Lucca [Back Bay]

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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  1. Lindsay says

    I noticed that you’ve been posting almost exclusively restaurant critiques since you won Project Food Blog…are you moving away from cooking posts entirely, or do you have more cooking posts in store for us?? I miss the cooking posts!! 

  2. says

    Hey Lindsay,

    I miss COOKING!

    I know I’ve been writing a lot of restaurant posts since PFB, but it’s mostly ‘cuz I’ve been so busy! I traveled so much the last few months which means I had to eat out a lot. I don’t have any more trips planned for awhile so hopefully I’ll have time to get back into the kitchen! Also, with summer bounty finally appearing, there will be many more things to try!

    Hee hee, I actually meant to publish a cooking post Thursday (yesterday) but Grrrrr Blogger was down and deleted my cooking post. Soooo . . . I’ll have to wait until they re-instate it!

    But thanks so much for the feedback. I am totally noticing and will try my best to re-balance the blog.

    Thanks for sticking with me regardless. :)


  3. says

    I’m so happy you featured this restaurant because I am always on the look out for good food in the Back Bay area (which is, surprisingly, hard to find).  Lucca does look pretty solid and I’m putting it on my list of places to try.

  4. says

     I really enjoyed Thai Basil for lunch when I was shopping on Newbury a couple Christmases ago.  It was quaint and intimate.  They seafood glass noodle soup was divine!  I also really appreciated the hot tea on a cold day.My favorite place was Hotel Chocolat!  They were sampling some divine  Aztec Chili Hot Chocolate, which I had to get.  I also picked up a number of their small handmade candy bars for stocking stuffers.  Oh, and two for me too. 😉 My mouth is watering as I type.  

  5. says

    you know, i’ve walked by that place and wondered if it was any good so I’m glad you reviewed it for me :)  those ricotta cavatelli sounds delightful!

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