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Restaurant suggestions for fussy husband!

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Cork, Ireland
posts: 2,361
reviews: 171
Restaurant suggestions for fussy husband!

I’m posting this in both the Pienza and Montepulciano forum as I imagine that is where we will be doing most of our eating. My husband and I will be spending one week in an agriturismo close to Pienza. My husband is a very picky eater and I am worried that we will struggle to find restaurants where he will be happy to eat. Basically, he doesn’t eat fish, an absolute no-no, he can’t even bear the smell of it! With meat, he will eat steak (well done) he will also eat chicken and pork but wouldn’t be madly excited about it. I think he would try the pico and wild boar that I hear is a speciality in the area, but to be honest, his favourite thing to eat would be pizza and simple pasta and sauce.

I am just wondering if anyone could recommend a couple of restaurants in Pienza and Montepulciano that might be suitable. We would prefer low to mid range places, maybe €70 or less for dinner with a carafe of wine

Also, we will have a little kitchenette and would like to keep costs low a couple of nights, is there anywhere that we could buy nice food to cook ourselves? I wouldn’t want to cook from scratch, but can you buy fresh pasta, fresh sauces etc or are they frowned on in Tuscany! Thanks in advance :)

Perth, Western...
posts: 2,457
reviews: 307
1. Re: Restaurant suggestions for fussy husband!

To eat: La Briciola in via delle Cantine 23 and Osteria Acquacheta in via del Teatro 22 both in Montepulciano.

Wine cellar Antico Colle at Gracciano, via Provinciale 9.

Cheeses and smallgoods by Bindi Enzo at locality Il Borgo 55, Pienza

(one Km towards Montepulciano.

Macelleria del Corso (butchery), in corso Rossellino 33, Pienza.

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 5,403
reviews: 5
2. Re: Restaurant suggestions for fussy husband!

Le Logge del Vignola and La Bricola are my favorite restaurants in Montepulciano. The atmosphere if you can eat outside on the terrace at Vignola is amazing. It is a little expensive, but well worth it for a special dinner in my opinion. La Bricola is a gem in my opinion. The father and son who own the place are very proud of this place and some reviewers have been turned off by them. They were very kind to us and we returned for a second grea meal. If your husband is picky I do not know. Check out the menu ahead of time at both places. I had great beef at Vignola, but it was far from just a slab of beef. Go by there one evening and see what you think. If you love the looks of the candle lit tables on the terrace, try and talk him into it!

We ate pizza a couple of times outside at Aquacheta. We really liked it! For no extra cost you get to watch Punchinello on the clock tower above ringing the bell!

Montepulciano, Italy
posts: 4,063
reviews: 3
3. Re: Restaurant suggestions for fussy husband!

First off, when it comes to picky about food, no one can beat some of the Italians I know who are so-o particular about what they eat in restaurants, I sometimes question why they bother going out at all. Someone in all the restaurants in both towns speaks English so explain what your husband would like. Fish doesn't feature prominently on menus around here (with the exception of one place in San Quirico) but you'll find lots of meat, chicken, rabbit. Consider a plate of mixed roast meats as these appear on most ristorante menus (as opposed to osteria). Il Pulcino just outside Montepulciano heading towards Chianciano does these dishes well and has a very pretty terrace with great views of the town. In Pienza, most places have simple pasta dishes including pici con aglione, which is a garlicky tomato sauce with a hint of red chilli. Euros 70 for two with house wine is a generous budget and you should be able to eat in most places for far less than that.

If you want to self-cater, you can't do better than the Franci brothers butchers mentioned above. The boys sell excellent meat, though the cuts are very different to those in Britain / Ireland. For a treat, ask for some Chianina fillet (locally reared steak), they'll go out the back to cut it. It's not cheap but worth every Euro, you may not have ever eaten meat so good. They also have chicken pieces marinated in fresh herbs that make a simple supper plus some ready prepared vegetable dishes too. Their deli counter is excellent with marvellous hams, roast beef and spreads to add to bread to make crostini.

Perth, Western...
posts: 2,457
reviews: 307
4. Re: Restaurant suggestions for fussy husband!

You could book a cheese tasting at Caseificio Cugusi, via della Boccia 8 Montepulciano. Pecorino Gran Riserva, the semi matured with spices and the Erborinato are few of the delicacies.


At Sant'Albino could visit L'Olmaia brewery which produces and sells 5 different beers. Closed Sundays.


Montepulciano, Italy
posts: 4,063
reviews: 3
5. Re: Restaurant suggestions for fussy husband!

The Olmaia brewery is certainly somewhere different and acquiring a great reputation locally. We now keep a good stock in the fridge for refreshment on hot days.

Cork, Ireland
posts: 2,361
reviews: 171
6. Re: Restaurant suggestions for fussy husband!

Thanks for all the suggestions. It’s a real trial travelling with a picky eater, it’s fine when we go somewhere like USA where you’re always guaranteed a pizza or burger, but a bit trickier when you’re in small Italian towns!

Couple of additional questions, he does like steak, but it has to be well done, ie no blood in the middle. Can you request it cooked like this or are you likely to find yourself ejected from the premises!

His favourite type of food would be simple pasta and pizza, are there any good pizzeria’s in Montepulciano? Considering, Ristorante Il Covo and Trattoria di Cagnano, are they likely to be suitable for him?

posts: 12
reviews: 61
7. Re: Restaurant suggestions for fussy husband!

A picky eater who likes pizza and burgers, I am not sure if thats picky! Simple pasta and pizza should be easy to find, go where the locals are.

Gorizia, Italy
posts: 158
reviews: 69
8. Re: Restaurant suggestions for fussy husband!

For (very) simple pasta with low prices in Montepulciano, there is Bar Podernovo, with excellent location for a quick bite.

There's more about it in my recension (click on Bar Podernovo).

Edited: 7:23 am, June 29, 2012
Rome, Italy
posts: 387
reviews: 132
9. Re: Restaurant suggestions for fussy husband!

I live in Montepulciano, we do not consider il Pulcino or Podernovo as representative of Tuscan food. About il Pulcino, I can only agree with the several reviews on TA. The best restaurant of the town is , without any doubt, La Grotta.

You will find pasta everywhere, for pizza I would suggest Trattoria di Cagnano in Montepulciano or Ristorante Tre Stelle on the road to Chianciano ( in Sant'Albino). Fish is not typical of the area, and usually is not included in the offer of the restaurants.

Montepulciano, Italy
posts: 4,063
reviews: 3
10. Re: Restaurant suggestions for fussy husband!

We went to Il Pulcino for the first time ever earlier in the week despite driving by almost daily for years. We had the plate of cold meats / cheese / bruschette that was Euros 15 each including dessert (vin santo with contucci biscuits), water, quarto of wine and coffee. There was so much by way of ham and salami, I took some home. Sitting on the terrace with the lovely view of Montepulciano I couldn't help thinking what good value this is. The place was packed with Italian families, we were the only foreigners there. OK, it's a bit like walking through a supermarket to get to the terrace as there is a heavy sell of their estate products but many visitors will enjoy that.