Beautiful garden setting with equally delicious Tuscan food
Casa Masi is a rustic styled restaurant located in the town of Montaione, only 15 minutes away by car from La Torre - and is one of our favourites! We’ve dined at this restaurant many times so we can provide an honest opinion about it’s food, service, atmosphere and our overall experience. Our first time eating at Casa Masi was in celebration of Angus' birthday, we sat in their garden surrounded by exotic Tuscan flowers, orange and lemon trees and large pot plants, with a stunning sunset as a background- really romantic! As it was our first time there, we ordered an appetiser, two different first courses, a second course to share and of course, dessert.
‘Tortino alla Ricotta’
For the appetiser, we ordered a fresh ricotta cheese soufflé with braised courgettes. It was very soft and creamy which contrasted the more crisp courgettes but the flavours definitely went well together! It was our first time trying a cheese soufflé and won't be our last.
‘Tagliolini all'uovo con Tartufo Nero Estivo’
For Scott's first course, he requested the homemade Tagliolini with fresh truffle drizzled over with butter sauce. The pasta was fresh and al dente, not under cooked and not over cooked, just right! The butter sauce gave a creamy texture to the pasta, as without sauce the truffles would have been very dry. As for the truffles, they had quite a strong taste yet it was balanced out by the butter, leaving a subtle aftertaste of truffles. Casa Masi uses fresh truffles from their own forests, truffle hunting is very popular in Italy, especially Tuscany which is why in many restaurants across Tuscany, the truffles are extraordinary! In fact, you can actually truffle hunt in the forests right next to us. We will be offering truffle hunting tours to our guests when we open our agriturismo (farmhouse)!
'Pici al Ragù di Cinta e Garronese'
Angus ordered homemade traditional Tuscan thick pasta with organic pork and beef ragout for his first course. Similar to Scott's Tagliolini, the pasta was fresh and al dente but very thick! It was divine, however we advise to eat small portions at a time as the pasta can be quite dense and make you chew for a while! The ragout was spectacular, the meat was surely organic as it was soft and flavourful (unlike the jars of bolognese with horse meat you'd find at Tesco's!) whilst the sauce was smooth with a blend of fresh Italian tomatoes, celery, carrots and other organic vegetables, all bursting with flavour on our tastebuds.
'Bistecca alla Fiorentina'
For our second course to share, we decided to order 'Thick Slices of Tuscan Beef Steak with Side Sauces' (this can be seen in the first photo). The flavours of the side sauces were unique and rich; onions with vinsanto, capers with anchovies and tomatoes with nuts. The beef was cooked enticingly at a medium rare texture which made it really soft and mouthwatering. We tried each sauce with the meat and can say that all three sauces were exquisite, however, the capers and anchovies sauce was the most suited with the steak slices. The onion and vinsanto sauce was rather sweet whilst the tomato and nut sauce was more delicate; capers and anchovies really complimented the grilled beef. The 'Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary' were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, the oomph of rosemary was splendid.
'Bistecca Fritta con Capperata'
Another time we visited Casa Masi, we ordered 'Breaded and Fried T-Bone Steak with a side of Caper Sauce' for our second course. It had a particular taste and was quite oily, we preferred the grilled Beef Steak we had before, as one could savour the taste of fresh Tuscan beef without a heavy coating of oil - although the Caper Sauce was again rich and delicious.
'Torta di Mele con Crema alla Vaniglia'
Angus prefers fruity desserts so he went for the 'Apple Tart with Vanilla Custard'. From our experience, a very common mistake that many restaurants may make when creating an apple tart or cake, is not balancing the sourness of the apple with the sweetness of the tart or cake - in this case, the sour vs sweet ratio was optimum! The taste of the cake lingered on our palates for a long time after we had eaten the cake, as well as the aroma of the vanilla custard. The custard was perfectly creamy with a hint of vanilla (not overpowered by the vanilla) and to an appropriate temperature, not burning our taste buds off and not freezing our teeth, but just right. We recommend this cake!
'Cremoso al Cioccolato, Tabacco e Rum'
Contrastingly, Scott was more engrossed in chocolate cake as he is a proud chocolate fan - his favourite chocolate is Nutella! Therefore, without surprise, he decided to go for the 'Chocolate, Tobacco and Rhum Creamy Soufflé'. Nonetheless, the cake had an awfully strong aftertaste of tobacco which overwhelmed the hint of rhum. It was a bit too bitter for our liking and left a horrible taste of tobacco at the back of the mouth, almost numbing...we will not be trying it again!
'Sorpresa al Cioccolato'
Another evening, we returned to Casa Masi and tried the "Hot Chocolate Soufflé" (more on that below), which was heavenly! The chocolate sponge was extremely soft, literally melting in our mouths, the chocolate sauce inside was certainly gooey and screamed EAT ME! I can promise that after we had finished this dessert, the plate was sparkling clean with no more traces of chocolate, whipped cream or the naturally sweet strawberry!
Although the dessert this day was luscious, the service was not as great as usual.
We were sat in the orangery where we were ignored at times, for example, we ordered a large bottle of natural water that for some reason never appeared. When it came to dessert and Scott requested the 'Hot Chocolate Soufflé', the waiter brought the fondant in the picture above, instead of the soufflé. We had told him that this wasn't a soufflé, yet he insisted that it was even after he was shown the name of the dessert on the menu. Soon later, we explained that Scott wanted the 'Sorpresa al Cioccolato' to a different waitress, she then informed us that the kitchen was closing and they didn't have time to make a soufflé, which is why the other waiter served us a fondant instead of the soufflé! Even though this was quite unprofessional, they did take the price off of the bill for the dessert which recompensed him trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
Casa Masi is a delightful and very relaxing restaurant, it is lovely for an evening dinner or to celebrate a special occasion. The Tuscan food is mostly very good and delectable. Moreover, the restaurant has a beautiful atmosphere inside with its rustic styled theme, wine bar and forest flowers; outside with its strong connection to the Tuscan plants and forest that surround the restaurant, all freshly cut and trimmed to precision - so satisfying to stare at and very aesthetically pleasing! If you're dining for two, the price range is from 35-75 euros. Just wish they could improve the service, then it would be perfect!