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La Torre di Gnicche, Arezzo

8 Piaggia di San Martino
Italy 52100
Tel: 39 0575 352 035's insider take:

Arezzo has no shortage of worthwhile places to eat, but on recent visits it's this little osteria–wine bar just off Piazza Grande (one of the venues of the monthly antique market) that has really won our hearts. Plain wooden tables crowd into a single vaulted, bottle-lined room with parchment-colored walls; there are a few more outside on a raised street-side veranda. Wine is the main act: There are more than 800 bottles to choose from, and a selection of around 20 wines by the glass chalked on the blackboard (note that these are only the top-end vintages; ask if you want a more humble quaffing wine). But the food does more than just soak up the alcohol: Alongside wine-bar classics such as crostoni (open toasted sandwiches with toppings like mozzarella and anchovy) there are some more substantial hot dishes such as zuppa di cipolla al forno (a "solid" onion soup that can be eaten with a fork) or a local rarity, grifi all'aretina (calf's snout stew), all simple but succulent. Service is friendly, and the final bill is unlikely to exceed $30 a head unless you really go to town on the wine.

Closed Wednesdays.

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