Review – Lucia Trattoria – Winchester
June 12, 2012
Here’s how the foodie thing works. I like to eat, I visit a lot of restaurants on my own, I follow suggestions that friends make when it comes to food.
But, there’s nothing more fun than being on the inside when a restaurant decides to relaunch a store or introduce a new menu. So, when I got an email from a marketing firm inviting me to the renovated Lucia Restaurant in Winchester, I did what any self-respecting food writer does…I skipped a few meals and got ready for a feast.
As part of an exclusive group – only four or five of us were at the reopening. While the room was packed, most of the folks in the room were food suppliers, friends and staff at the restaurant. We got to speak with the chef, the owner and the owner’s son. But the big deal was the food…and that didn’t disappoint.
Here are my reactions with a few more photos…
Passed fried oysters – nice heat and flavor.
Scallop and bacon – basic, but done perfectly.
Bruschetta – tasty and light.
Seafood Risotto – creamy and perfectly done seafood.
House-made pasta fresh from Naples Italy – some of the best and freshest (even from 3000 miles away) pasta I’ve ever had.
Here’s a bit of background too. The Lucia Ristorante was started as an idea in 1974 when the elder Donato envisioned the idea. In 1977, Lucia Boston opened in the North End. Now, as part of the 35-year anniversary celebration, Donato – both father and son – will be hosting dinners through the summer of 2012 to share new foods and tweaks/improvements to the menu.
Further, they’re trying to get on the radar of a new generation that hasn’t ever been to either location. To do this, they’ve been leveraging the expertise of 451 Marketing in Boston and the food stylings of Pino Maffeo – executive chef in Winchester.
On that night a week ago, nearly 40 people were entertained, feted and treated like royalty by the whole Lucia Ristorante team.
Some last notes on the meal. We also enjoyed a seafood salad served in a cup; a soft-shell crab dish with tomato sauce; a fantastic tuna tartare; some of the freshest meats I’ve had recently; and a light selection of desserts.
Pino called the food a bit more ‘adventurous’ than the typical fare at Lucia, but that’s what they were going for and they did a good job.
My take. I’ll go back. The food was excellent and properly prepared. The atmosphere was lively and the staff was friendly. Let me know here if you’ve been to either location and what your thoughts are on the restaurant.