Recently, Twitter user @deborahhankin asked Wendy Perrin (@wendyperrin), “In two weeks I’m headed to Lake Como area and then down to Tuscany. Any favorite restaurants you can recommend?” Wendy forwarded the question on to the Daily Traveler, a.k.a. the Gluttonous Ones. We then put Italy expert  Ondine Cohane on the case. This is not an exhaustive list, but below find five spots where Ondine has had some of the best meals in her adopted home:
* La Pineta: “This one-room restaurant in Marina di Bibbona on the Tuscan coast is my favorite pick for seafood; I make the pilgrimage whenever I can. Chef Luciano Zazzeri, a former fisherman, has three boats that provide him with his daily catch, and he is an alchemist at bringing out the best in his simple but incredible dishes. It’s no wonder that it’s hard to get a reservation. Don’t miss the crudo (raw fish), spaghetti alle vongole, and the outstanding wine list. The restaurant is about an hour southwest of Florence and makes a fun day-trip (Via dei 27 Cavalleggeri Nord; 39-0586-600-016).”
* Cavolo Nero: “This local foodie magnet, tucked away in an un-touristy part of Florence, is one of the city’s underrated gems as far as I am concerned. The menu emphasizes seasonal dishes to great effect–ask the owners what they recommend that day and you’ll eat one of the best meals of your trip, at prices that are relatively inexpensive (22 Via dell’Ardiglione; 39-055-294-744.)”
* Le Logge: “This Sienese institution is housed in a former pharmacy right off Siena’s Campo, the city’s huge main square, but despite its popularity I always eat well. The emphasis here is on Tuscan classics like taglierini al tartufo and hearty meat dishes. Sadly, owner Gianni Brunelli recently died but his family is continuing his legacy for great food and wine (33 Via del Porrione; 39-0577-48-013.”
* Trattoria Il Leccio: “I just had a fabulous lunch at this trattoria in Sant’Angelo in Colle, a beautiful little town not far from Montalcino and the region’s wonderful Brunellos. I love the menu–I had artichoke carpaccio, a fava bean salad with fresh pecorino, and melt-in-your-mouth ravioli with butter and sage (spring vegetables are in season right now, which makes for great eating). And the wine list has most of the best vintages from neighboring vineyards (there is even a little wine store and bar next door so you can take a bottle home). This is where the most famous producers eat, a testament to how good it is, but the restaurant thankfully remains unpretentious (1/3-5 Piazza Castello; 39-0577-844-175).”
* Arnolfo: “I am overdue in making a return trip but this Michelin-starred destination restaurant in Colle di Val d’ Elsa is certainly worth its accolades. Chef Gaetano Trovato is one of the region’s most consistent stars and is always experimenting, even after two decades on the scene. Worth the splurge. Oh, and the views are fab too (50-52A Via XX Settembre; 39-0577-920-549.”
Need more ideas? Check out some of Ondine’s other picks in the Tuscany round-up that ran in Condé Nast Traveler’s September issue. And readers, let us know if you have any other favorites @CNTraveler.