Lunch in Siena

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We took a day trip to Siena from Florence, because we thought it would be a smaller town, more charming than Florence and easier to navigate with the scooter. We were right on two counts, because riding the scotter turned out to be one of the scariest adventures on the trip. Needless to say, we made it through in one piece but that still entailed riding in a Pedestrian Only zone, barely missing parked cars, riding down narrow alley ways, and hitting islands in the street. Never a dull moment, I tell you! Before we started on this adventure, we stumbled on a restaurant called Trattoria la Tellina near the center square of Siena to have lunch.

We ordered the bruschetta as an appetizer. The bread with a little bit oily, but the tomatoes and basil on top were fantastic. As I’m eating a lot of the product and specifically the tomatoes, I’m starting to wonder if the Italians favor the whole organic movement. I don’t know if it’s the lack of fertilizers or the soil or something, but the tomatoes have been absolutely delicious! So much more flavorful and fresh.
The Risotto al Fruiti di Mare was good. It was a little bit better than the Risotto I ordered in Pisa which was rather plain. The seafood flavor was well-balanced and the risotto was well cooked. I liked it a little more, because the sauce was not so creamy so the dish overall tasted lighter. My only thing is the amount of seafood seemed to be a little chintzy… but that’s not a big deal. I’m starting to notice that they put a lot of mussels, clams and calamari in their risotto but no shrimp. So sad… I like shrimp.
The Bisteca al Fiorentina is supposed to be a specialty of Florence. A lot of people were eating steak at Il Latini yesterday, but I was so full that the idea of something so heavy was unfathomable. The steaks at Il Latini were much bigger though. Anyways, I ended up ordering it for lunch and it was okay. It was well-cooked, but it lacked some salt and pepper. At least, I could say I tried it. 🙂
Overall, it was good find especially since we just stumbled upon it. There was a clipping on the window that showed it was listed in Rick Steve’s book, but it might have a been a different edition than what I had. The restaurant was small and quaint. There were a fair number of tourists there, but it didn’t take away from the ambiance. I think generally, any restaurant around that center part of Siena is going to be taken over by tourists. Either way, it was a solid, simple restaurant and I left feeling pretty satisfied.

PAFO Ratings for Trattoria la Tellina :
Price 3 ½ stars
Ambiance 3 stars
Food 3 ½ stars
Overall rating 3 stars

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