Via Castelvecchio 65, Siena
Visited 24th December
On our second day in Italy we headed to Siena after a brief stop at the spectacular fortified hilltop village of Monteriggioni. Walking the winding medieval streets of Siena is fascinating in its own right, but Siena's two main attractions; the huge town square, the Piazza del Campo and its beautiful cathedral, the Duomo are both magnificent highlights. Hidden in the back streets north of the Duomo Osteria Castelvecchio was a superb choice for lunch. Though we were the first to arrive the place quickly filled up with locals who I happily observed drunk a lot of wine and devoured numerous courses.
The bloke running the show was a welcoming and friendly host who translated the daily menu with passion and gusto. I went for roast pork with potatoes and a thick mushroom sauce, while Naomi and my brother got stuck into deliciously rich, beer cooked chicken. My meal was superb; the pork tender and the mushrooms an interesting companion. Dessert tempted us and we ordered a couple of sampler plates piled with the three daily selections of which the white cheese smothered with rich caramel, rum sauce was the highlight. I washed it down with a couple of glasses of a tasty Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and of course finished with a little espresso.
I was a worried about the potential expense of Italy, but the bill for the four of us was less than €70 which even in Hong Kong is good value for two courses, wine and coffee. The service was fantastic and the locals on the surrounding tables companionable and welcoming. For me Osteria Castelvecchio satisfied stereotypes of good Italy food; robust, delicious dishes served with passion from a seasonal, daily menu. Siena good town; Osteria Castelvecchio bloody good restaurant.