Monday, September 13, 2010

Tuscan food in Ristorante Mugolone .... inside the heart of Tuscany. 13 Sep 2010 - Siena, Italy

We left Florence on the 13th September 2010, away from the brand name outlet shopping, and headed southwards to the ancient city of Siena, said to be heart of Tuscany (according to a travel brochure that I've picked up). An outcrop of brick red buildings that forms Siena city amidst the greens welcome us as we approached the medieval looking city. The atmosphere here was calming. One would feel sedate walking through this well preserved city and get immersed in it's antiquity. 

Inside this ancient city, it would best suit the atmosphere by indulging in good traditional Tuscan cuisine. It wasn't easy googling up good Sienese restaurants in the English language. Ristorante Mugolone popped up after a search that didn't give us much choices. We arrived at Ristorante Mugolone after a late afternoon nap and I was aptly surprised and glad with the signs of accolades that decorated the entrance. Siena wasn't in it's best condition when we arrived. The sky was grey and it rained most part of the day. I was hoping for good food to perk us up and Mugolone was definitely up to the task.

Ristorante Muglone is just a short walk away from Piazza del Campo, nestled among the brick walled Sienese  buildings. The family run ristorante was warmly lit, exuberating a casual homely feel. Two very efficient managers were all they need to serve the restaurant from taking orders all the way to serving food and wine. There's the English menu which made ordering easy. Food here was traditional, simple but delicious.

Bruschetta Toscana - Tuscan Bruschetta
The bruschetta is a traditional Tuscan appetizer and the one served here is as good as bruschetta can get. The nicely toasted bread was topped with fresh, sweet and juicy Tuscan tomatoes. It's the most refreshing one I've ever eaten.

Tagliatelline ai Tartufi - Flat Ribbon Pasta with Truffles
It was tartufi season when we were here in Italy. I thought I have to try it here. The tagliatelline ai tartufi didn't have a fixed price. The price fluctuates with the seasonal availability of the tartufi. When the pasta was served there was this overwhelming fragrance of this king of fungus. So the way Ristorante presented the pasta was the best way to showcase the truffles. The tagliatelline was simply mixed with olive oil and the generous shavings of truffles was sprinkled over the pasta.

Mushroom lovers will definitely love truffles. This pasta dish just had the immense taste and fragrance of the truffles.

Coniglio Fritto - Chunks of rabbit fried in egg batter
These fried chunks of rabbit didn't really looked good. At first pass, one would thought that it came out of one of the frozen pack of chicken nuggets sold in supermarkets. This dish was drizzled with some lemon to add that refreshing taste.

The golden brown nuggets was sliced into half revealing the tender juicy rabbit meat in there. The egg batter and simple seasoning may taste similar to chicken nuggets but the rabbit meat was super tender.

Filetto di Chianina alla brace - Charcoal Grilled Chianina beef fillet
The Chianina is a breed of cattle that dates back to the time of the Roman empires. It's one of the oldest breed in the world and is commonly used for preparing the Bistecca alla Fiorentina. The beef fillet was simply peppered and salted and then cooked with some herbs. It's simplicity at it's best.

Sweet Salami - An traditional Tuscan sweet cake
The manager recommended us this traditional Tuscan cake. I didn't know the Italian name but I was told that they call it the 'Sweet Salami'. When the cake was created, it looked like a salami before it was sliced up. This version that Ristorante Mugolone served tasted like a slightly denser version of the egg based cake (鸡蛋糕) which taste great when sprinkled with cocoa powder and drizzled with hot chocolate.

Via dei Pellegrini 8/12
53100, Siena, Italia
Tel : +039 0577 283235
Ristorante Mugolone Website

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