by Simone Bandini


Like every early spring we go back to Margherita and Marco, our friends from the Osteria “Uscio e Bottega”. We are near San Donato, in the small medieval hamlet of Sicelle, right on the border between the territories of Barberino Tavarnelle and Castellina in Chianti, between the provinces of Florence and Siena. Here we can taste traditional Tuscan and Chianti dishes and wines, punctually served à la carte; or sit in the back garden for a bucolic, ‘boxed’ picnic, recalling our childhood.


A truly enchanted place with the tables under the loggia that dominate the valleys to the west, the gaze extends to the Apuan Alps. The vivid colours of the furniture combined with the classicism of local craftsmanship give a feeling of familiarity and lightness. How to feel at home. An ideal place to escape from everyday stress to access a rural world made of other times, where you can dedicate to yourself and contemplate nature, completely absorbed by its triumph.

The temperature is perfect, the climate already summer. This time we choose to eat at the table – but we promised to return with the families and move to the scenic green lawn, to experience the picnic, whose formula is very practical: you order at the cash desk and, as soon as it’s ready, a magnificent basket, with strictly biodegradable crockery.

The kitchen changes menus at least once a month, with seasonal and ultra-local products: goat cheeses and Italian meats from neighbouring farms, for example. Few things and quality combine to perfect dishes of great identity, such as “Homemade potato tortelli with butter, anchovy and burrata” or “Pancetta cooked over low heat for 5 hours with orange sauce and chicory” (in photo).

For lovers of typical Tuscan dishes, there is clearly no lack of classics, timeless and well made: pici all’aglione, ‘tagliata’ veal, fried meat (rabbit is very good), ‘coccoli’ and ‘taglieri’ with cold cuts and locally produced cheeses.

The restaurant is, in its essence, a combination of craft and creativity – as is the old carpentry from which it inherited the premises. An artistic inclination that has undoubtedly been preserved, from the dishes to the furnishings.

The cellar offers local wines, carefully selected, with particular attention to small producers. An experience and a love for wines that the two have matured and refined in the management of Cantinetta Sassolini, in nearby Panzano.

“A story born on the desks of the Aurelio Saffi hotel school”, Margherita tells us amused – who together with her partner Marco has found the right combination, as in many small family businesses that have made the entrepreneurial history of Italy: he chef in the kitchen (terribly busy in the beautiful open kitchen), she is very professional and brilliant serving at the tables, advises her guests and talks about the dishes of her land. Their motto: in love, whoever fries wins! (Their “Fried from the barnyard” is in fact a heavenly experience! Ed.)

We remind you that the restaurant is open all year round, for lunch and dinner, except on Wednesdays. For the more social, online or chat, the menu is always updated. Every occasion is the right one to pass by the guys from ‘Uscio and Bottega’: to enjoy the air, the greenery and the light of the endless summer days or to be enchanted by the fantastic mottled sunset that mirrors the Apuan Alps, down there in the distance.

Lastly, the ancient hamlet of Sicelle is known for the beautiful Pieve di San Miniato, a jewel of Gothic architecture that overlooks the restaurant’s loggia.



Info and reservations: Osteria Uscio and Bottega, Sicelle 56, Castellina in Chianti (Si) / tel. 331 4446466 / /