Eating Poggibonsi – Babette

Restaurant: Ristorante Babette

Location: Poggibonsi, Italy

Date: June 19, 2011

Cuisine: Tuscan Seafood

Rating: Great food, great value

ANY CHARACTER HERE

After our self selection failure on Saturday, we got another restaurant recommend from our host (the owner of our villa). He sent us to this casual but very good seafood restaurant in Poggibonsi.


As usual there is a nice outside dining space.


And a gigantic menu.


This being all seafood we got both a prosecco.


And a local white from San Gimiangano. This is one of those joints where the wine is like E10. I like this light quaffable, almost Greek-style, white.


Caprese.


One of my friends and I ordered this “assorted fish appetizer, min 2 people” which was E10 a person, it came with this and EVERY dish until the pastas! An amazing assortment. This one was “Tuna with balsamic dressing.”


Marinated white anchovies and onions.


Crostini with white I think is a fish row mayo.


Marinated Salmon with red peppercorns.


What I think are winkles, or little sea snails, in a delicious garlicky sauce.


Octopus pulp. Also garlicky.


Muscles.

Scallops stuffed with a kind of pesto scallop paste.

Some tasty but undetermined shellfish “stew.” Wow, that’s a lot for two people and E20 total.


Home made pasta with a kind of tomato pesto.


White Risotto with mixed seafood. This was good, and unusual in that usually seafood risottos have some tomato in them.


Risotto with squid.


Strozzapreti with Fish ragu. This was highly unusual (for me) and really good. It was essentially a ragu made using shellfish instead of ham. It was very salty, with a significantly briny taste, but very tasty. The al dente shells were a fantastic foil.


Pizza Margherita.


Mixed fried fish. Lightly fried and delicious.


Branzino, simply grilled and filleted at the table.


A very very typical fish preperaration all over the Medditeranian, but done very well here.

The final presentation of the fish.

Not only was this restaurant a bit different, being all seafood, and very good, but it was an incredible deal. The bill was less than E20 a person and we had an incredible amount of food.

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Eating Poggibonsi – Osteria da Camillo

Restaurant: Osteria da Camillo

Location: Poggibonsi, Italy

Date: June 18, 2011

Cuisine: Tuscan

Rating: Very mediocre

ANY CHARACTER HERE

We were in Poggibonsi to drop my brother off at the bus/train station and we spent a few minutes wandering around and then picked a likely random lunch restaurant. This turned out to be our worst pick of the trip compared to expectations. It looked like all the other likely places — and it was even very touristy — but the food just wasn’t very good.


The menu.


This inexpensive Chianti Classico (probably 10-15 euros) was perfectly nice though.


Classic bruschetta with liver. These weren’t bad, one of the places better items. They weren’t however even close to the best bruschetta we’ve seen.


Mixed bruchetta, also fine. Starting from upper left and going clockwise. Fava beans, lard, mushrooms, and tomato.


Spicy pici with walnuts. This pasta tasted like glue. Paste. It was pretty gross. I think they added flour to the sauce, making it like elmers.


Tagliatelle al pesto. Edible, but very mediocre pesto.


Green tortelli with fossa cheese and yellow pumpkin cream. I didn’t try these.


Linguine with cheese and pepper. This was really bad too. Not even close to the amazing pepper and cheese pasta at Trattoria Pepei. I could barely eat a few bites. The pasta was pasty. Those thin slices of pecorino has an unpleasant melted cheese taste, and the sauce — there barely was one — tasted of paste.


Penne pomodoro.


Tagliatelle with tomatoes, olives, capers and hot peppers. Didn’t try this either.


Chicken, green beans, tomatoes, mushrooms. This was fine, not horrible. Not really a dish that does it for me though.

This place was completely unique for this trip in that it actually had bad dishes, several of them. That pretty much makes it the worst meal, even though it wasn’t horrible or anything. But it goes to show, eat out 50 times in Italy and you can find a dud!

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