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Review Osteria l'Upupa San Miniato

A meeting to keep up with our projects after the summer holidays with Roberta and Susanna is an opportunity to go to dinner in a new place, a wine bar restaurant I've heard a lot of good things about, Osteria l'Upupa in San Miniato. 

Osteria l'Upupa
Via Augusto Conti, 15 56028 San Miniato, (Pisa)
Distance according to Google from La Scuola di Furio: 13,5 kms, with a journey time of 20 minutes.
Phone number +39 0571 400429
Closing day TUESDAY. Opening times: 12.30AM–3.00PM and 7.30PM-10.00PM.

Location 7/10

Osteria l'Upupa is located in the center of San Miniato Alto. We parked in the large Piazza Dante. I knew very well these roads because at the end of the 80s I came here every day to go to school in what is now the restored Seminary and in a couple of other buildings, one of which, Palazzo Gufoni, of great value. At the time San Miniato was a more "real" and less touristic small town. There were "normal" shops. Now everyone sells truffles and things (very tasty, but still...) to eat ... Sign of the times! A sign "Osteria L'Upupa" overlooks a small hallway in which there is a lively image of the bird that gives its name to the restaurant. The interior of the restaurant is really small, the tables (beautiful, with the white Carrara marble top) are small and a bit too close one to the other. I guess there are about 20 seats.

On the walls there are relics of all kinds, modernism inspired by the Mille Miglia and motoring. The result is however harmonious and clean.

At Osteria l'Upupa restaurant in San Miniato, the tablecloth is made up of placemats in yellow paper and napkins made of paper. Crystals and cutlery are simple.

Menu 7½/10

Outside Osteria l'Upupa it is impossible to miss the menu, very well displayed as according to the law. So passersby can immediately have a clear idea of ​​the prices and the culinary proposal. The menu starts from a nice altough now quite common, idea. It is handwritten (also in English!) on the placemats yellow paper. Too bad that the sheets are collected in my pet hate, the plastic menu booklets. I must inform you that San Miniato is a truffle area. Here is where a very appreciated food festival, the National Exhibition of the White Truffle of San Miniato is held in November and December. Unfortunately, 2017 is a terrible year for truffles. Not only has the summer been very dry, it has not been raining for months for months and the succession of a little rainy winter, a dry spring and a hot summer has created an inhospitable environment for truffles. In fact, the truffle, just like the mushroom, needs water, a humid environment in which to grow.

The menu at Osteria l'Upupa restaurant in San Miniato is however based on truffles and traditional local dishes. As an appetizer we order 2 polenta pudding with taleggio cheese fondue with truffle and a plate of mixed crostini (2 of meat, 2 of mushrooms and 2 of beans). My friend Roberta decides for a robust peposo alla fornacina, a typical dish of Chianti with a strong and unmistakable flavor and served a nice pot; Susanna orders a dish that I think best enhances the characteristics of the truffle, a plate of fried eggs and truffle; I decide to indulge in one of my favourite dishes, tripe with tomato sauce.

The crostini are good; polenta pudding is not very tasty to make up for a very savory cheese cream. The impression is that all of our dishes are quite "lively"! Impression confirmed by the main dishes. I only tasted mine. The tripe was "gritty" and okay but had a layer of pepper, which is also clearly visible in the picture, which I just did not like. Too much pepper makes my throat tickle, but not in a good way! So I had to remove the pepper with the cutlery.

Although there was a bottle already on the table (!), we did not order wine.  Such a pity! But we all love our driving licences more than wine! I do not recall if Osteria l'Upupa in San Miniato also offers the possibility of ordering just one glass of wine.

Service 7/10

Quick and courteous service. After all, in such a small place, being snappy is a necessity. I did not pay any attention to it because I wanted to be with my friends.


Despite 10 euros of tripe, all things considered congruous to the L'Upupa restaurant in San Miniato, prices are clearly displayed and we have no surprises. It is to the credit of Osteria L'Upupa that water is on the house! I hate the filtered water that in many places has exorbitant prices, I do not feel safe to drink it (how often is the inside of the bottles well washed? And what about the filters?) And I was not happy when I saw that they brought us a bottle (sparkling clean, I must say) without a label. I hope it was tap water which, by law, must be drinkable and is often the best solution.