We don’t usually eat at restaurants attached to the hotels where we stay on holiday. Hotel restaurants are often sub-par -- if they’re focusing on the rooms, the kitchen can be an afterthought -- and in any place worth visiting, there are going to be lots of dining experiences that are worth having outside of where you sleep.
But after reading the good TripAdvisor reviews of La Perla del Palazzo, we decided to walk the 50 meters or so it took to get from our room to the ristorante. (If we had known how to work the old wooden door at the end of the corridor, it would have been 10 meters.) It’s a smallish, narrow room, decor just short of plush, but in keeping with the classy tone of the hotel overall.
GREAT Tuscan cooking! I had a thick ribollita (I went on a tear trying as many versions of that typical Tuscan kale/bread soup as I could) and a fantastically meaty cinghale stew that was almost all boar. (I’m kicking myself that I forgot my take-away dish in the room fridge, because it was too good to leave behind.)
The wine list was one of those thick ones that you hang onto after you’ve ordered, just to study the great bottles on offer. Heavy on the Tuscans, of course, but an unusually large selection of other regions from Old World and New, Southern Hemisphere too. We had a Brunello di Montalcino -- we drank more Brunello this trip than I ate ribollita -- for a good price.
The waitstaff was as friendly as the hotel workers, too. They didn’t even fuss when a couple of American children were running up and down the walkway between tables. To the rest of the world: I apologize that my fellow former countrymen do not know how to control their kids. In food and in service, La Perla lives up to its lustrous namesake.
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