Garfagnana food : Your guide to eating out in the region
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Pictures of this restaurant (1)Cantine Bernadini, Lucca -
This elegant restaurant lives up to its brilliant reviews.Exquisite food and wine, beautiful surroundings, excellent service; we couldn't have asked for more. The vin santo reduction with the liver paté was incredible and the tortellini was light and creamy. The pork and the duck for our second course were both complete perfection and the chantilly cream dessert with almond and orange crisps was an utter joy. After an enjoyable discussion with the very charming Fabio, the Lucchesi wine we chose, Altair, was delicious. For a menu so surely heading towards a Michelin star or two, the bill was also most palatable. Around 70 euro for two, including 3 courses, wine and coffee. - Luisa

Pictures of this restaurant (2)Da Carlino, Castelnuovo -
Had a bad experience at this restaurant recently. Food was OK and waitress service good but when checking the bill we noticed that we had been over-charged by 10 euros. The owner was quite ungracious and without apology just put a 10 euro note on the bar and walked away. We won't be eating there again! - Luisa

Pictures of this restaurant (2)Osteria al Ritrovo del Platano, Ponte di Campia -
We dined here extremely well yesterday, to the point where we could not understand why there was only one other table occupied. The welcome was warm, the food good, the dining room warm and welcoming. Minestrone di farro and tortelli al ragu as a main were both delightful. My partner`s sformato as a starter and filetto di maiale were gorgeous. House white (5 euros for a half liter) was lovely. 38 euros all told. I`ve submitted separately that they also now have a website, perhaps that will drum up some more trade. - Mike

Pictures of this restaurant (1)Cantine Bernadini, Lucca -
Once we had found the unobtrusive entrance, we were wowed by the decor and atmosphere. The staff were very attentive and knew their products really well. The carciofi e ricotta tortelli in ragu di anatra e brunoise di verdure were very delicate, though a little on the tepid side. Petali di baccala su crema di cavolo fiore was delicious. Anatra in sesame crust was quite fine, but the whole onion in its skin, though very tasty, was a bit odd. Baccala con pomodoro e porri was perfectly cooked. A Luchese wine for 8 Euros rounded it off nicely. 63 Euros complete for two. - Tim

Pictures of this restaurant (1)Cantine Bernadini, Lucca -
This relatively new establishment inside the walls of Lucca is a big find - in two ways - it is tucked away off all the main streets and it is a treasure. Opened in May 2008 by one of the Bernadini family, Massimo, the vaults below the Palazzo used to be a night club. Now they are a beautifully restored temple to fine food, wine and olive oil from the region. - Admin

Pictures of this restaurant (2)Verdeluna, Barga -
After years of travelling away from Barga for good food, recently, the centre of town has been transformed and Verdeluna is certainly part of that transformation. Everything was wonderfully cooked - polpette di sarde beautifully subtle, warm seafood salad with a Caesar sauce packed with flavours, seafood and vegetariana lasagna were so refined and delicate (the vegetarian the biggest hit), and then scaloppine di pollo and swordfish steak in a divine emulsion of olive oil, lemon and oregano. There was pudding included in the set 24 euros but we resisted. The white wine also included was light and crisp. Be ready for the small dining room, but it is tastefully done and very welcoming. Definitely will be a favourite for the future. Booking ahead is a must. They only open mid-week if you book; so turning up on spec is high risk. - Tim

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