Tag Archives: traditional

Seek and hide truffles in Siena – Taverna San Giuseppe

The choice of restaurants in Siena is just as large at the hotel choice. Some of the restaurants you can find on TripAdvisor or other sites catering to frequent travelers. Luckily we had recommendations from a friend’s wife (with support from her local colleagues) presenting us with an exclusive list of local favorites to choose from. We trusted our friends’ direct and especially authentic, Italian suggestions and were rewarded with a special experience at the Taverna di San Giuseppe. This is how fromfriendsforfriends.ch works.

The Taverna di San Giuseppe is a short walk up an inclined street leading away from the Piazza del Campo. It is somewhat hidden and a nice surprise when you find it as you are in an area where you don’t expect a restaurant anymore.

The interior is warm and inviting and really feels as though you are in a Cantina with its wooden tables and rustic walls. The owner’s son Matteo told us that the current building dates back to the year 1100 and older still, the wine cellar housed in the tufa rock of an old Etruscan house dates back to 200 BC. Opened in 1998 by Marco Neri and Lorella, a Sienese family, the restaurant used to be an auto garage and a carpenters’ workshop. Matteo could still remember the cars lined up for repair and mechanic parts hanging off the walls.

The San Giuseppe menu features several classics such a Ribolita (a hearty potage made with bread and vegetables), Brasato (braised beef or stewed with vegetables), and Bistecca Fiorentina, but the recommendation we selected was the fileto with truffels and Prunetti olive oil and the cinghiale (wild boar). Of course you will also find a great variety of homemade pasta including Gnudi, Pici, and Tagliatelle, choices of meats such as prosciutto, salumni, sausages, and finally a great choice of cheeses from the wine cellar.

When you order your food, ask Matteo for a recommendation on the wine in combination with the meals and then take a walk down to see the wine cellar while the food is being prepared.

The cellar is indeed tremendous with more than 500 labels of national and local wines, of course mostly Tuscan ones. The wine cellar can be reserved for private parties and events as well as private wine tastings and wine classes.

La Taverna di San Giuseppe is indeed a restaurant worthy of a recommendation in Siena. While the choices on the menu are vast, it is the small things that matter in the end, and for me it was the attention of the service (one waiter even brought me a little stool for my handbag), the excellent quality of food and the comfortable environment.

Tipp: Book a table after 9 pm and you will get the local environment, rather than the non-Italian visitors.

Address:
La Taverna di San Giuseppe
Via G. Dupré, 132, 53100 Siena
Tel +39 0577 42286
www.tavernasangiuseppe.it

 

Meet little Max in Winterthur

Visit Max’ Bistro and if you are lucky you might even meet the little fella in person on Fridays.  His grandparents Zuzana and Urs Böni named the Bistro after 4-year-old Max, and managed to make guests feel like they are sitting in a living room, comfortable and cozy, surrounded by the good smell of freshly cooked meals and coffee.

Max might still be a little one at 4 years old, but in Winterthur he’s actually quite big.  Especially since his grandparents named their new bistro after him!

In October 2013 the bistro Max opened its doors to the public. The place, where 4 tables and a bar occupy the room, used to be Urs Böni’s landscape architecture office. You can feel Zuzana and Urs attention to detail in the bright, lovely colors decorating the Bistro, the low music playing in the background, and the fresh flowers sitting on the bar.  You will feel very welcome, comfortable, and cozy, but not only because of the environment.

Don’t be surprised when you find Urs sitting next to you presenting the dishes from the menus as well as the daily specials. Made from local or regional ingredients, the choices include stews, fish or vegetarian dishes and funky specials like green potato soup that for sure won’t leave you hungry. The sizes of the meals are rather overwhelming, but no less delicious.

Since January 2014 you can even have a regular dinner, a birthday party or a romantic tete-a-tete at the newly refurbished little cottage, sitting in the garden behind the building. A wood oven heats up the room and the little windows make you feel like you are in a fairy tale.

Max is open Monday to Wednesday from 7:00-18:30, Thursday and Friday from 7:00-23:00 and on Saturday from 9:00-17:00.

You can rent the Max for private parties, Apéros or cooking classes.  And in case you are having a late dinner and feel you won’t make it home, there are 2 b&b rooms upstairs.

http://www.bistro-max.ch/

Romantic get-away in the water castle Hagenwil

If you are into castles, history and romantic sleep overs, then you might like the Water Castle Hagenwil, one of Switzerland’s best-preserved water castles.

The castle is bedded into a landscape with rolling hills in the village of Hagenwil close to Amriswil and Arbon as well as Lake Constance. It is indeed very well preserved, some of the castle parts over 800 years old, offering the possibility to spend a romantic night, visit the castle festival showing Romeo+Juliette, getting married or just have dinner at the restaurant.

The a la Carte menu includes unconventional dishes, mostly regional and seasonal, and wine from the own win yards. If you book a romantic overnight, you will be served a candle light dinner at the grandma’s parlor, all private and beautifully decorated with fresh roses petals right next to your room, with a four-poster bed and a modern bathroom attached.

Breakfast is served at the Biedermeier-parlor of the castle restaurant until 12:00 o’clock, so lots of time to sleep in; except in case you don’t get woken up by the ducks and birds in the water ditch around the castle.

The lady and lord of the castle live in it and also run it and will pay great attention to details to accommodate their guests. The service is lovely, very attentive and discrete, not even bothered by all the steps they need to walk from the restaurant to the private quarters during the candle light dinner. The area is lovely, animals and birds are being kept around the castle, the pheasant is also a specialty on the menu. You will always remember the castle, once you’ve stayed there, promise.