Villa Bongi

I recently ate at the newly opened Ristorante Villa Bongi and had a fabulous experience. The restaurant is just over 6 km from the city walls , in the green hills of Lucca. It has a large covered terrace that has a beautiful view of the countryside and the medieval city of Lucca below.

The interior is contemporary and has a cozy fire place for dinning in cooler weather. The restaurant also has a covered patio also used in summer. The patio has a little garden path which leads to a charming fountain/garden area. This part of the restaurant is surrounded by the quiet woods. It is a great place for a wedding, very flexible as it offers both indoors and outdoors spaces.

I have eaten in just about every restaurant both inside and outside the walls and have yet to find a place that offers this level of quality and creativity for such a reasonable price.

The Lucca born owner and chef, Marco, has run restaurants in both London and Australia and his diverse experience in the kitchen's of the world really is apparent in his cuisine.

I was impressed with Marco's Stuzzichini sample platter that had crostini covered with white truffle butter, fritatta, fried zucchini, local prosciutto, salmon crostini, and a cured meat from the Garafagnana. Just great! We took the local house white with this and it was top notch. Just 6 euros but it tasted like at least a 15 euro bottle. The house red was equally good and drinkable (the wine was called "Tramontano Straccali"). Another dish I really loved was a risotto, cooked to perfection, with black cabbage and drizzled with a white gorgonzola sauce. Super good! My husbands filetto di manzo (this was a boneless thick cut of steak) was served with a red wine reduction sauce that had just a bit of pepper in it and complimented the tender juiciness of the meat. Every dish was beautifully presented and fully realized.

This restaurant should do really well in the summer months as you can eat well, have a great view of the hills and city, let your kids play in the adjoining garden, and not bust your wallet doing so.

The bill for two people ordering appetizers, first and second courses and coffee was just under 58 euros. A very good deal for the high quality of the meal and specialness of the location. I am definitely coming back!

Practical information

Address: via di Cocombola 640, Montuolo, Lucca

From Lucca you need to take the old road to Pisa, conveniently named Via Vecchia Pisana, follow the signs for Montuolo. Soon after Montuolo you will see signs for Villa Bongi. The first one points to a small road on the left. The road is very narrow but otherwise easy to drive.

The restaurant is open for lunch and diner in the summer, but might be closed at lunchtime on weekdays during the winter. It might be prudent to book it for diner during the weekend.


posted by gina, 2006-02-03

[Life In Lucca] [Restaurant Review] []


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