Sometimes spontaneity can lead to amazing discoveries. But when it comes to dining in Siena on a busy Saturday night, it’s best to plan ahead or you may end up in a restaurant like Rosticceria Ristorante Vitti.

Foolishly, we did not make reservations for dinner on our arrival day in Siena. Big mistake! We called most of the restaurants in the historic center but could not find a table until very late. Tired and hungry from the drive in from Bologna, and hoping for a serendipitous discovery, we decided to walk around the immediate area surrounding our apartment and see if we could find something available. 

We found a quaint outdoor restaurant just off Via dei Montanini. Rosticceria Ristorante Vitti is no more than a handful of tables located in a courtyard, off the street. Several were available (that should have been a red flag) and we were hungry and tired, so why not. We neglected to check the ratings on Tripadvisor and the name of the restaurant was not readily visible (another red flag).

Had we checked we would have found that they are #327th of 360 Restaurants in Siena. I find it hard to believe there are 33 that are worse.

The menu was relatively simple with classic Tuscan dishes. It was presented on a grimy photocopied sheet that had seen better days (another red flag).

We ordered Bruschetta (again) and were immediately disappointed. Prepared with very dry crouton-like bread with sparse toppings, they tasted like sawdust. 

For primi, I ordered the Tagliatelle alla cinghiale – broad pasta with a wild boar sauce, a typical Tuscan dish. The pasta was okay, but the ground meat was tough and the sauce uninspiring.

For secondi, we both ordered the veal piccatta. Overly salty, it was served in a gelatinous sauce that may have come from a can. So salty in fact that we could not eat it. Of course, the waitress was nowhere to be found to complain. 

We got up to pay the check and left without desert or coffee. In the following days, we would enjoy many far better dining experiences.