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Eating & Drinking

  • Eating & Drinking

    The September wine fairs bring the professional wine-tasting crowd to Greve. The surrounding hills are blanketed with vineyards, many of which date back to the time of the medieval monks. Chianti Classico is big business in Greve and has been for centuries. In 1716 Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany, officially delimited the production zone of Chianti wine. Chianti Classico is made from Sangiovese grapes, or a Sangiovese blend, and aged for 14 months in French oak barrels followed by at least seven months in the bottle, or two years for a Riserva. Our recommended wine estates are featured in each of the individual Chianti guides.

    Although this is Florentine Chianti, Sienese-style dishes (or produce such as cinta senese cold cuts) appear on the menu too. As elsewhere in Tuscany, the cooking is never elaborate or excessive; there are no fussy finishing touches, complex reductions of sauces or subtly blended flavours. But there is a basic earthiness about the dishes which has made them popular the world over.

    This is just a taster to the Chianti. See our restaurant recommendations below and also see our other guides to top Chianti towns and villages, all accessed through our Destinations listings.

  • Il Bistro Falorni

    Set on Greve’s main square, this unpretentious place makes a good stop for a lunch on the run, complete with a glass of Chianti Classico. In the Chianti, fast food means chickpea soup, tasty taglieri, cheeseboards or plates of cured meats, as well as bruschetta slathered with liver paté, and Prosciutto and Pecorino-stuffed panini. Falorni boasts of being a `butcher’s bistrot,’ a café and gourmet delicatessen linked to the town’s renowned local butcher.

    Address: Piazza Matteotti 71, 50022 Greve in Chianti
    Tel: 055 853029

  • La Castellana

    This small, romantic, family-run inn serves robust, mid-priced Tuscan dishes and a full range of Chianti wines. Local favourites include crostini with chicken-liver paté, grilled meats and beef stew. Specialities include the truffle and mushroom dishes, including tagliatelle or bruschetta with truffles. Lap up the views from the hillside terrace, featuring swaying cypresses, silvery olive groves and endless vineyards. It’s best to book, especially for the terrace.

    Address: Via di Montefioralle, Localita Montefioralle, 50022 Greve in Chianti
    Tel: 055 853134

  • L’Antica Scuderia

    Just west of Greve is Badia a Passignano, with its Benedictine abbey and Antinori wine estate.  Foodies are spoilt for choice with options. If you resist the Michelin-starred Antinori gastrodome, then try this elegant, summery spot with a terrace overlooking the vineyards. The restaurant occupies a former staging post and stabling for passing knights. The cooking is modern Tuscan, including such dishes as Tuscan crostini, lamb with stuffed artichokes, or game in the form of hare, pheasants and wild boar. Grilled meat is very much on the menu, including T-bone steak. Prices range from medium to high, also depending on the wine selection. Good, inexpensive pizzas are also on offer in this child-friendly spot.

    Address: Via di Passignano 17, Localita Badia a Passignano, 50028 Tavernelle Val di Pesa
    Tel: 055 8071623

  • La Cantinetta di Rignana

    Set 4 km from Badia a Passignano, this rural spot is well worth the effort of reaching it. The dreamy setting encompasses an old-world mill and vine-clad hills. This is mid-priced, rustic cuisine, from the tagliatelle with grated truffles to the wild boar stew or the rabbit stuffed with truffled pork. To finish, there’s Pecorino with pear or panna cotta with berries. The wine list ranges from Super Tuscans to La Cantinetta’s own estate wine. Beware that the restaurant lies at the end of a windy, bumpy road.

    Address: Localita di Rignana 13, 50022 Greve in Chianti
    Tel: 055 852601

  • La Trattoria della Fonte

    Just north of Badia a Passignano, this informal, Antinori-owned inn complements the wine dynasty’s neighbouring fine-dining restaurant, L’Osteria di Passignano. Here, the mood is informal, with the solid Tuscan, mid-priced menu matching the rural setting. Typical dishes include Pienza cheeses, Tuscan cured meats, Florentine T-bone steak and typical crostini. That said, the accompanying Antinori wines can be as modest or magnificent as wished. If you’ve fallen in love with the setting, then ponder an on-site cookery class.

    Address: Via Santa Maria Macerata 41, Montefiridolfo, 50026 San Casciano in Val di Pesa
    Tel: 055 8244700 / 055 8244743

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