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Il Borghetto del Castello - Nozzano
Via di Poggio, 3205, 55100 Nozzano, Lucca Tel: +39 0583 368791 Facebook Closed: Tuesdays
Why did it take us 14 years to find this place? Highly recommended, especially for fish, and the genial proprietor.
Despite the rather basic external impression from the street, once through the gate, we pass through greenery and all gets better, as we enter to find two spacious dining rooms with a slightly old-style feel, the first with perhaps more striking décor, the second with more atmosphere.
Fish is very much the resource of the day, but there are plenty of ‘terra’ (meat) options and a varied, reasonably-priced wine list.
If we go for the Fantasia del Mare from the antipasti, this is enough for a whole meal, especially with a minimum 2 orders for this dish (€14 per head, 2015).
Fantasia: ceci e gamberi (prawns in chickpea soup) – a flavourful and slightly piccante start.
Fantasia: mousse of branzino – sea bass mouse, invigorated by finely-sliced parsley and a little spice.
Fantasia: triglia e branzino – delicate little chunks of red mullet and sea bass, as if samplers of a grilled fish dish.
Antipasti: pasta fritta (a typical Tuscan dish) - coccoli (deep-fried blobs of pizza bread) with prosciutto and runny stracchino cheese; we prepare the mix ourselves. Another meal in its own right!
Primi piatti: spaghetti alle vongole zucchine - spicy and tasty: perfectly cooked spaghetti with clams and courgette.
Secondi piatti: ricciola (= branzino = sea bass) grilled with salad of mix of veg and fruit - celery pear, carrot, tangerine; nicely cooked and tasty – dry and light but yet not dry.
"4 antipasti, 2 primi, 1 secondo, plus spinach and herby ‘farmer’s fried potatoes’ were more than enough: add 2 bottles of excellent Sauvignon, water, etc. = €32.50 per head.
Good food and value, including a doggy bag for the following day!"
Fantasia: hot titbits - breaded cod, mousse of marrow, polpettino of mixed fish and capesante (scallops) gratinato with béchamel (the best - exquisite delicate aroma of scallop exuding through the understated diversion of béchamel).
Fantasia: Smoked salmon and pickled veg and salad with anchovies - refreshed with radicchio & orange salad.
Fantasia: potato and milfoglie with fish steamed in paper - vongole (clams), gamberi (prawns) and farro (barley, which gives it a local feel); the combination of sea and a little chili to spice it up works
Antipasti: Carpaccio di branzino scottato con rucola pinoli e parmigiano (warm sea bass carpaccio with rocket, pine kernels and parmesan) - perhaps too much parmigiano (but everyone to their taste!), but otherwise delicious.
Primi piatti: gnocchi con rucola e pinoli (potato dumplings with rocket and pine kernels): quite salty but that’s how they like it!