Subject: Osteria La Pievina (was: Tuscan Hill towns)
Gavin - Da Miretta - I believe this is the name you gave to the restaurant you reccommended. I've never seen that name used for it before - locally it's simply called Osteria La Pievina. I looked at their business card and in the local telephone book and only found it under Osteria La Pievina. Regardless of the name, it's one of our favorites. In fact, we ate lunch there last Sunday. We eat there about 3-4 times a year and it's always delicious. You didn't just happen upon seafood night there, as EVERY meal is seafood at La Pievina. Everything served is from the sea, nothing from the local lakes or streams - they drive down to the Mediterranean every day for the seafood. Your description of the menu was great - a marvelous description of every course. Which was your favorite course? I love to see the expression on the faces of any new diners there when the first gamberoni tree is carried out of the kitchen. I took some local Italian friends there last year on Palm Sunday and when the zuppa delle sante was presented, the owner explained to my Italian friends that this soup was only made around Easter time - we laughed because it is the only soup she ever makes there and it's on the menu every month of the year. You'll be glad to know that when you return there next time - the menu never changes - every course, every day is exactly the same - always seafood. It is open on Sundays at lunch, in fact, that is the only time we go there. After a 4+ hour meal, we'd never consider driving home (via Trequanda) at night. The bill last week was 375.000 Lire for 4 people - all 15+ courses, wines, tips, grappa, etc. For anyone thinking about indulging yourself there, the meal is always fixed, as is the price. Osteria La Pievina and it's about 7-8 km to the NW of Asciano. (0577) 718.368 is the telephone number and I'd strongly suggest reservations for anyone trying to eat there - as it's a long drive to the near middle of nowhere to be told there is not a table. If you drive from the area of Trequanda, take the bottom / southern road to Asciano - not the one on the North side of Trequanda, as the southern drive is one of the most beautiful in this area of Tuscany. Bill Sutherland Montefollonico, Italy PS - the vino bianco served there is from the Cooperative in Sinalunga. Yes, zuppa is considered a primo and I'll ask for the recipe for you the next time we return. The digestif served at La Pievina is very different - no alcohol, nor sugar added - trust me, it does work. The grappa served is made from Brunello - one of the world's best wines. Grappa is distilled using the grapes after crushing - not really seeds and stalks?. On the whole, you get what you pay for with grappa, as cheap grappa is fiery and pungent, while expensive , well matured varieties can be very smooth. I loved the point you made at the end - while the food is wonderful, it is the hospitality that makes the experience so memorable - what can I say? The owners are Tuscan.