While visiting Siena, we stopped for lunch at one of the recommendations on the Gambero Rosso guide. Osteria Le Logge is rated one fork on the guide, and I was a bit skeptical, given that the restaurant is located only 50 meters away from Piazza del Campo. In a city that is so centered on tourism such as Siena, it is extremely hard to find a good restaurant, let alone in the immediate surroundings of its main attraction. One encouraging note was the open kitchen, which is completely visible directly from the street. You can watch the Chefs at work from the outside of the restaurant and at the time we got there, we could see a couple of them peeling kilos of ripe tomatoes with extreme dedication.
I started off with Polpo al vapore con salsa Ponzu, olio al prezzemolo e patate. This dish was the most delicate I had during my trip to Italy, but it tasted more Japanese than Italian. As I savoured it, the subtle dashi flavour immediately brought me back to the experiences of Kaiseki during my trips to Japan.
The Pasta alla chitarra con profumo di pino, astice e patate was pretty good, seasoned with a delicate lobster broth and small chunks of potatoes. What I liked the most of this pasta was its very firm texture.
Now the most amazing of all, and without a doubt one of the top pastas I have eaten in my whole life. The Spaghetti Faella con Guanciale "Parisi", cipolla e pecorino was an incredibly simple spaghetti dish, seasoned with various types of onion (red, yellow, white, leeek and chives), an extremely good guanciale (from Paolo Parisi). It is hard to describe how simply tasteful and delicate this was, but clearly the quality of the ingredients is key to the success of such a dish. This is what made me come back to this restaurant the next day, and it was the only "repeat" of my trip to Italy.
The Piccione arrosto con spezie dell'Osteria e coulis di frutta was another hit. The crispy coating gave variety of texture and flavour to the dish, while the fruity coulis added the tang required to break the 'gamyness' of it all.
The Insalata di lingua con salsa antica e pomodori cuore marinati in birra e cipolla was a very light salad with quality fresh vegetables, very thin slices of cow's tongue and little chunks of its cooking gelatin. A well executed, enjoyable salad.
We were too full and decided to share a single dessert: the Mousse di mascarpone com crema al caffé, gelato di amaretto e albicocche confit was divine. A dome of mascarpone mousse was sitting next to a gelato made from amaretto biscuits, on a bed of coffee sauce. The apricot confit, together with a couple of mint leaves, were a nice touch to break the richness of the flavours.
The summary is that if you happen to visit Siena this is without a doubt a must try restaurant, and considering that it's so easy to find, I don't see why not. The place tends to get busy, especially at weekends, so a booking hopefully one day in advance would be advisable to secure a table.
Osteria Le Logge