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“Good food, busy place”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Osteria Acquacheta

Osteria Acquacheta
Ranked #11 of 98 Restaurants in Montepulciano
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $22 - $44
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: The Osteria ACQUACHETA, open for over 25 years, has retained the characteristics of the old Tuscan taverns. The kitchen, sharing tables, one glass for water and wine, and not least an authentic welcome and true, typically Tuscan, make it a local flavor ... you feel at home ... Managers, CHIARA and GIULIO, have maintained intact over the years the tradition of pasta, bread, cakes and homemade preserves to which are added succulent steaks cooked Florentine embers of wood. Local, small and very popular, is located in the upper part of the old town, a few steps from the main square.
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
65 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Good food, busy place”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2013

This place is noisy and very busy. They have two seating times: 7:30 or 9:30 pm. The wait staff will gladly go over the hand written menu with you in English. The food was very good. It is a little strange that they only give you one glass for wine and water. The menu explains that this is their "tradition" but it's inconvenient to drink one or the other. Seating is communal, which is fun for us. If you are looking for great food and new friends, this is a great place. Those looking for a quiet evening should find another dining venue.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BrittaniMV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Albany, New York
Level Contributor
74 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Start with an empty stomach!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2013

Our second trip to Montepulciano was planned with a view towards purchasing some new ceramica and lunch at the Osteria delle Acquacheta. We had read about the owner/Chef Giulio Ciolfi and his mammoth T-Bones and our fate was sealed.
We were not disappointed on either front.
We made our reservations about a month and 1/2 in advance, since eating good food is one of my travel priorities and there are two lunch sittings. We arrived a little early and were seated promptly soon joined by a full entourage of local and foreign foodies.
We started with a wonderful salad with pears and cheese and then Chef Ciolfi arrived in his uniform of light blue jeans and black tee shirt with grey ponytail swings left and right. When we said we would order the T-Bone, he drew a triangle on our paper table cloth and then proceeded to show us our choice of the entire steak or the strip. Since my wife enjoys the filet, we chose the whole steak. He stared a moment and then explained in broken English that the whole steak weighed about 2 kilos. I said let's go.
He came back in a few minutes with the 3" cut raw steak and I smiled. He asked me where we came from and I told him NY. He asked if I had eaten at Peter Lugar's in Brooklyn. I said I had and he told me I would have to pay 3 times as much for his steak there. I told him he was right.
Within about 15 minutes the waitress returned with a beautifully seared but VERY rare steak. There was a side of some pasta but I don't remember anything but THAT steak.
My wife likes her steak closer to medium rare and usually eats about 4 oz at most. However, she managed to eat almost the entire filet which must have weighed 10 oz. I finished her filet and most of the strip. It was terrific.
We walked around Montepulciano for another hour, found our favorite ceramica shop and then headed back to our hotel in Montalcino.
That night back at the hotel we shared a small pizza and wine.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Daniel R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
153 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Fine dining, not, but a good meal in an entertaining environment”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2013

My wife and I enjoyed our lunch at the Osteria Acquacheta . We chose it as the venue for dining on a Bistecca al Florentia in large part because of the dramatic picture of the chef that appears on the osteria’s website. In person, he exuded none of the drama of that picture, but he certainly does wield a sharp knife. And he did his best to accommodate our wants, which were to have a relatively small steak. Ours weighed in at a kilo which was plenty for our lunch and for a second meal we enjoyed with the leftover meat. However, a kilo of t-bone steak made for a cut that was a mere inch thick, which I deem too thin. An inch and a half thickness is closer to ideal. In any case, the steak was delicious.

When dining at the Osteria one must accept the rules of the house. These include sharing a table with other diners, which can make for interesting, unplanned conversations, and figuring out how to make do with only one drinking glass per person. This latter situation present challenges if one is drinking both wine and water.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BackpackerNoMore62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Level Contributor
101 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Wish I had been more prepared going in...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2013

I read about this place in a NY times article and was so excited to go (they've never steered me wrong before) that I booked reservations two weeks in advance. However, the actual experience was truly disappointing; the only reason I'm giving three stars is because I now understand what the place is all about and would probably have a better time going back knowing what I know now.

The whole experience was VERY rushed and chaotic - especially for us being non-Italian tourists. When finally seated (20 minutes late after all the big parties) we were given the menus and had 2 minutes to review (menu was MUCH larger than I expected - I thought it would be just steak and some sides). We quickly ordered a pasta each to start and then one steak florentine to split, with a salad on the side. Pastas came out and were fine (rather unremarkable I'd say - every other pasta we had elsewhere was far superior). Shortly after the owner came by and said he would recommend we get the sirloin instead of the florentine because "after eating the pasta it would not be possible to finish" the florentine. We figured the guy knows what he's doing, so take his recommendation, and he said it was the same as the florentine - just smaller.

Well, the sirloin came out and it was really not that large (considering it was for two people), and it was overcooked - especially considering we came here for the notoriously rare steaks. We were also the only ones to end up with the sirloin; it was like getting the tourist cut. Part of it was cooked super well done and we didn't finish it. The salad we ordered was pretty terrible - shredded bitter lettuce and some basic dressing. Not sure why they even offer it.

Seeing we were very unhappy they brought out another steak on the house; this time done properly and a more reasonable size for two people to share. We had a bit of this since it was more what we were expecting, but it's not that same at that point. Not to mention the group of Italians crammed next to us clearly complaining about us being American and never being happy - even though we didn't say anything.

Also, we were really looking forward to ordering a great bottle of wine with dinner after touring the region all day - but we quickly realized everyone here only drinks the Carlo Rossi style jug wine. We felt like we would definitely be out of place ordering a bottle - if we could've even found the list that was supposed to be on the wall.

Yeah, the guy cutting the meat in the back is cool with the wood-burning fire right behind. Also, our waitress was very nice and was clearly concerned we weren't happy. But after the dinner I can honestly say we were both ready to get out of the place. This was our most disappointing dining experience in the four days we were in Tuscany.

So, what I learned:

- You order a light starter
- You order a big steak
- You drink the cheap wine
- You dress casual and prepare for a less-than-romantic dinner

Perhaps I would try again if I happened to be back, but I would certainly go in with different expectations and a better understanding. However, I suspect in Tuscany you can find a better quality Florentine to be experienced in a more enjoyable atmosphere.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank NYC_ADK83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Not to be missed”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2013 via mobile

We stayed in Montepulciano for 7 days and we ate here for 6 days (closed Tuesdays). The food is the closest you'll get to real home made Italian food. All food is fresh and seasonal. This a real Osteria and an exceptional dining experience. We and my two boys fell in love with Chiara, she's the perfect host and made us feel welcome. Guillio would fit right into a Pulp Fiction scene with his meat axe and 'Bistecca alla Fiorentina', seriously he was charm and a real connoisseur of slow food. We spent 8 weeks in Italy and this was by far the best food we ate. Chiara, Guillio, staff and the food will always be remembered as a highlight to our trip.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank ElioBombonato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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