La Botte Piena

 La Botte Piena is one of my favourite restaurants anywhere. In May 2011, we had rented an apartment for a week in the little Tuscan village of Montefollonico.  The drive from Florence took longer than expected. We arrived at about 1:30 pm and the shops had closed for the afternoon and would only re-open at 4 pm. We hadn’t eaten since early morning and the restaurants were getting ready to shutter for the afternoon. La Botte Piena was less than 100 metres from our apartment and we asked if they would let us get a quick bite to eat.

Elena with a village resident


They too were getting ready to close but they set a table for us. We had a simple lunch. I can’t remember what we ate but I do remember that it was so good that we made reservations to eat there in the evening. We ended up going back six of the seven evenings we stayed in that tiny hilltop village. We got to know the owners, Simone and Elena, a husband and wife team, and have stayed at their nearby Bed and Breakfast l’Orto di Panza  on several occasions. Every time we go back to Tuscany we dine at La Botte. 

Elena is the executive chef and selects the seasonal menu. Simone is the sommelier and looks after the front of house. The menu is seasonal and rooted in tradition. Pasta con Briciole  is a typical Tuscan dish that we have eaten in many places but it is most delicious at La Botte. However, you can eat sautéed sweetbreads with artichoke as well. The wine list is just spectacular. Simone carefully selects every wine in the cellar and he has excellent pairing skills. 

You can find Osteria La Botte Piena in the Michelin guide and you can make reservations on The Fork

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