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Hank Vaughn

Baonecci Ristorante

Hank Vaughn
The Gambaccini family hails from Lucca, Italy, that beautiful city in Tuscany famous for its Renaissance walls and tordelli lucchesi, a bright yellow pasta made with eggs that is similar to ravioli but always filled with a mixture of meat, usually beef and/or pork, and sauced with a rich meat ragu. After originally emigrating to San Francisco in 2005 and opening their Lucchesi-inspired restaurant, Caffe Baonecci, the family decided this year to move the entire operation and family to Frisco and had their opening in June.

The chef Stefania Gambaccini learned her craft at the apron strings of her “mommy grandmothers,” and slowly transitioned cooking for friends’ parties to joining her family in presenting typical dishes from Lucca that one usually only finds in Italian homes. The pasta is freshly made each day from scratch, and the chef rolls out each pizza herself.

Of course our pasta choice was tordelli lucchesi. This is described on the menu as meat ravioli with house made pork and beef Bolognese sauce and parsley. There were six rather large pieces (about three inches in diameter) to the order, which was just enough for the two of us. These were extremely good, probably better than the ones we had in Lucca proper a few years ago in a now-defunct spot hidden within that city’s walls. The pasta was perfectly cooked, the meat sauce full of flavor.

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