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Osteria del Merlo in Cetona is a superb restaurant and serious competition to the perennial Osteria da Nilo. It opened just a few years ago, and has already carved out a reputation amongst the Italian foodies. Located at the south-east corner of Piazza Garibaldi, just a dozen steps to the left from Nilo’s and around the corner from the cafe, you see a large stone tower with covered outdoor seating at the front deck, and inside you take a few steps down to a spacious high vaulted dining room at the base of the tower. A/c inside was welcome for our first lunch there in the hot days of August 2012. Professional waiters offer smooth service and excellent wine list (also by the glass), but the star here is the magnificent Chef Elisa in the kitchen! She beautifully prepared seasonal foods with sublime flavors, everything we had was delicious. Can’t wait to go back! Closed on Mondays. Via Sobborgo, 1, Cetona. Tel: 0578-238-299, www.osteriadelmerlo.it ($$)