My Favorite Restaurant in the World
I'm serious, this post really is about my #1, all-time favorite place to eat in the world, Ristorante Guidoriccio. Where do you find this place?
Do you want to eat the most incredible lasagna? You should. Go to Siena. I have specifically made trips to Siena while in other parts of Italy just for this vegetable lasagna, which happens to always be the "special."
Start by facing the City Hall building in the Il Campo Square. Walk down the road directly to the right of the building, it will be a slight downhill walk, and stop at the restaurant's door on your right hand side. There will be a large wine bottle made of corks in the window.
You'll be ushered in past the kitchen and down into what looks like an old converted wine cellar. It's a small dining area, and the host usually seats several tables and gives you a handwritten menu, and will translate some of the items into English to the whole room.
The meal starts with a complimentary dish which he calls a "tomato salad." I believe his name is Ercole, (if I'm spelling/pronouncing it correctly) and he once told me that it is something his mother would make for him when he was younger. It looks like an ice cream scoop of red, tomato paste. Don't question it, eat it. I wish the serving size was larger! Maybe a better way of describing it, since it does have bread and other vegetables in it, is a pureed version of cool American-style Thanksgiving stuffing...yet all the classic Italian flavors.
I strongly suggest ordering the vegetable lasagna, but there are other delightful fresh pasta and meat dishes that have never disappointed me. During one visit, my friends and I each ordered a different dish so we could sample several. One friend, upon tasting the vegetable lasagna, promptly ordered it for "dessert" when Ercole made his rounds at the end of the meal.
Another great item to order is his bruschetta appetizer, usually with four varieties of seasonal ingredients.
Ahhh...after typing this, I'm searching flight deals to get to Italy now. I need some vegetable lasagna.
Ristorante Guidoriccio is open from 12:30pm - 2:30pm and 7:00pm - 10:30pm.