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Eating & Drinking

  • Given its proximity to both Siena and to the wealthy Chianti winelands, Castelnuovo Berardenga is a culinary hotspot. This is especially true of the tiny hamlets just north. San Gusme and neighbouring Villa a Sesta and San Felice form a foodie hotspot, with gourmet cuisine the norm, but not always at gourmet prices. See our San Gusme guide for additional options.

    It’s a similar story for wine, with the finest wines from the grandest estates, such as Brolio, on offer. But this being democratic Tuscany, homely inns and inexpensive Chianti Classico wines also make an appearance. The trademark on bottles of Chianti Classico is the Black Rooster (or Black Cockerel), the historic symbol of the Chianti Military League, depicted by Giorgio Vasari on the ceiling of the Salone dei Cinquecento at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. Our recommended wine estates are featured in each of the individual Chianti guides.

    Do remember that you are close enough to Siena to pop in for lunch or dinner. 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.

  • L’Enoteca Bengodi

    Set in the centre of Castelnuovo, this friendly, reliable, mid-priced inn serves classic Tuscan dishes backed by Italian classics. After starters of Tuscan cold cuts or a platter of Pecorino and home-made jams, it might be onto or pumpkin soup, tagliolini pasta with asparagus and courgette flowers, or Parmesan risotto, a house speciality. Main courses range from wild boar stew to Florentine T-bone steak or veal in caper sauce. Wines, including non-Tuscans, can be served by the glass or by the bottle.

    Address: Via della Società Operaia 11,
    Castelnuovo Berardenga

    Tel: 0577 355116

  • L’Asinello

    This gourmet inn in Villa a Sesta, just north of Castelnuovo, provides good-value but creative fine-dining. Expect a surprising menu, attentive service, cosy atmosphere and charming terrace. Typical dishes feature unusual flavour combinations, such as gnocchi in a rabbit and broccoli sauce. Duck, pigeon, venison and quail are often on the menu but so are creative pasta dishes and curious vegetable combinations that work. The good-value tasting menu depends on the chef’s imagination.

    Address: Via Nuova 6,
    Localita Villa a Sesta,
    Castelnuovo Berardenga
    Tel: 0577 359279

  • Il Poggio Rosso

    Just north of San Gusme, this pricey, fine-dining restaurant specialises in creative Chianti cuisine and beyond, using only local, artisanal ingredients. Saffron from San Gimignano or spring onions from Certaldo find their way into imaginative dishes. Consider risotto with porcini mushrooms, goat’s cheese and cauliflower, or the seabass with artichokes and chick peas. This Michelin-starred gastro inn is only open for dinner but for simpler dining, choose the resort’s L’Osteria Del Grigio, which is also open for lunch.
    Address: Borgo San Felice,
    Localita San Felice,
    Castelnuovo Berardenga

    Tel: 0577 3964

  • L’Osteria del Castello

    Set about 13 km north of Castelnuovo Berardenga, this upmarket inn lies in Castello di Brolio, the ancestral castle estate of the Ricasoli wine dynasty. Combine a tour of the castle with lunch in the estate inn. Alternatively, the sunset tour of the castle includes dinner in the Ricasoli’s restaurant. Your castle ticket also allows for a free wine-tasting in the Ricasoli tasting rooms below the castle. With lunch, indulge in the Barone Ricasoli Castello di Brolio Chianti Classico 2006. Dishes are creative twists on traditional Tuscan cuisine. Along with classic Florentine-influenced meat dishes, expect more fish than found in most of the Chianti. Such dishes as olive gnocchi in pecorino sauce or rabbit salad with crispy spelt can also be paired with Ricasoli wines.

    Address: Castello di Brolio,
    Localita Madonna a Brolio,
    Gaiole di Chianti

    Tel: 0577 7301

  • L’Osteria di Fonterutoli

    Set in a stone-built farmhouse overlooking the Chianti hills, west of Castelnuovo Berardenga, this is an upmarket gastro inn belonging to the Mazzei wine dynasty. The cooking is Tuscan with a contemporary touch, paired with Mazzei wines, especially those from the Castello di Fonterutoli estates. Chef Lorenzo Baldacci’s preference is game, including wild boar stew, along with more novel dishes, such as cheese flan or a pork and olive tapenade. A novel dessert includes the orange, vanilla and cocoa semifreddo.

    Address: Via Puccini 4,
    Localita Fonterutoli,
    Castellina in Chianti

    Tel: 0577 741125

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