Our restaurant is open every day for lunch, 12 noon to 3 pm. We are closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
We suggest that you reserve a table at least one week in advance. For long weekends, you will need to book at least 2-3 weeks in advance. For reservations phone 02 63 73 31 25 or click on the reservations link below to book a table online.
To Italians, the purpose of the meal is not only to enjoy the delicious home-cooked food, it is really a way to laugh and spend valuable time with the entire family. This is why, at di Lusso, we don’t offer a fine dining style (a concept that is very rare even nowadays in Italy). Instead, our menus are alto Borghese. This is a style favoured by the upper classes in Italy who enjoy fresh, seaonal Italian cuisine featuring interesting influences from their travels, (whether it be from France, Germany, Japan etc). Whatever the influence, it should not detract from the ‘Italian-ness’ of the dish.
A note on Italian food, and where you can eat it when in Italy
“There are two laws in the universe: the law of gravity and the law that says
everyone must like Italian food.”
So said playwright Neil Simon. And it’s true. But what is the essence of their cuisine – and what makes it ‘Italian’?
There are many possible answers to the first question. It used to be that every region – maybe every village – in Italy had its own food and wine. (Unlike, say France, Italy only started becoming a single country in 1861). But over the years, this has changed – thanks to foods like Bolognese and pizza. Dishes have been homogenised to the extent that its more accurate to distinguish Italian food through other means.
Cucina povera is poor person’s food (at least it was). There have been periods in Italy’s history of universal abject poverty: times when foraging was the only source of food available. Mushrooms, hazelnuts and salad leaves have kept literally millions of Italians alive through the millenia. Fish is mostly a foraged food, as are truffles, strawberries and blackberries.
Cucina rustica is a similar cooking style, but includes basic grains like wheat, polenta and rice – prepared in a simple ‘rustic’ way. It also must include as a first course thickly sliced bread and oil or perhaps vinegar (rather than an entrée).
Italy has never really been interested in the fine dining tradition of France, for example. They tend to focus on seasonality and freshness for flavour. Cucina alto Borghese literally means food of the upper (or landed) class. A menu of this food almost always includes an exotic ingredient or dish in a menu – usually French. These could be as sophisticated as terrines, rillettes, galantines or souffles, or as simple as a rice bombe. A sign that the cook has travelled: and well! No bread here.
Then, like the French, the Italian has its version of nouvelle cuisine – Novella Cucina – where is focus is on lightness, delicacy and colour.
Traditionally a name such as Ristorante, Osteria or Trattoria indicates what type of food it offers, what type of service it offers. If you know the differences between these types of Italian restaurants, you can find what you want to eat quickly. I think this is helpful for many who like to travel to Italy. Therefore, I put them together for your reference. A full list could run to dozen; to the Italian each one discrete from its neighbour. To mention just a few:
Ristorante - a relatively ‘posh’ dining establishment, perhaps with a well-known chef. You can expect a complete menu with antipasti, primi, secondi, contorni, and dolci. The wine list will include styles and varieties from other regions – and sometimes countries
Osteria - traditionally, an osteria is a small, bar-like establishment, mostly frequented by locals and offering pasta dishes, wine or sandwiches. It has a more casual and informal atmosphere with a focus on regional specialties. An osteria will usually have elements of a bar but will have more restaurant-style services.
Trattoria - These are typically quite small family-run, offering a casual atmosphere and small menu of seasonal, home-made dishes. A trattoria is often found on a side street while a ristorante is on the main street.
An enoteca is a wine bar, or a bar where the only alcohol served is wine. Traditionally it is a wine shop for tasting and buying regional wines. In any given enoteca, you will find a wide range of white wines and red wines from the local area. Depending on the size of the bar, they might also stock some imported wines as well as a small menu of spuntini (small plates, usually regional favourites).
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