In Stigliano, in the ancient stronghold of the Ardengheschi Counts, the Merla Osteria Boutique is a magical place to savor the best flavors of Tuscan cuisine embraced by the romantic internal cloister or on the splendid terrace overlooking the medieval village.
In Sovicille, the heart of the Val di Merse, the medieval village of Stigliano has the flavor of “a small ancient world”, capable of making anyone who passes by fall in love with it. Nestled among rolling hills, it perfectly embodies the most authentic Tuscan atmosphere and enjoys a privileged position for discovering the wonders of the Sienese countryside, including the abbey of San Galgano.
In this romantic treasure chest built by the Ardengheschi Counts in the 11th century, inside Le Macine di Stigliano relais, La Merla Osteria Boutique is a restaurant & bistro that offers a refined Tuscan cuisine thanks to the solid guidance of chef Mario Gaeta, with important starred experiences in Italy and abroad.
The relais Le Macine di Stigliano was like a ‘wedding dress’, as soon as we saw it we immediately understood that it was perfect for us.(Elisa Corti, owner)
The project was born from love at first sight between the current owners, Elisa, legal assistant, and her husband Manuele, corporate manager, and this place with a fascinating history that convinced them to leave Switzerland to return to their native Tuscany. Thus they gave life to a “boutique” hospitality project which today also involves their daughter Margherita, a passionate sommelier.
The restoration of the splendid medieval structure, coordinated by Elisa with the support of the interior designer Alice Caporali, concerned above all the interiors and the swimming pool, preserving where possible the original elements such as the imposing stone walls, the terracotta floors and the suggestive cloister inside, enclosed by a bioclimatic pergola, where today the suggestive main hall of the restaurant is located.
The second and more informal room is decorated with a beautiful collection of hand-painted plates made in the historic furnace of Elisa’s uncles where the refined ceramic and terracotta brand Urbano Fontana was born. A tradition that today is carried on by her niece Emi Leo who creates precious objects signed Fontana ceramica e terracotta such as the “olive” themed courtesy line used in the relais.
In the kitchen, chef Mario Gaeta plays with the cornerstones of the Tuscan tradition re-proposed in a contemporary key: such as the delicious pappa al pomodoro with Cantabrian anchovies, the first courses based on homemade pasta, such as pici all’aglione and confit cherry tomatoes, and the delicious meats, from the T-bone steak to the Chianti beef cheek with apple compote. Without forgetting also seafood or vegetarian alternatives that vary according to the season and the raw materials available, always very fresh.
The wine list is remarkable and ranges from the top Italian sparkling wines to French champagnes, leaving ample space for the Tuscan reds, from Chianti to Brunello up to Sassicaia, and a selection of the best organic cellars from the area.
Starting this year, the Osteria also offers a “bistro” menu designed for a light lunch or a quick lunch break that includes an excellent selection of cold dishes, from marinated beef to meat and fish tartare up to panzanella (typical cold soup made of bread and vegetables).
La Merla Osteria Boutique is the perfect choice to enjoy a magical break between picturesque villages and breathtaking views, perhaps by booking the very romantic “table of roses”, perfect for an unforgettable candlelit evening.
Behind the name “La Merla Osteria Boutique” there are two stories. In fact, on the facade of the ancient noble building appears an ancient heraldry that depicts a blackbird (merla in Italian) which, by a curious coincidence, is also the name of the flour-grinding machine which was used in the ancient mills of the village of Stigliano that are located right above the structure.
Entrées: 16 — 20 euro
First courses: 17 — 21 euro
Main courses: 20 — 23 euro
Desserts: 8,50 — 9 euro
Cold dishes: 10 — 15 euro
First courses: 14 — 15 euro
Main courses e special courses: 20 — 22 euro