Many restaurants in Lucca serve classic Tuscan fare, and Lucca is a great town for finding these traditional dishes. However, for those who have been to Italy a number of times or are just not feeling the traditional fare, Allosteria is a fun find that offers a modern take on such fare, which is not the easiest thing to find in small-town Italy! Allosteria is located in the center of Lucca very close to the Guinigi Tower. The restaurant itself consist of a small inside and an outdoor seating area just around the corner from the main entrance. We dined outdoors and really enjoyed it. Since the outdoor area is often closed in the Winter, and this restaurant is popular on TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc., I recommend calling a day or two ahead to make a reservation.
All meals start with a complimentary amuse bouche. Ours was a paste served in an ice cream cone. Very interesting, and very delicious. I loved the plating.
For our proper meal, I started with “Il Panino” which is a take on the popular Italian sandwich of mozzarella, tomato and basil. This one is served on panzanella bread, with burrata cheese (a more creamy mozzarella), tomato confit and basil butter, all on a “crispy base” of cucumber. The crispy cucumbers seemed to be lacking, but I enjoyed the dish! Note – this is a summer dish and appears to have been taken off the menu for the Winter.
For my main course, I ordered a modern take on one of my favorite Italian dishes (and guilty pleasures) – spaghetti carbonara (spaghetti with egg, cheese, black pepper and bacon). Allosteria’s take on spaghetti carbonara was really interesting and colorful! It consisted of homemade filled ravioli with minced meat “carbonara style” (egg yolk, pecornio cheese and pepper sauce) served on a violate potato cream. As you can see from the pictures, the potato cream is on the bottom, the egg yolk is served as the spaghetti and the bacon and pepper are added on top of the ravioli! This dish was very delicious and filing!
Dan ordered La Fiorentina. For those unfamiliar Florentine steak is a huge cut of meat, kind like a T-bone. It is priced by weight and usually has a minimum weight to order. Florentine steak is very popular in Tuscany and is often served with vegetables and potatoes. Dan was almost able to finish all of his!
If you are interested in ordering the Florentine steak but do not want to eat so much meat, we saw a lot of Italian families ordering one order of steak and then splitting some smaller sides.
Finally, for dessert, we ordered the Il Biscotto Salata, which is described as a salty biscuit filled in with white chocolate ganache and wild berries. It was really good and not too large!
STEAL OUR DINNER
Allosteria – Ristorante Lucca: Via S.Andrea, 8 Lucca. T: (+39) 0583-492899. Open everyday from 12:00 – 14:30 and 19:00 – 22:30. I would call a day or so ahead and make a reservation. The restaurant is rather small and it is often highly ranked on tourist sites, such as Trip Advisor.
On A Budget
Lucca is a great place to enjoy good Italian food if you are on a budget. Many restaurants serve high quality food without big city and tourist prices. For example, my pasta was only € 9,00. Dan’s steak, however, was quite expensive. You order by weight and all of that steak came out to about €40,00, and that was the smallest he could order. If you are ordering steak, make sure that you know the final price before ordering!