Eating in the Val D’Orcia

We are on holidays. Bagni di San Filippo hot springs. A jump into the kitchen of the Val d’Orcia

Chiu’ Radicofani

We only wanted to make a walk in Radicofani on our way to Bagni San Filippo. Then we wanted just to enter a nice looking trattoria to admire the aging Chianina in a Glass cooler, The we ended up having Lunch at Chiu’. We had:

  • lasagne con Carciofi, a Xmas specialty in Radicofani
  • Zuppa di Castagni e Porcini
  • Maialino alle pere
  • Picanha di Manzo (and we did not know what it was)

And a bottle of Sangiovese from 2013, “from a friend” as the owner said.

The soup was excellent with a lot of tasty porcini and the chestnuts gracefully creamed.

I don’t like Lasagna and I don’t like particularly Carciofi. But it was a specialty and Nixy wanted to try. So we did and it was OK. Nixy had also half of my mushroom soup.

But the important dishes were the meat dishes. The piglet meat was really from a suckling pig, very delicate with pear taste, but mostly the meat itself. I like eating an animal with skins and interiors and bones like this. I find lean meat normally boring. And lean meat was the picanha, two big pieces. And we inverted roles. Nixy who normally loves lean beef meet, did not like it (“is not beefy enough”). I found it wonderful. Tough, but not hard, clearly to be identified as non noble piece of meet nobled by treatment. Later I learned from the chef, it is from the back of the animal, marinated 6 weeks with herbs under vacuum.

The two meat dishes werre bot 22 Euros each. This is not little money f, but we are in Tuscany.

The wine was surely arrived at the end of his life, very soft tannins, littke acidity left, some spicyness. We got it for 23 Euros and I like this kind of wine


Lo Spugnone Bagni San Filippo

I know this place well. I have been here 5 times over the years. It is the only place in the village, which is open all year. I have always eaten well.

Also this time.

Our dishes this time

I always order the tagliere of cinta senese, the best cold cuts in the entire val d”Orcia. Cinta Senese is simply another Charcuterie dimensions.

We had an excellent pasta dish with a boar ragout thaugthful done without tomatoes. Hand made eggnodles, all ver elegant.

I had arrosticini, which were – as always for my taste- grilled for too long. Nixy had a “trippa alla Fiorentina” which ws a bit too salty, confirmed alsoby other eaters. But anyway: both dishes were appreciated by us.

As an extra they brought a bottle of their new Olive Oil at the table, wonderful.

Criticism regarding wine selection procedure. They have no wine list, but a wine shelf to select from. And there are no prices on the bottles. So yo u have to ask for every bottle you are interested in (If you belong to those people for whom price is a criteria).

But more important, was the wine we chose: A Contemaso Toscana Rosso IGT, 2015. Two days later we have been with the producer, of which we need to write separately.

Le Rocche, Castiglione d’Orcia

This is about fine dining for Lorry drivers. The restaurantis on the outskirts of the historic center. Nixy initially did not want to go there, because she disliked the decoration. I was attracted by “cucina molecolare” in the menu and by a lot of dishes that were unusual. No “tagliere” on the menu.

Our dishes

We ordered:

  • rognone con pere e cipolle di tropea
  • terrine di coda di bue
  • tagliata di filetto di cinta senese con spuma di pecorino
  • Ossobuco al saffron

I had two starters, because Nixy disliked both of them. But they were not bad at all. But instead of cucina molecolare it was cucina for hungry lorry drivers. The amount of kidney was big and sliced also into big pieces. This was just gentled by a good amount of onions and pears. The terrine had a strong taste of ..Oxtail..too strong for many palates, i can understand

Also the filletto and the Ossobuco were generous portions and in a way not fine enough prepared.

The filetto di cinta senese was very tasty and cooked to perfection, but sliced in too thick pieces. I also would accompany it with some herbs and olive oil instead with another batch of proteins.

The price of 21 Euros for the Ossobuco was justified probably with the use of the expensive soffron. But then it is a bad idea to cover the saffron with ciccoria ripassata in padella. The ossobuco itself was wonderful, cooked to perfection and with a big mark filled bone in the middle

Baccala’ fritto

The proof of the chefs abilities:

After we had done our order we discovered “Baccala’ fritto” on the menu for which Nixy was longing for days.

It arrived when we were already full – and we finished it all! I am always very happy if I eat better in a Restaurant than at home. I am not able to produce such a baccala’ fritto!!

Outside crunchy but “pastella” not too thick, inside a juicy baccala’ with a nearly creamy texture.

Perfect! 18 Euros worth

L’osteria confusa, Abbaddia San Salvatore

We found this place, walking around in Abbadia and the Menu found our interest. Dishes like “zuppa del minatore” and “spezzatino di maialino con castagne e porcini” seemed worthwhile to taste.

The biggest surprise was the wine. A Chianti from Ravazzi (Palazzone), 2019 for 18 Euros. I know Ravazzi as a producer of cheap simple wines, but what we got here was excellent. Very nice in the nose and the mouth, soft tannins, a persisting fruitiness of cherries with transition to cherry jam. We liked it. Ravazzi is on the list for a visit.

La zupppa del minatore was unimpressive, lo spezzatino di maiale very good, both value for money. The overall bill did not reach 80 Euros

Le Lecci

By far the most elegant of the Restaurants we used during our stay. And the most expensive: 144 Euros, of which 40 Euros for a bottle of “Carro Stellato” , Orcia DOC, which we

did not like particularly,

The food

  • Carpaccio di Chianina con Carciofi
  • Budino di cavolo nero
  • Taglioline con capriolo
  • Stufato di cinghiale al ciocolato
  • Peposo
  • Carciofi fritti
  • un dessert

I was nnot very much impressed by the antipasti. The Carpaccio was marinated too salty (but the carciofi on top were excellent). The budino also was more salty than kalie.

First compensation with the pasta dish. Home made pasta to perfection, savoury dear meet without being covered by salt or spices.

The top were the two meat dishes (18 Euros each). The peposo with two diffferent peppers. The sweet chocolate taste with boar, we enjoyed. We enjoyed too the deepfried carciofi,well done.

On another positive note : the owner changed us the initially chosen wine as we really did not like it. (because of a bitterness not from tannins, but from the maceration of wood parts?) Unfortunately also the exchange bottle did not excite us. But we chose the risk refusing all the excellent bottles we knew and which were on the wine list.


Appreciation of a Restaurant and ht e wish to go back is based on several factors. For me an important factor is the interaction with the people, who serve you. In this regard the prize goes to the “Spugnone” in Bagni San Filippo and to “Chiu’ ” in Radicofani. In both cases a very pleasent treatment by the owners. The Pricze for creativity goes to “theRocche”in Castiglione d’Orcia. The “Osteria confusa” in Abbadia San Salvatore might be premiated for ratio Price/quality, especially for the wonderful Chianti, they served. And “the Lecci” “

gain the prize for elegance and perfect stews.

It is difficult to have bad food in Val d’Orcia

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *