The beautiful town of Siena is often top of the daytrippers to-do list if you're based in Florence, and like many others I was given free time to explore and grab a bite to eat in this historic town. The tour leader suggested a restaurant which most of the group went to, but it seemed like it would be the usual tourist fare of pizza and pasta at the usual tourist prices.
I wandered up the main road and saw Osteria Il Grattacielo on my left - a few tables outside, lots of empty plates, looking mildly inconspicuous. I walked in and the two people behind the counter were busy serving some amazing looking Tuscan food. All cold antipasti, from cured meats to fresh cheeses, pickled fish to roasted vegetables. The place itself doesn't look all that flash, but the continuous stream of locals made me realise this is a place where tourists don't usually venture.
And boy are they missing out. I got a selection of cured meats, pecorina and ricotta, mackerel and herrings, potatoes, roasted vegetables and sundried tomatoes in olive oil, and it was one of the best antipasti meals I have had, period. Everything was fresh, delicious and tasted superb. Each mouthful reminded me of why I love Italian food. And the best thing about it is a lot of the produce is locally made and sourced.
And the bill? A massive plate of food plus a can of coke for €13. Outstanding value and highly recommended if you're in Siena.
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