Saturday lunch

I’m in one of my favorite places to eat in Lucca. Osteria Baralla is tucked away behind the old Roman amphitheater. It has red brick vaulted ceilings, huge bronze chandeliers and today it is packed and noisy, mostly with big family groups and visitors from the area who have come to Lucca ( the largest town in the area) to shop and eat. There’s Italian chatter swirling around, and lots of eating.
Today I have ordered i piatti di giorni and although I trust my understanding enough to know that I’ll like what I get, I’m still surprised when each course arrives.
First, bread made with flour from the hills beyond Lucca. It’s chestnut flour and the bread is dark and slightly sweet. A perfect accompaniment to a selection of salamis and cured meats.
Then beautiful linguine with coniglio and I make no apologies to the Easter Bunny. It was delicious. And next, pork medallions with fagioli beans. Even more delicious.
By the time I’ve had my coffee, the noise level has dropped but some of the big tables are still on their secondi piatti ( main courses). Eating takes a long time here and I am amazed at how well behaved the very young children are. They start their food education early here.
As I’m leaving I notice a plaque on the wall which says (and this is a loose translation fueled by two glasses of wine) ” an eternal reminder of the libations that were made in this place that was dear to the muses on the occasion of the memorable exhibition of the sculptor Giannetto Salotti”. I can only agree. This is a wonderful place for libations.

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