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Restaurant Near Lucca

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Has anybody been to a restaurant near Lucca called I Viperi, or maybe I Vipore I'm not really sure of the name. But I've heard it's great. Can anyone help with the name and give me an idea about what the restaurant's about? Grazie.

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  1. Il Vipore is the restaurant where Cesare Casella first gained his notoriety as a chef before heading to New York City to work for Pino Luongo in his restaurants in the mid/late-1990's. Casella opened a restaurant in NYC called Beppe about 6-8 years ago and may still be cooking there.

    I had dinner at Il Vipore in 1996. Cesare Casella was no longer cooking there and I think the Casella family had sold the restaurant by then. I remember dinner being very good, but have heard or read nothing about the place since.

    Il Vipore sits on a hillside overlooking Lucca. I imagine it would be a great spot to have lunch on the outdoor patio on a sunny day.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DavidT

      Cesare Casella has written a cookbook about his experiences at Il Vipore called "Diary of a Tuscan Chef."

      1. re: DavidT

        Cesare Casella has written a cookbook about his experiences at Il Vipore called "Diary of a Tuscan Chef."

      2. Went to Vipore in Sept. 2002 and it was excellent. Nice choices of game (rabbit), amazing Tuscan t-bone, very accomdating staff. We didn't speak Italian, they didn't speak English, we all had a great time. Portions were served family style if more than one person ordered something. So if 2 people ordered the same starter, it came on one plate with 2 portions on it.

        1. Just got back from trip to tuscany and got a chance to eat at La Mora 15 minutes outside Lucca. Everything was superb ... I had pasta w/ a delicious meat sauce and the lamb. Only downside was we sat upstairs in a REALLY brightly lit room. small price to pay I guess.

          1. An incredible place to eat from may to September is 'Baffo' detto 'Fuso' near Lucca. You eat in the vinyard next to a farmhouse. House 'montecarlo' wine. Great Farro, salumi, fried rabbit and biscotti and vinsanto. 25 bucks and you have one of the most charismatic meals in the world. Vipore is great. Lorenzo in Forte Dei Marmi is expensive but it is the best.

            1 Reply
            1. re: muro

              'Baffo detto Fuso' is adjacent to the winery of Fuso Carmignani, not far from the charming hilltop village of Montecarlo di Lucca, which is about 15-20 mile east of Lucca. I was there in 1996. Fuso is one of the "rebels" of the Italian wine scene. One of the wines he makes is called "for Duke," in honor of Duke Ellington!

            2. The Duke is his reserve and it has some merlot. I had heard that it was named after his dead brother 'Duca' from many years back. If you go up into Garfagnana, you'll encounter some of the best food ever. La Mora is fancy but fantastic. You after to go a little west to Venanzio up in the Apuan mountains who specializes in the famous Lardo Di Colonnata. Romano in Viareggio is top notch seafood.

              1 Reply
              1. re: muro

                I briefly met Fuso C. during our visit in 1996. He spoke admiringly of Duke Ellington and called him his hero. I have an empty bottle of Fuso's 1993 "For Duke" that I keep as a souvenir of our visit. There are piano keys across the top of the label. The 1998 Gambero Rosso Italian Wines guide says, "If Duke Ellington had been able to sample the wine Fuso has dedicated to him."

                Fuso may very well have had a brother named 'Duca', but I am rather certain the "Duke" in question is Duke Ellington.

                P.S. My recollection is that this wine is/was Syrah-based.

              2. Another charismatic place in the vicinity is ristorante 'Montaione' located at the lago di Sorana. This area is world famous for it's cannelini beans. The restaurant has a set menu everyday with some mind boggling homemade pastas done with the local porcini mushrooms,etc. 20 euros a meal.

                1. Cesare Casella still has his home above Vipore in Lucca, but they have rented the space for the restaurant. Cesare is in New York and has a restaurant called Maremma. It is in the West Village in Manhattan. It is great; he uses his traditional recipes and adds a modern twist. Homemade pastas, meats, etc. Anyway, the space is still his in Italy, but hopefully he will bring Vipore to the states in the future.