If you are in the Barbarino Val d'Elsa/Certaldo/San Gimignano area of Tuscany you really should take a detour up to the little hilltop village of Vico d'Elsa to visit it's charming little restaurant, Vico Furbo. The village itself has stunning views across the Elsa valley to San Gimignano while Vico Furbo is situated right in the middle of the village's main square, Piazza Torrigiani. Open every evening except Monday on arrival you will be greeted by Stefania, joint owner along with her husband, Cristiano who is the chef. The first thing to strike you when you enter is the huge table in the middle of the room laden with plates of many types of antipasti, from traditional Italian cured meats to all kinds of vegetable dishes made with courgette, aubergine, artichoke, etc, aswell as omlettes, fritattas and breads. You can fill your plate with as much of this as you can fit on it for around 7 to 8 euros. The main problem is making sure you leave enough room for a main course to follow! Vico Furbo is first and formost a pizza restaurant so you would expect the pizzas to be excellent and they are!! There are a wide variety of pizzas on the menu from the old favorites like Margarita, Diavola, 4 staggioni, etc aswell as many which are unique to Vico Furbo. For those of you who prefer something other than pizza there is a range of pasta and rice dishes all freshly prepared by Cristiano and his team aswell as the restaurant's other speciality, steak. Cooked just how you like it and served on a bed of rocket and drizzled with vintage balsamic vinegar is my personal favorite but there are many others all equally delicious. For dessert you could try the Vin Santo with Cantuccini biscuits, Panna Cotta with fruits of the forest or Vico Furbo's piece de resistance the schiacciate (basically a pizza base) covered with nutella and mascarpone and topped with strawberries........the kids absolutely love it!!!!
Vico Furbo has an extensive wine list to suit all budgets. Their house wine is excellent and they also sell the local Chianti produced on the slopes leading up to the village.
For a pizza and a couple of drinks you can dine for as little as 10 euros per head. For 3 courses expect to pay 20 to 25 euros plus drinks which, as ever in Italian country restaurants, represents far better value and quality than you will find in the tourist hotspots of Florence or Siena.
For a preview of Vico Furbo it's well worth looking on their website www.vicofurbopizzeria.it.
Prebooking recommended especially at weekends.