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Eating & Drinking

  • Eating & Drinking

    Truffles are, of course, the main feast in town but most food in San Miniato follows the seasons and provides a pretext for any visit. The famed white truffles are best tasted during the November truffle fair and market, with a black truffle festival held in the summer. In late spring, generally in April and May, the prized San Miniato artichokes (carciofi), often served fried, appear on menus. Autumn inevitably means wild mushrooms and chestnuts harvested from the woods. Instead, the local goat’s cheese, formaggio di capra delle colline di San Miniato, is available all year round, as is succulent Chianina beef, Tuscany’s finest meat.

    If lucky, your visit will coincide with a festival as San Miniato has a food festival for virtually every delicacy. The best local feasts include: the Sagra del Fiore di Zucca in early June, celebrating edible courgette flowers; the Sagra della Bistecca, the steak festival, in early July; and the Festa dell’Olio olive oil festival in early October. Best of all is the Sagra del Tartufo e del Fungo Porcino in the last week of September, celebrating truffles and ceps mushrooms. On November weekends, truffle fever reaches its peak, with a huge market and exhibition displaying the best truffles of the season. The great farmers market, Il Mercatale di San Miniato, is run under the auspices of Slow Food.

  • Pepenero

    This stylish spot in the historic heart of town is a showcase for the culinary skills of Gilberto Rossi. This Veneto-born chef has made a name for himself in Tuscany and abroad, as well as nationally, on tv cookery programmes. Dine on modish Italian cuisine in this contemporary-looking restaurant with its brick vaulting and oak floors. Typical dishes include: marinated beef carpaccio; tortelli pasta stuffed with liquified Parmesan and mushy green peas; or suckling pig with turmeric and mashed potatoes.  In white truffle season, dine on autumnal dishes that reflect the best of San Miniato’s finest crop. Tasting menus are designed for all tastes, including vegetarians. It’s worth doing one of the chef’s half-day cookery classes that end in a laidback lunch on your own dishes. Prices are mid to high, depending on the wine selection.

    Address: Via IV Novembre 13, 56028 San Miniato
    Tel: +39 571 419523

  • La Taverna dell’Ozio

    Truffles, both white and black, reign supreme in this trusted, unpretentious, family-run inn. After antipasti of crostini, cured meats or verdure sott’olio (vegetables preserved in olive oil), starters could include pasta with game sauce or, of course, truffles. A truffle-related first course could be ricotta-and-walnut stuffed crepes (pancakes) in a truffle sauce. A main course might feature steak in a black pepper and truffle sauce. If truffles are not to your taste, then try the steaks or the hare in a chocolate sauce. Best to book well in advance as this cosy place is often full.

    Address: Via Zara 85, 56024 Corazzano, San Miniato
    Tel: +39 571 462862

  • Birra e Acciughe

    Named `Beer and Anchovies,’ this cheap and cheerful pub delivers on both fronts. This friendly, pocket-sized pub serves creative sandwiches, including with truffle and honey, anchovies and chilli, or anchovies marinated in beer. As for drinks, it’s craft beer, of course, ranging from Italian lager to Belgian white beers or English ales.

    Address: Via Augusto Conti 29, San Miniato 56028
    Tel: (+39) 329 0026905

  • Sergio Falaschi

    This is a typically Tuscan model: a renowned butcher’s shop doubling as a tasty, rough-and-ready inn. At the back of the ceramic-tiled butcher’s is a fuss-free inn specialising in T-bone steak made from the best Chianina beef, blood sausages and cured meats such as wild fennel salami or cinta senese, specialised Tuscan port from back Sienese pigs.  Also sample the sausages made with white truffle from the San Miniato hills. Many of the pigs are raised in a semi-wild state, ensuring quality meat.

    Address: Via Augusto Conti 19-20, San Miniato 56028
    Tel: +39 571 43190

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