My husband and I have been visiting Europe for many years and love to explore the world through beautiful food experiences - from haute cuisine to street food. When in Tuscany, we always return to Antica Osteria da Divo to savor the wonderful things Chef Pino di Cicco is cooking up from the region's famously delicious ingredients. And just like Tuscany itself, he never disappoints.
For the food-loving traveler, this restaurant has it all: an especially charming and historic space, a knowledgeable and congenial waitstaff, a smartly-curated selection of wines (and terrific pairing advice), great cooks (including a baker!) and a powerfully creative chef working at the top of his game. Chef Pino designs seasonal menus that attest to the freshness of his ideas, his meticulous attention to detail and his deep respect for Tuscan food traditions. (I wish I had one of his magnificent risottos or perfect twice-cooked quail right this minute!) Dining at da Divo, you know you are getting the best of that very moment in Tuscany -- interpreted by a master.
And, all is served up with elegant-but-never-stuffy Tuscan hospitality. The service is brisk and warm. English communication is easy and gracious. Chef Pino is often in the dining room welcoming and discussing the menu and wines with his guests. Locals and family are always and delightfully part of the scene. The space itself combines a quiet, ancient and romantic grotto carved out of the tufa by Siena's Etruscan ancestors and a more-bustling main dining hall that's built from part of the of the medieval city walls. It is a beautiful place to be and it is a true treat to see such an interesting slice of Siena. Lovely for a special occasion -- like our 20th anniversary; inviting for an "everyday" visit -- like our dinner in March 2012.
My advice: Don't miss it; we never do. And, after your scrumptious dessert or a selection of local pecorino with a little grapa or Vin Santo, be sure to make the short walk to the Piazza del Campo -- truly one of the world's great public spaces -- to take in the beautiful Sienese night in the warm afterglow of your wonderful dinner; you'll be hooked for life. We certainly are.
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