishes as ravioli, steak, ragu sauce, truffle dishes and tiramisu. The morning course ends with you eating your feast. This village inn is set in Lecchi in Chianti about 5 km off the SS408 Gaiole-Siena road.

    Address: Via Monteluco 4, Localita Lecchi in Chianti, 53013 Gaiole in Chianti
    Tel: +39 0577 746201
    Web: www.malborghetto.net

  • La Grotta della Rana

    The hearty Tuscan home-cooking makes this inn equally popular with the locals and with chic Sienese coming for a Chianti outing. It’s a family affair, with Mamma in the kitchen and her children running the restaurant. The cooking is equally homely and reasonably-priced, ranging from pasta with courgettes and mushrooms to wild boar and rabbit dishes. Helped by a reliable and wide-ranging wine list, you can indulge in a leisurely lunch on the terrace. This inn is in the hamlet of San Sano, which lies between Lecchi in Chianti and the SS408 Gaiole-Siena road.

    Address: Via Padre Chiantini, Localita San Sano, 53013 Gaiole in Chianti
    Tel: +39 0577 746020
    Web: www.lagrottadellarana.it

  • Il Ristoro

    Set on the lovely, rambling Castello di Ama wine estate deep in the Chianti hills, 2km from Lecchi, this gastro inn is all about showcasing the wine in an 18th-century villa. The short but seasonal menu is perfectly matched to the estate wines. Authentic, good-value dishes include pasta with wild boar sauce, chicken with black olives in wine sauce or a summery carrot and courgette soufflé with Pecorino sauce, and a hazelnut tart to finish. Pre-book a balcony table for sweeping views. To focus on the wine alone, choose the estate’s L’Enoteca.

    Day closed: Tuesday
    Address: Castello di Ama, Localita Ama, 53013 Gaiole in Chianti
    Tel: +39 0577 746191
    Web: www.castellodiama.com

  • L’Osteria La Botte

    This mid-priced estate inn serves seasonal modern Tuscan cooking made with fresh, rigorously local ingredients. Typical dishes include: pici, the local stubby pasta, with meaty beef ragù from Chianina cattle; fusilli pasta in a velvety aubergine sauce; duck breast in a balsamic sauce; and Tuscan cured meats. The inn is on the Castello di Selvole wine estate, just south of Vagliagli, in the direction of Pievasciata.
    Address: Localita Selvole, Vagliagli, 53019 Castelnuovo Beradenga
    Tel: +39 0577 1912577
    Web: www.osterialabotte.com

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