I've already sung the praises of Punto in Lucca. I found their approach to be refreshing, technically proficient, and complimentary toward traditionally Italian dishes. I could have chosen anywhere in northern Italy to finish out my last several days in Italy, I chose Lucca for two reasons, the town is lovely and Punto just changed their menu again.
I saw the menu change at Punto online and the introduction of a beef tartare to the menu, it made my decision that much easier.
Beef tartare in Italy was found worthy at the one place I thought it might. Punto in Lucca.
A smokey oil on the tartare carried all the flavor. Like the oil from salmon skin, silky and packed with flavor, the oiliness transferred smoke, salt and umami to the dish. I think that it almost had the scent and oiliness of cold smoked salmon. Nothing is what it appears at Punto. Looked like every other boring and unseasoned tartare I've had in Italy. I spoke again with the partner about this; we are in agreement about the boring nature of tartare in Italy. The fact that beef needs time, a Michael Mina table treatment won't work on beef. It needs time. Tuna can be quick cured at the table. The beef needs time to penetrate.
Celery risotto. Exactly as billed. No tricks. Celery was breathed all over it, almost juiced in it, so the pungency wasn't there but you knew what it was, celery. No stray celery fibers, instead, very tiny pieces of celery that were perfectly soft. Some ground black sesame garnished the dish. Beautiful presentation.
Guinea fowl was spot on the fegato on top of the farrow polenta added fat. Simple prep, but each piece was moist and flavorful
Chocolate dessert was a flavored mascarpone mousse covered in chocolate dead simple easy to do ahead. Take what I had at Le Logge in Siena, the creamy nutty goodness and soak that on here too. The mascarpone was almost cheesecake like, not so soft like a mousse, but not as thick as a dense cheesecake either.