Lucca [Back Bay]

>>  Friday, May 13, 2011

Lucca Back Bay
After a long day of shopping in Back Bay, what's a hungry girl to do if she's craving good Italian?

Lucca Back Bay is the second outpost of the original North End location right on famous Hanover Street. Owned by the same people (Ted Kennedy, Matthew and Sean Williams), this location has Anthony Mazzotta working as the executive chef. Chef Mazzotta has worked in some pretty well known places, such as The French Laundry, Per Se, and Ken Oringer's Toro, before coming to Lucca Back Bay.

The food at Lucca is inspired by different regions of Italy depending on the season. The winter menu features Piedmont and Lombardy, while the the spring focuses on Umbria and Abruzzo. The summer highlights Sicily and Calibria while the fall focuses on Sardinia and Larzo.

Here's a look some dishes we enjoyed on a chilly day last fall.
Lucca Back Bay
The space inside is beautiful, with a grand marble staircase leading up to the second floor and wine bottles displayed high up on a backlit wall.
Lucca Back Bay
Insalata a la Romana
wedged romaine, parmesan emulsion, deviled egg, marinated white anchovies and pickled shallots $13
The fork and knife "deconstructed" Caesar salad came with anchovies, pickled onions, and a deviled egg on the side. Although fine and creatively presented, the salad did not stand out to me in any special way.
Lucca Back Bay
Grilled Bread and Smoked Prosciutto Soup
cipollini onion marmalade, taleggio cheese and rosemary oil $11
The thick grilled bread and prosciutto soup was interesting. The prosciutto gave the soup a deep, rich flavor while the bread made the soup so thick that it almost seemed more like a gravy.
Lucca Back Bay
Ricotta Cavatelli Pasta 
fresh mozzarella, broccoli rabe, cipollini onions, cherry pepper pesto, pine nut crumble $22 

We always love having fresh pasta, and this was no exception. The homemade cavatelli had a wonderful chewy texture. The cherry pepper pesto was delicious, and the pine nut crumble added a nice crunch to the texture of the entire dish.
Lucca Back Bay
Housemade Yukon Gold Potato and Peppercorn Gnocchi, chanterelle mushrooms,
bacon, spinach and roasted cipollini onions $13 (appetizer)

Similarly, I loved my fresh, homemade gnocchi, tossed in a rich and creamy sauce deeply rich full of flavors from bacon, onions, and mushrooms.

Overall Thoughts
If you're in the Back Bay and you don't feel like making the trek all the way to the North End, Lucca is a pretty solid choice for good Italian food. We were surprised how close it was to Newbury Street. In fact, it took us only about 10 minutes to walk from the Apple Store on Newbury Street to Lucca.

The decor is beautiful, the service is good, and the food is quite enjoyable. It's definitely a step up from most of the dining options right on Newbury Street, many of which are, unfortunately, quite wanting. Prices are similar to what you'd find in the North End at some of the more upscale restaurants. It still doesn't beat our favorite restaurants in the North End. However, if we're in the Back Bay and craving some high quality Italian food, Lucca's a pretty solid choice.

What are your favorite places to dine after shopping in the Back Bay?

Lucca Back Bay
116 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02116
Lucca Back Bay on Urbanspoon

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