Oh what a lunch!

by Laura Gray on January 31, 2011

On the Grosseto side of Montalcino there are two S.Angelos. S.Angelo in Colle, a beautiful hamlet perched on the hilltop, and S.Angelo Scalo, its unsalubrious sibling that grew up around the station and is now a sort of annexe to one of the larger Brunello producers. On the main (and practically only) street of Scalo is the Caffè Sant’Angelo, owned by Pino and Daniela. Married since 1983, Pino is from Abruzzo and Daniela is from Amatrice, the home of the amatriciana spaghetti sauce….

The ambience is utterly simple; the Caffe is a bar with indoor and outdoor tables. It sells newspapers and coffees. There are no tablecloths on the tables but squares of yellow butcher’s paper. The menu is hand-written daily on a blackboard. There is a limited selection of wines but the couple are happy for clients to bring their own bottles. Food is fresh, seasonal, beautifully presented and varies constantly. It has to –  they work with a huge number of regular clients; workers from the nearby estates ranging from field to executive positions and all the couriers, electricity and telephone workers who make a point of stopping here whenever they are in the area.

When you find a place where Italians eat on a daily basis, as a home from home, this is always an excellent indicator of value and quality. The Enel and DHL operators, the hunters and muddy-booted workers vote with their feet and are more demanding than most restaurant critics, albeit with different criteria.

Closed Sundays. Tel. 340 8305269 (Pino)– booking advisable at lunchtime.

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