Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lucca Back Bay

When Nick and I were out at The Hawthorne, we originally were thinking we would head down to Sweet Cheeks BBQ for dinner, but with an hour and a half wait and not being able to put our name in ahead of time, we decided to look elsewhere.  With some help from Open Table, we ended up making last-minute reservations at Lucca Back Bay.

It was my first time at either of one of Boston's Italian staple (the other location is fittingly in the North End).  While we were on time for our reservation, they were running a bit behind, which was to be expected for a Saturday night.  We headed over to the bar, but before we could put a good dent in our wine we were ushered to our table.  With its high ceilings and open space, Lucca Back Bay is not where you go for a quiet dinner, but great for a lively evening out.

Lucca Back Bay
Upon seating, our server greeted us and shortly thereafter brought over some hearty bread and a hummus with olive oil - a perfect way to move us from craft cocktails to dinner.

Since we had been indulging in craft cocktails earlier in the evening, we knew we did not need much more in the way alcohol, but how do you indulge in pasta without some red wine?!  Luckily, Lucca has a nice variety of half bottles for the occasions where a full bottle is a bit much.  We decided on the Castello Di Ama, a lovely Chianti that was hearty but easy to drink.

While I was not planning on getting an appetizer, when I saw the Manzo, a braised beef short rib Pizzaiola, Tuscan kale and a grilled goat cheese polenta, I couldn't resist.  The beef was tender (no knife required) and the pizzaiola topping accented the meat nicely.  The polenta cake was delicious - the goat cheese baked in provided such a lovely tartness to the smoothness of the cake.

When looking over the menu, it was tough to decide, but when I saw mushrooms and brussel sprouts in a single ravioli dish I was sold.  Also including a brown butter and sage sugo and winter squah, this dish was rich and creamy - exactly what you want in a hearty pasta dish.  The roasted veggies added the perfect bit of crunch to contrast the smoothness of the sauce.

Nick went with a basic tagliatelle tossed with a Bolognese sugo of beef, veal and pork with mascarpone and parmigiano reggiano.  A simple dish, but sometimes pasta and meat sauce is exactly what you want.  When its done properly, as this one was, it really is the perfect hearty meal.

As a total impromptu decision for a dining destination, Lucca Back Bay succeeded in serving us a delicious pasta dinner.  Sometimes I think I shouldn't order pasta when I'm out because it is something I can make at home, but when its done well, it really hits the spot and is totally worth it.  With a lack of good Italian in Back Bay, Lucca is a great destination.

Where do you go for Italian outside of the North End?

Lucca Back Bay on Urbanspoon


  1. I love impromptu dinners that work out well! We had a similar spur of the moment restaurant decision after going to the Hawthorne -- we went to Petit Robert and had a really nice meal!

  2. I love discovering a new restaurant on evenings like this!

  3. Lucca Back Bay is a mainstay of mine. I love going there and especially just having a half portion pasta and wine at the bar!

  4. There is so much good Italian outside of the north end! Glad Lucca back bay served a great meal.

  5. This entire meal looks fabulous! I recently tried Buona Vita in Arlington and loved it - I've been eager to go back!

  6. I've been to the N End location, this one looks way more spacious. The pastas look delicious

  7. I would also order just about anything with brussels sprouts and mushrooms. I'm glad to know this is a great option for a nice Italian meal!

  8. I love that you have jumped whole heartedly into eating brussels sprouts! And I definitely would have been swayed by that appetizer too.


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