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Lucca: Gli Orti di Via Elisa

Via Elisa 17 , Phone: 0583.42.12.41

Reviewed by: Fiona from Scotland, review #2758

When: 2007

A modern-style trattoria producing good Tuscan food with a wide selection of traditional dishes in a lively and convivial atmosphere

Directions: Inside the city walls, a few hundred yards west of the east gate, on the main street

This unstuffy bistro-type restaurant has tables in three different rooms, all with slightly different character. We were in the no-smoking area, with musical instruments hanging on the walls and a glass wall inserted into what was once the courtyard of a Lucchese house. On a Friday night the place was packed.

The menu is traditional Tuscan, with a number of local specialties, which are marked with a symbol. There are English translations throughout. We all had grilled meats as the main course and they were excellent, especially the veal. There is an extensive wine list; we went for a local wine from Montecarlo, which was delicious. Service was very friendly and efficient. The bill was 120 euro for four people.

Having enjoyed the dinner, we popped back in later in the week for lunch and had just as good an experience. The farro soup and the polenta with Garfagnana cheese were both delicious and the grilled rabbit again excellent. We were in room 2 this time, not having reserved, but smoke was not a problem. This room is decorated more plainly, with old photographs of Lucca on the walls and huge red hanging lampshades down the centre. The bill was 115 euro for five of us.

As we left, they presented us with a book of contemporary photographs of Lucca, from which it would appear that they are linked to Buca di San Antonio. This is a more informal alternative with very good cooking.

Reviewed by: caplanco from CO, review #2199

When: 2006

We were tired and hungry. I told Michael I wanted to stop at the first place that looked like it had decent pasta. We were glad we did!

Dinner for 2 with wine 42.50

We'd driven in from Venice and were tired and hungry. That night we were staying at a hotel a couple of blocks outside of the Lucca wall because our apartment wasn't available until the next day. The nearest gate was Porto Elisa so we walked through it looking for a good place for dinner.

We found a lively Gli Orti about a block from the gate. It was packed so we had to wait a bit for a table. We were served a glass of nice red wine, without charge, while we waited.

We had a wonderful meal with good pasta, grilled rabbit, and a veal ribs.

We got into an interesting conversation with a German couple at the next table and, before we knew it, we were the last ones in the restaurant at 10:00.

Reviewed by: Monica PIleggi from MD, review #879

When: 2004

Good food - many locals dining here, too.

Directions: Near the Porta Elisa

This place was recommended to me by my hotel manager, who stated this was a very typical and very good Trattoria. I agree!

I started with the antipasti Toscano, a variety of cured meats on toast followed by the papparedelli with rabbit sauce. Reenie started with a plate of various cheeses and three types of jams to spread on the cheese, followed by braised goat and onions. We had red wine with our meal. Everything was very good. The restaurant had mostly locals. Equivalent of $46 for two.

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

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