Please Join Us For Lunch Just Outside of Lucca

After a perfect morning of touring a villa between Lucca and Pisa (more on that adventure later), Elisa suggested we visit Antica Trattoria Stefani “da Bendetto” for lunch. Yes, if you zoom in on the sign, you can read the date of 1888 as their “start date” for serving the community.

Now, just a little history here….we’ve known Elisa (that’s her in the picture with the Chef) for more than 5 years, and she has never steered us wrong when she’s been our “tour guide” for the day. Hubby calls what we do “Elisa’s Excellent Adventures”. We plan to devote an entire page of our blog to just this category. BUT that’s for another day – let’s get back to lunch.

Restaurant  Pic

We pulled into the Trattoria, and entered a charming venue complete with white table cloths, and warm greetings from the owners and Chef Gian Marco. Since Elisa lives close by, she is what we in the US would consider a “regular”. Lucky for us, that’s a good thing!

Restaurant  Inside Pic

Starting off with fresh bread and olio nuovo (the freshly pressed 2013 Olive Oil), I could have been happy to gorge myself with this alone. That won’t work, as there are so many specialties to consider.

Olive Oil

Take a look at the Specials for the day – how can we stop at just one?

Lunch Menu

Even though the day was sunny, the weather was really cold. That meant zuppa di farro for me.

Next up, anatra (duck) for Hubby and filetto di maiale (pork) for Elisa. “WOW” is right!

Lunch - Wade

Lunch - Elisa

With a presentation like this, it shows just how special these daily specials really are!

Now, you know that dessert is always on my radar – and this one was over the top. Not only beautiful, but also picture perfect.

Dessert - Susan 2

Mezza Sfera – Cioccolato e cuore alla castagna – means Half Sphere or Heart with chocolate and chestnut.

Crafted to look like a half dome, this tasty number had a creamy filling with a hint of caramel, and chocolate galore. It was all I could do to not (show you the pictures of me) start licking the plate!

Dessert - Finished

Hubby decided on this one…Smontato Zuppa Inglese – the “disassembled trifle”. Each one is prepared individually when ordered.

Dessert - Wade

Thanks, Chef Gian Marco and the entire team, for making our day! Your attention to detail and love of food shines through. Next visit, we’ll return again to sample more of your specials. Something tells me, it’s ALL special – no matter what day of the week it is!

Lunch - Chef and Owner

Kitchen and Team



  1. What a great recommendation! It always helps to have a “regular” with you. And the restaurants in Italy know how to treat them well 🙂

    1. So true, indeed! Plus, Elisa certainly helps us out since she speaks Italian – and we just speak “Food”!

  2. Don’t you just love finding these places? Everything looks perfect and I’d love to be a local there.

    1. We truly do enjoy seeking out the little places not on the tourist map, just for those reasons. And what a bonus when the locals take you to the local “haunts”!!

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