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“Too Many Options” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Osteria Il Papero

Osteria Il Papero
Ranked #14 of 72 Restaurants in San Miniato
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian, Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Families with children, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Too Many Options”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2012

My bucket list has a lot of stuff on it, nearly all of it food related. Il Papero Osteria had a few of my items on the menu and as we foolishly waited till our last night in Tuscany to eat there I had some ridiculously tough decisions to make. No to the Wild Boar. No to the Steak with Truffles. No to the handmade ravioli. So many potential regrets but the food I did eat was so incredible I didn't have any. Started with homemade pasta in a sweet, salty and tart vegetable sauce that inspired my appetite without filling me up. Next a Hunters Fry, a local specialty which was a lot like mixed Italian Tempura of chicken, rabbit and vegetables. Crunch and light, like the best fried foods, with no adornment it allowed the flavours of the top quality ingredients to shine. After that I was getting full so settled on Cantucci and Vin Santo for dessert while my boyfriend had the best example of Tiramisu I have ever tried. Compared to Australia the prices were laughably cheap - we paid less for the meal than we can pay for an average-priced bottle of wine at a restaurant in Melbourne.

The service perfectly walked the line between attentive and friendly yet unobtrusive, with both waiter and waitress happy to speak English and talk about the food. At the end of the meal the chef came out and had a nice chat with us about how we had enjoyed the cooking and it was wonderful to be able to sincerely tell him it was our best meal in Italy. The restaurant was filled with local families and it felt like a wonderful secret to have stumbled across.

I love Italian food and the dedication to local products and traditional recipes, but it was so exciting to be able to eat at a place that has added a few modern twists on the originals while retaining everything that is good. If you are nearby, or even not that close, I recommend taking a detour to Il Papero Osteria.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
5 Thank Adel S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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145 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Montaione, Italy
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Must Go!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2012

I had heard great things about this place, and was excited to finally check it out for myself last week. And I'll definitely be back! Amazing, affordable food is the least of what they offer here; it truly is a one of a kind experience, with young chef/owner Leandro and his family going above and beyond to ensure that each guest is happy, full and entertained. As we were the last people in the restaurant, he even came out with his guitar to sing a few songs at the end of the night! Each item on the changing, seasonal menu is a unique take on a Tuscan favorite - very refreshing to an American like myself in a world of identical and sometimes repetitive traditional Italian menus. The panzanella was literally the best I've had - crunchy, chewy and flavorful, and the chicken salad was moist and perfectly complemented by lightly roasted pineapple and peaches. We also loved the cheese souffle which came with 2 types of compote; so much that we ordered another once we finished the first. Finally we finished with a perfectly executed 'countryman's fry' - fried chicken, rabbit & veggies - and a dessert of homemade limoncello. I still have a couple more months here in Montaione before heading home to the states, and I'm sure I'll be returning more than once before I go!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
4 Thank Allie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montaione, Italy
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Finally!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2012

I live and work in this area and have had many excellent eating experiences, but my husband and I were still blown away by what has become our new favorite restaurant. The first time we went with a group of friends and, I must admit, we were fueled only by the beautiful logo. But we found much more than we anticipated.
The menu uses classic Tuscan ingredients, but they have been completely reworked. It is very difficult to find a place that retains the heart of Italian cooking while adding new touches and extremely satisfying to find such an elegant evolution. Leandro (owner, chef, sommelier, entertainer) seems to never be afraid to take the extra steps necessary to transform a dish from simply good to really delicious. A plate of spaghetti with garlic, fresh tomatoes, pine nuts and olive oil was elevated by the simple fact that the cherry tomatoes were first roasted to bring out their natural sweetness. Delicately fried eggplant was accompanied by a bright, fresh sauce. Homemade limoncello was perfectly sweetened.
We decided to come back on our own and happened upon a night when they were serving a seafood tasting menu. What luck! Handmade tortelli (black from squid ink) were filled with burrata and served with a fresh tuna sauce. It was so good I offered one to our neighbors to try even though they had already finished their meal. Mixed fried seafood was delightfully light and perfectly crunchy and fresh.
We were shocked when we chatted with Leandro and found out that he was only 25 years old! Such initiative and natural talent are rare at any age in any country - but in a tiny town in the hills of Tuscany? Only in Italy would you find such passion for food.
One last mention has to go to the thoughtful decor, with vintage pieces, contemporary art books and interesting magazines. They also organize a night with live music once a month. It was refreshing to be in such a vibrant, young scene.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
5 Thank signorakappa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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