Osteria della Chiacchiera

Near San Domenico, off Via della Sapienza under the Hotel Bernini Cuisines: Italian


This is a tiny joint with worn wooden tables, terra-cotta floors, and barrel ends embedded everywhere. "The Chatterbox" proudly serves Sienese "poor people's food." Couples come here to moon at each other and save money on the date (not only is it cheap but there's no cover charge or service fee -- though tips are greatly appreciated). A choice first course is the pici boscaiola (long strands of fat, hand-rolled pasta in tomato-and-mushroom sauce), though the penne arrabbiata (in piquant tomato sauce) goes pretty quickly, too. Secondi are simple peasant dishes such as salsicce e fagioli (grilled sausages with beans) and stracotto (beef and boiled potatoes in piquant tomato sauce). They also do a mean chocolate pie.

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