FRESH TRUFFLES AND PORCINI ARE SOME OF THE FOOD WE LOVE AT TAVERNA DI SAN GIUSEPPE:
When searching for a place to eat in Siena, it’s tempting to just pick one of the many restaurants on Piazza del Campo for the pleasant atmosphere around Siena’s famous “square”. But as we are looking for a restaurant that is known for its food rather than its location, we decide on the Taverna di San Giuseppe. Housed in a cellar, the restaurant looks romantic on its website and it also has good reviews for its food.
Truffles and Porcini
Taverna di San Giuseppe is located at via Giuseppe Dupre 132, which is just by the old Roman gate, about 400 metres from Il Campo. From the menu board at the entrance of the taverna, we already know that this is the restaurant for us as its specialities of the day are fresh truffles and porcini.
Not having made any reservations, we are lucky to be offered a table as the place is busy and bustling. But it also appears to be well run. Minutes after being seated, our waiter appears with the menu and then the drinks waiter appears.
The San Giuseppe has quite a large menu that will easily satisfy the dining pleasures of most guests, but looking at the list of specials alone, I already find what I want to eat, Tagliolini al la Tartufo Fresca for my primi piatti followed by Porcini Arrosto. Tony, who usually doesn’t like ordering the same dishes as me, is not able to resist my choice and orders the same dishes.
The tagliolini arrives quite promptly and when the pasta is placed on our table another waiter comes along and grates a generous serve of fresh truffles over the pasta. This is a dish worthy of a photo, and it’s a shame that the camera can’t capture the heavenly aroma of the truffles as well. We quickly take a shot and then tuck into the tagliolini, savouring every mouth full of it. The tagliolini is delicious and my only criticism is that the pasta isn’t al dente enough, quite surprising really for an Italian restaurant in Italy.
After the pasta plate is cleared, our porcini arrives. We have four large pieces of porcini and they are very nicely cooked. The outside is nicely roasted but the inside of the mushroom is moist and flavoursome.
Truffle Honey – A Taste Sensation
For dessert, the pecorino cheese with honey is hard to resist. We have a selection of Pecorino cheeses from Pienza, which is famous for its pecorino. The pecorino comes with four different honeys – plain honey, honey with chilli, honey with fruit and a truffle honey which is a taste sensation.
By 11 pm most of the diners have already left and we are one of the last few people to leave. As the waiters are now more relaxed, I ask one of the young waiters if it’s possible to buy truffle honey in the Siena shops. He kindly shows us on a map the direction to a shop that has all things “truffle”. He doesn’t know the name but says that it is in the street next to the fountain. Unfortunately, we didn’t find it as it is quite late by the time we finish.
The bill, including two prosecco and three glasses of reds, comes to a total of Euros 105. The Taverna di San Giuseppe is a food highlight for us, the restaurant has a nice ambience and apart from the great food, the staff are professional and very friendly as well.
Taverna di San Giuseppe
via Giuseppe Dupre, 132