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Tre Stelle, Sant’Albino, February 15, 2015

Just outside of Montepulciano in Toscana is a little suburb, Sant’Albino, where we happened to find our weekly pizza while enjoying a stay at nearby Agriturismo Poggio Etrusco. We did not want to venture too far and so on recommendation from our host, we stopped at Ristorante Tre Stelle. This is clearly a favorite with Italians from the area. Groups of from 4 to 8 people gathered noisily over platters of salume, local cheeses (pecorino!), and large wood-fired pizzas. Having had a light lunch we went to dinner early and were the first to arrive shortly after 7:00PM. Soon other guests began to pour in! Sunday was very popular for large family groups, it seemed.

The menu is varied: local pasta (pici), grilled items (we are told the tagliata is great), and more. But we were there for one thing: pizza.

Our B&B host told us even in high season few tourists are found at Tre Stelle. Most, it seems, stay and dine up in the picturesque old town. We found excellent service, an unpretentious and pleasant environment, good pizza and a wine list with many reasonably priced bottles of local origin. What more could we need?

Pizza Quality: 2 This is good pizza, but I am reserving a “3” for Dar Poeta, Da Remo and La Pratolina. It’s just not that good. Maybe I should go 2 1/2.

Service: 3 Italian only (at least minimal English), anxious to please but no hovering no loitering…they are too busy! The waitresses seemed to be everywhere at once. The owner came around to check “Tutto a posto?”  This is unusual in Italy, but he went to every table to check in. 

Ambiance: 3   Nice dining rooms, tables not pushed too tightly together so there’s room to move about. Colorful, warm, welcoming. It’s far from romantic, but it’s upscale from many we frequent. Nice outdoor area shows promise for summer, and there is a glassed-in “porch” of sorts for seating as well. Seemed to be where they seated families with kids while we were in the all-adult section. 

Total Points: 8

Returnability: Go-to Place – If you are in Montepulciano, this is the place for pizza.

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