Monday, August 04, 2008

TUSCANY - Lucchesia: A Restaurant

Tambellini – Mescita Lotti restaurant. In the small garden of the Mescita Lotti is the place to be for lunch during the summer months. It is the most understated chic and simply delicious restaurant in Lucchesia. It’s home cooking at it’s very best. It is here one bumps into ones friends who lunch at a near by table. The Tambellini family has been running this wine bar, restaurant, and tobacconist since 1870. It is today due to Manuela Tambellini that the restaurant has remained so un-spoilt, genuine and charming. She studied art at the Belle Arti and still dibbles in painting naïf cityscapes, which hang on the walls of the restaurant. She therefore, has a great eye for detail, and believes that “Food should also look as good as it tastes.” And, that “Simple things are the most refined.” She is also responsible for the menu, which is basically an updated version of simple Lucchesia inspired home cuisine. The restaurant is rather difficult to find, it’s on the road to Sant'Alessio, near Lucca (+39 0583 342077), but please, don’t tell too many of your friends. Thank you.

Keep it simple: the menu. Camilla eats her ice cream in the background, in the foreground the daily menu is written on summery pale green paper by hand in ink.
Note: the Acqua di Toscana San Felice, mineral water bottled in transparent wine bottles with a nice and elegant label. The company claims that the water is pure and light and was very much appreciated by the Etruscans.
Contessanally tip: to read the menu, click on the photograph.

Keep it simple: an amuse bouche. A very tasty amuse bouche is offered by the house while you wait for your meal. Simple stewed onions, with a dash of pepper, are garnished with Tuscan extra virgin oil and lavender flowers.

Keep it simple: the small garden. This shady garden is the perfect spot for a summer lunch.
Note: the marble topped bistro tables, the white iron chairs and the Italian butchers’ paper used as tablemats. So simple and chic.

Keep it simple: a salad. What could be more refreshing or satisfying than a tuna salad when the weather is really hot? All the vegetables come from the Tambellini’s vegetable garden.
Note: the typical Tuscan yellow and brown hand made terra cotta “paw print” plate and the precious bottle of Tuscan extra virgin olive oil, known also in Tuscany as “liquid gold”.
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