I first ate at this restaurant back in 2009 and was thrilled to return during a recent (and reviewed) stay last month at the nearby Castello di Spaltenna. Hotels and restaurants in Tuscany can be very expensive, almost too expensive really. Papavero is the answer. Nestled in a small hamlet just above Gaiole, the restaurant is tiny (10-12 tables I reckon) but the portions are not. The setting is beautiful, tranquil, and romantic. There is a small terrace (4-5 tables) although we ate inside as it was raining. The restaurant appeared to have just three working that evening: two capable waiters (one of whom spoke English, French and Italian) and a chef in the upstairs kitchen. We enjoyed a three-course meal with drinks - bruschetta with fresh tomatoes for me, perfectly-cooked pappardelle pasta with wild boar meat, and an assortment of delectable desserts - for around 65 Euros total (about US$100). A bargain! Two things potential patrons should be aware of: first, you need to navigate a winding, narrow road to drive up to the restaurant. So if you're a nervous passenger, you should probably eat in the valley. Second, the tables are so close together you'll likely make friends with your neighbours or at least overhear their dinner conversation. Neither were an issue for my romantic evening at this wonderful restaurant.
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