Restaurant review: il Cerchio delle Streghe
Saturday, January 12, 2019
One of my favourite café restaurants close to us at BelSentiero is il Cerchio delle Streghe (meaning Circle of the Witches!). It is in Castiglione d'Orcia at the foot of the Rocca di Tentennano (an imposing fortress looking over the Val d'Orcia valley). As such there are good views from the outside patio area and it is a good venue for lunches and dinners.
The restaurant has a bit of a trattoria feel to it, but with something extra - tablecloths are linen and the cutlery and crockery is of a good quality. The key ingredient though, is the passion of chef Luca and the quality of the food they serve.
Cerchio (as we fondly call it) has a good wine list, consisting of wines from both the Brunello and Montepulciano wine regions, but also from the Val d'Orcia itself. We had a Poggio Grande Scorbutico, a good local red blend from the area.
Dishes are very much typical of the area, but well executed. So a typical starter would be a Tagliare di affettati (a sliced ham platter) or crostini miste (small bruschettas with different toppings). The first course then consists of many of the typical pasta dishes to be found in the area. Particularly special (and one of my favourites) is Fiocchi di neve (or snowflakes). This is a secret family recipe. It is a type of pasta ball with ricotta cheese inside and pecorino and truffle shavings on top. Simply melt in the mouth delicious!
The second course menu consists of items such as sliced beef, pork, rabbit and lamb chops. There is also a beef stew which is very traditional to the Val d'Orcia. Finally, there are the deserts. My favourite here is the chocolate soufflè (sometimes known elsewhere as a chocolate fondant). All brilliantly prepared and beautifully presented!
This is not a big restaurant so in high season it is better to book beforehand. It is also popular with the locals (always a good sign) and reasonable value for money. Come and stay with us at BelSentiero and we can help you make your reservation at Cerchio and help you find some of the other hidden gems of Tuscany as well!
See you soon in the Val d'Orcia!
il Cerchio delle Streghe
Poggio Grande Scorbutico
Fiocchi di neve