> SlowTrav > Italy > Restaurants > Reviews > Tuscany North

Lucca: Da Giulio in Pelleria

Via delle Conce, 45 (Piazza S. Donato) , Phone: 0583-55881

Closing day: Sunday

Reviewed by: Doru from Canada, review #10

When: 2002

Great service, great food, great local ambiance, all at a reasonable cost.

A well worth walk towards Porta San Donato where, almost under the ramparts, is Da'Giulio in Pelleria, a restaurant warmly recommended by a friend from Milano. This also gave us the opportunity of walking along the narrow streets of this purely residential neighbourhood, with appetising smells wafting from kitchens and onto the street, sounds of kids playing, TV or radio blasting. Accompanied by these aromas and sounds, we arrived at Da Giulio in just a few minutes from Piazza San Michele.

As we dropped in without a reservation, we found Da' Giulio's a large, bright, well lit, comfortable restaurant. It has three large dining rooms, all connected, with tables well spaced, nice tablecloth, nimble waiters who pay attention, seem to anticipate and respond quickly.

There is leisure in this big place. The service is well orchestrated and supervised, with that appearance of effortlessness which costs so much work to produce. Orders are not rushed, and in the special case of a frozen dessert, I was politely advised to let it sit for 10 minutes, not left up to me to discover.

The patrons are solidly locals, couples, groups small and large. These patrons are obviously loyal as they seem to be immediately recognised, seated and antipasti and wine are brought to their tables before they start ordering; it is clear their preferences are known. Not too many tourists; maybe another couple or two, and us.

The food and presentation are simple. There is no unnecessary fuss since the stress is on the food quality, all based on simple and fresh ingredients.

We have farinata, polenta with vegetables and beans, acquacotta con funghi, tagliatelle alla contadina, with fresh tomatoes, basil and oregano, sprinkled with olive oil, salsicce con fagioli all'ucelletto with beans in seasonal tomato sauce and sage, patate arroste, marengata (an heroic slice of meringue layered with white chocolate and vanilla ice cream), 1/2 l. rosso ordered in two quartinos but not charged for the second, one Vinsanto and cantucci, water, coffees, cover, service charge all included: 35 Euro for two!!! I would dare anybody to beat this. This did not include the extra tip was, deservedly, generous.

If I were back in Lucca, this is where I would go first for lunch and for dinner.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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