I confess I hadn’t yet eaten yet at the resurrected Borghesi restaurant in Bagni di Lucca Villa although it had its official opening at the end of last May. That auspicious day has been described in my post at https://longoio2.wordpress.com/2015/05/31/a-great-day-for-bagni-di-lucca-villa/.
Yesterday I decided to try Borghesi out and was very happy I did! This was the menu displayed in the restaurant window. Use it as an exercise to improve your Italian since no English menu is displayed.
I chose fettuccine with chestnuts, saffron and sausages and found it delicious. I’d never had chestnuts (now in full and abundant season) with my pasta before and the combination was irresistible.
This was followed by roast beef which in Italy is sliced very thin and is done rare unless one wishes otherwise. Perfectly cooked roast potatoes accompanied it.
As usual a quart of wine (I chose red) and a bottle of (for me) sparkling water with wholemeal bread and focaccia accompanied the meal which was rounded off by an expresso.
The whole meal set me back just euros 11. I’m sure it won’t be too long before I’m back at the Borghesi!
Full praise should be given to Stefania and Fabio for bringing the Borghesi back to life. The original restaurant was opened in 1903 by Stefania’s ancestor, Raimondo Borghesi. His portrait, blown up from an old photograph, graces the entrance to the dining area which is calmly decorated in off- whites and with very discrete lighting. Raimondo was known as ‘the colonel’, not because of any military grade but for his measured and authoritative advice on life matters which was very much appreciated among the figurinai, or plaster of Paris figurine makers of the Bagni di Lucca area. These figurinai travelled the world selling their wares and the old joke has it that they were waiting to flog their statuettes to Christopher Columbus when he landed in the New World in 1492!
It had always been Stefania’s wish to bring the Borghesi (whose building she owns) back as a family business. It must have been an enormous risk she and Fabio, who are both pensioners, took to invest in the refurbishment of the place, particularly when Italy is not completely out of its austerity neck of the woods. But it has certainly paid off. Both daughters, Laura and Paola, work part-time in the restaurant whose cook is a brilliant graduate from Barga’s Alberghiera College (hotel catering and Management College).
If one wants a more intimate setting than the princely plushness of the Circolo dei Forestieri then this is the place to go to. It’s truly family, pet and child friendly and the homely food, served in adequate portions, is really tasty!