Lucca/Florence area in October...where should I eat
I am traveling to Italy in the beginning of October. I rented a villa in Lucca for a week. I am planning on spending a day or two in Florence and the rest of the time traveling around Chianti, Tuscany and possibly up to Bologna/Parma area. What would you folks suggest for food options. I defintely want to do some high-end dining, but also enjoy simple rustic food (really enjoyed the enclosed marketplace in Florence when I went last year). Where should I go?
We spent a week in Florence last October and took the train to Lucca for a day. It was awesome. I have several suggestions for you to consider -
Since you have a place to prepare meals, find the local market and shop. It is a foodie heaven. Fresh buffalo mozz for less than a euro, arrugala, pestos etc. The danger is over buying. We prepared about six meals in our condo. We were half block from Santa Croce. Look for the tratatoris for the menu. Great food for less than 10 euros for three courses. The house reds were generally about 8/litre.
Close to the ,arket, we found a great little wine shop were we bought the empty bottles for a euro and they had a choice of about 15 wines to fill (all for less than 3 euros) They would cork and hand lable. Bring the empty back and have it refilled the next day! With the two couples, we went thru 18 bottles in three days. It was great!
We had such a great time, the two couples are going back in 2007 for two weeks to eat our way thru Tuscany!
We spent a week in Lucca last Oct. A definite is Buca San Antonio, very romantic/charming with great food. Caneuila on via Caneuila was really great. It has an outdoor garden for dinner. Fabulous food. Ate there 2x, was recommended by a local. I pretty sure its near Piazza Antiteatro which is a very nice piazza to stop and have a drink before. I loved Lucca, have a great time.
Since your "name" is goat, then Buca di San Antonio is a must for the grilled goat. Another spot in Lucca I liked was Il Grigio. One last place that happens to be a favorite of Mario Batali is La Mora, about 10 minutes north of Lucca in Ponte a Moriano
As numerous other posters on this site have mentioned, Cibreo in Florence is a great restaurant. You'll need to make a reservation.
Aqua al 2 in Florence, try the assagi di pasta (tastes of pasta).
Upscale at Cibreo for adverturous eaters and really good time.
Pizzeolo is great for pizza, near Cibreo/Santa Croce I think.
It won't look like it but the Yellow Bar has some of the best pizza/pasta in town. It looks touristy but easy and very, very good.