Heading for dinner at La Grotta, Montepulciano we passed through the avenue of cypresses which leads directly to the Temple of San Biagio. The stylish restaurant La Grotta (the cave) is opposite this sixteenth century masterpiece. If you are looking for a Tuscan dining experience this romantic and elegant restaurant is balance between traditional foods of Tuscany and new gastronomic suggestions.
Early evening the temple of the Madonna di San Biago is beautifully lit up by the setting Tuscan sun. The Renaissance masterpiece is made of travertine so it turns a lightly golden colour.
It is a great place for couple or group shots and you’ll find a neat row of smartly dressed diners by the well.
After a bit of posing (a skill I have yet to learn) we head into the cool interior of the restaurant.
It is an authentic sixteenth century Tuscan dining room. Warm and charming. They describe it as ‘politely formal’, which describes it perfectly, I think.
We took a table in the summer garden, which was surrounded by old brick walls with arches, lush climbing ivy and has the dome of San Biagio as a backdrop.
We all sensed that we were going to have a good night and there were cheery clinking of wine glasses.
The wine choices were excellent but rather pricy. Luckily you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a really good bootle here in Tuscany.
The mood was a happy one. We had been enjoying our stay in the Villa Montepulciano and felt relaxed and glad to be together.
The menu reflects local food heritage but likes to broaden it’s boundaries.
We all made our choices quickly. I went for the divine sounding pheasant ravioli and it was extremely tasty. Soft and buttery with saffron flavours and a fantastic pecorino cheese on top.
Andy went for this guinea-fowl ragù, which surprised me because of the dry prune element. He’s never been one for mixing fruits with his dinner! But, the prunes give a subtle sweetness only and the whole dish was deliciously satisfying.
We learnt how to make this pasta at our villa on a cookery course. It’s irregular because they don’t use a pasta machine. Spinach and garlic make a great couple and the pepper pops in a lovely sweetness.
All these pasta dishes have been wonderful, you really can’t choose badly!
My darling girl had recently turned 25 and so there were lots of cheers to her, our precious daughter, now a young independent woman.
As the laughter, chatter and celebrations carried on our ‘Tuscan beef’ was being sliced off the bone by the table. The smells of juicy charred meat wafted over and it was incredible!
This was turning out to be a night to remember and James can’t resist another cheers (with the red, this time).
The steak was simply served with soft garlicky white beans. When things are this good, there’s no need to fuss.
Half the group went for the lamb. I heard the mention of it being ‘the best lamb I’ve ever had’!
Dinner at La Grotta, Montepulciano has been so memorable and as the night drifted on the sky turned dark. The garden lights turned on and we enjoyed the hum of other diners and the environment of this relaxing summer garden.
And as the moon and the stars shone above the dome of the temple, we reflected on our day and what our plans were for tomorrow.
We had spent the morning exploring the Medieval Hill Town Of Montepulciano and it was fun to go through the camera seeing the captures of the day.
You may have heard (as I can’t resist mentioning this a lot right now) but this loved up couple recently got engaged. So we have been taking loads of photos capturing this very special holiday.
The garden was turning pleasantly cool. Cooler air is very welcome when you have been indulging!
The much anticipated desserts arrived. I have a confession to make. I have been underwhelmed by Tuscan desserts (except their gelato, naturally). Us Brit’s do a really good pud, it has to be said.
Desserts at La Grotta, Montepulciano however were very good. We enjoyed the Bitter chocolate terrine with pistachio ice-cream and especially the divine Mascarpone mousse with coffee ice-cream.
We finished our dinner at La Grotta, Montepulciano with some fabulous dessert wine from a local winery. It had been a night that will stay with us for a very long time.
Dinner at La Grotta, Montepulciano (Siena)
cap 53045 – loc. San Biagio
Tel. +39 0578757479
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