The strong, simple flavours that dominate Tuscan cuisine go large in the Mugello. The rolling, forested hills hereabouts ensure that boar and venison are a big part of the local offerings--accompanied by uber-hearty treats such as potato tortelli with ragu. It's exactly what you need on a cold winter's night after a long walk. And so, on a foggy evening a few days before Christmas, we were happy to find L'antica Porta di Levante in the heart of Vicchio (about an hour from Florence). This boisterous, welcoming and very well run place, which seems able to accommodate scores of groups and couples with ease, has a vast local menu and even vaster wine list. You'll eat well: we had delicious carre di cinghiale (boar steak) braised in Chianti, gnudi (a type of gnocchi) concocted of pumpkin and ricotta and served with shaved Parmesan and balsamic vinegar, good local salumi and excellent tagliata, accompanied by a smooth supertuscan from that huge list. In the summer there's a terrace, but it's a cosy place in the cold months. We were there till midnight among the revellers and felt completely at home.
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