THE BEST OF THE BEST IN LUCCA
Cibo – Food
I spend my time between Portland, Oregon and Lucca, Italy, two Foodie cities. And, I am, without a doubt a Foodie. So, today I’ll introduce you to some of my favorite ristoranti in Lucca.
Most Romantic Restaurant: Trattoria Canuleia
Canuleia, on via Canuleia 14, is just off the anfiteatro, in the heart of Lucca. It is clearly one of my favorite spots to eat. The chef, Matteo is talented and wonderfully creative. His wife, Eleanora who runs the dining room, aided by Sara and Barbara, offer perfect service. Not only does this fine eatery have wonderful food, it boosts the most beautiful garden in all of Lucca. Sit there and bask in a romantic adventure, imagining Giacomo Puccini playing his organ a few steps away. As far as I’m concerned, Canuleia is a must. Again, say ciao from Roberto and Donato. I can guarantee you that you will be happy you did. Canuleia is open for lunch and dinner. For reservations call 0583 467 470.
Best Value Restaurant: Ammodonostro
I also love Ammodonostro on Via Della Frata, 22. It’s a modern space with terrific food, a wonderful garden and a great value. It offers an array of dishes for around 5 or 6 euro, surprising given the quality of the food. Francesco, the absolutely delightful owner, and his terrific cohort, Antonio, run the kitchen while his mom Daniella, Simone and Serena look over the dining room and patio area – it is one of my favorite gardens in Lucca. Send Francesco and his team our regards. For reservations call 0583 953 828.
Best Fusion Restaurant: Paris Boheme
Another wonderful spot is Paris Boheme. The wildly wacky Louis and his subdued partner and chef, Davide, have created a terrific restaurant, a fusion of French and Italian, rather unusual for the typical Lucchesi – the Insalata Erotica is superb and who can pass up a salad with such a name. The pastas are wonderful, as are the meats and the service is very friendly. Also unusual is the inventive and romantic indoor décor. And, the outdoor dining, right next to the statue of Giacomo Puccini, in Piazza Cittadella, 6, takes you back to another moment in history. Louis will definitely entertain you. When you say ciao from Roberto and Donato, he’ll probably laugh and do a little curtsy, maybe even give you a big hug. Do make a reservation, as the restaurant is small. Note too that while the restaurant is normally open for both lunch and dinner, the couple tend to close whenever they feel like they need a break, so do stop by or call ahead. Tel 338.930.5275.
Best Traditional Restaurant: Da Giullio
For an unusual, but absolutely delicious treat head to Da Giulio 0583 55948 and order farinata. This local specialty is a dish difficult to describe and hard to find anywhere else, but it is beyond terrific. The Pasta Contadina, with fresh pomodori, is also yummy, as are the grilled squid. In fact, most everything is good: the salads, the melone and prosciutto, the veal dishes, and the dolce – try the tiramisu. Say hello to Emmeletta or Marilena, two women who couldn’t be nicer or more accommodating. The historic restaurant is located next to Lucca’s wall on Via delle Conce, 45. It’s open for both lunch and dinner. For reservations call 0583 55948.
Know anyone heading to Lucca? Be sure to send this along to them and encourage them to sign up at www.welovelucca.com.
Next week we’ll look at Lucca’s top pasticcerie and one spectacular gelateria.