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The Duality of Ristorante Lucia, Winchester

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The Duality of Ristorante Lucia, Winchester

hiddenboston | Mar 9, 2008 08:43 PM

I have heard from more than one person that Ristorante Lucia in Winchester is a good place to go if you like food and don't care about service. Well, after a few years away from the place, I went back there over the weekend with a large group of people, and not only did this turn out to be true, but the gap between food and service was big enough for a truck to drive through.

To put it truthfully, the people working there fluctuated between indifferent and uncaring all night long. Everything from being ignored repeatedly by the hostess, to finally having our table set up and the hostess POINTING to our table in the distance and saying "that's your table" without moving an inch, to our bread plates missing from the table and finally being plopped at one end of the table without a word, to a waiter who smiled about as much as a Patriots fan on February 3. It was all very unsettling, but what made it especially frustrating was the fact that the food was outstanding, with a couple of people at our table (who are veteran foodies who often post here and on another Boston forum) pretty much blown away by the quality of the dishes. The pollo arrabbiata (chicken with mushrooms, anchovies and ground pepper in a spicy tomato sauce) was nothing short of spectacular, while the veal saltimbocca was nearly equal to that dish, and even the simpler dishes such as the spaghetti with bolognese sauce were outstanding.

It is tough to recommend Lucia because I get the feeling that the service might really frustrate some folks, but God, the food was good. It is about the only time I have ever been out with a group of 6 or more people and saw that everyone's plate was so clean at the end of the meal that they probably wouldn't have to be put in the dishwasher (kidding, more or less). I guess all I can say is if you like Italian food and can tolerate spotty service, it may be worth heading to Winchester to try this place.

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