Skip to content

The anatomy of an Italian meal

Although there are a few but very rare exceptions, the sequence of the Italian meal is nearly always as follows:

1) Antipasto

The term antipasto means literally before the meal and consists of can consist of a wide variety of ingredients. If the meal is seafood-based, the antipasto might include cured or smoked fish. If the meal is landfood-based, prosciutto or other types of charcuterie are classic antipasti (the plural of antipasto).

2) Primo Piatto

Next comes the primo piatto or first course [dish]. This is generally a starch-based dish: rice or pasta or soup (often cooked with rice or pasta).

Read more

The Tower (Contrada della Torre) wins the Palio!

Here’s a video of the race, held yesterday in Siena.

Thanks, everyone, for following along and sharing the excitement!

Palio of Siena TOMORROW!

We are very excited about the running of the Palio tomorrow in Siena, Italy!

Here are the 10 contrade (or wards) that will be running in the historic race: Torre (tower), Nicchio (shell), Civetta (owl), Valdimontone (valley of the ram), Leocorno (unicorn), Oca (goose), Pantera (panther), Selva (forest), Onda (wave), and Tartuca (tortoise).

There are 17 wards total and ten of them run in each race. They are chosen in part by their ranking and previous runnings as well as lottery.

In case you’re not familiar with the Palio, check out this page for a great backgrounder on this thrilling competition.

We’ll be posting the winner and hopefully a video of the race tomorrow!

Stay tuned!

Gearing up for the Palio di Siena, the city’s famous medieval horse race

If you’re anything like us, you’re gearing up for the Palio di Siena next week, the famous horse race run twice a year in the center of historic Siena, the beautiful medieval city of Tuscany (that’s the Duomo or main cathedral of Siena in the photo to the left).

We’ll be following next week and posting the winner here on the Siena blog. So please check back soon!

A little background on the race follows (via WikiSiena).

See also the Wikipedia entry.

And the official website here.

The Palio is the most important event in Siena and it has involved the life of Sienese people over time and in many different aspects and feelings: “You run the Palio all year long”, someone says. It is a horse race run in Piazza del Campo and it was born long time ago (the earliest known antecedents of the race are medieval and some present day regulations are still valid since 1644, when it was run the first Palio with horses, as it is run today).

It is held on July 2nd (named Palio di Provenzano, in honour of Madonna of Provenzano) and August 16th (named Palio dell’Assunta, in honour of the Assumption of Mary) and it is run by 10 of the 17 Contrade (city wards) that form the city.

Each Contrada is like a small state, ruled by a Seat headed by the Prior and led in the “carousel” by a Captain, assisted by two or three contradaioli called “Mangini”; their boundaries was established in 1729 by Proclamation of Violante of Bavaria, Governor of the City.

Another wine dinner to remember at Siena!

stan adams restaurant owner austin

Click here to view the complete menu from last night’s fantastic Antinori Wine dinner with wine expert Brooke Pozzi (standing, left) and Siena Ristorante Toscana owner and founder Stan Adams (standing, right).

We’ll be announcing the date of our next wine dinner soon.

Stay tuned!

Please click here to subscribe to our email newsletter for updates on upcoming events at Siena Ristorante Toscana.

May 20 Wine Dinner featuring TIGNANELLO

Siena welcomes Brooke Pozzi
and the wines of Antinori

featuring Antinori’s legendary Tignanello
and a special menu by Chef Harvey (below)

Wednesday, May 20
6:30 p.m.
$115 per person
not including tax & gratuity

PLEASE CALL (512) 349-7667‎ TO RESERVE.

Please see Chef Harvey’s menu below!
Click menu for PDF version.

About Italian wine expert Brooke Pozzi:

Brooke Pozzi is a South Texas Native who now resides in Austin Texas.

She is a graduate from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas with a degree in Corporate Communications and Public Relations.

Brooke has been in the wine industry for 5 years and has played a major role in the growth of the Texas wine industry.

But her passion resides with her Italian heritage, which sparked her interest to join Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and pursue wines made outside of Texas.

Siena Catering Services

Celebrate 15 years of Siena with 15% off & a party!

siena exterior

Siena turns 15 this month!

Yes, it’s been fifteen years since Siena owner Stan Adams and executive chef Harvey Harris first set out to share their passion for authentic Tuscan and Italian cuisine with Austin.

Since that time, Siena has become one of the River City’s favorite spots for fine dining in a romantic setting — a classic Tuscan farmhouse inspired by Stan and Harvey’s travels in Italy.

In order to celebrate and to thank you for fifteen fabulous years, we’re going to be offering 15% off your ENTIRE TAB on Monday, April 27.

And on Tuesday, April 28, we are going to be closing down the restaurant at 8:30 p.m. for a birthday celebration. We will be serving complimentary small bites and the public is welcome!

So, please come on down and help us celebrate fifteen wonderful years serving Austin.

We couldn’t have done it without you!

%d bloggers like this: