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“Excellent food... but...”

La Buca di San Matteo
Ranked #102 of 2,060 Restaurants in Genoa
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Piccapietra
Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Excellent food... but...”
Reviewed February 25, 2013

I stumbled across his restaurant and was enticed by the look of the interior. The food was beautiful, however I have to make note of the service. There was only one waitress who spoke no English (but we managed to mime our way through the ordering)... she was a lovely girl but totally over-run with customers. Every customer was getting quite annoyed. Very poor planning on the part of the owners. I wouldn't go back again.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank lindasydney1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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679 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Walnut Creek, California
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“A very nice alternative”
Reviewed November 27, 2012

As many of our selections were closed on a November Sunday evening, we elected to try La Buca di San Matteo. It was recommended by our Hotel, and within a 10 minute walk. We were pleasantly surprised.
The setting is very nice, with beautifully set tables, and an elegant while casual feel. A nice touch was the glassed view to the open kitchen. Very comfortable, a nice modernization of old Genoa. The service was competent and patient with our English.
We wanted a light meal for our last night in Genoa, so we had 3 simple dishes...Minestrone, King Prawns in "bygone" gratin, and a shared Testaroli with pesto sauce. The Minestrone with pesto was fantastic, very flavorful and a generous serving. The prawns were very good, perfectly cooked and the Testiroli was wonderful. I have never had Testiroli, it was thicker pasta that absorbed the pesto, infusing it with flavor.
With a lovely Pio Casere Nebbiolo, the tariff was a fare 53 Euro.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank cadby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Curry powder as a decoration for Pesto pasta - I don't think so!!!”
Reviewed November 26, 2012 via mobile

We thought we would try out this restaurant as it had been advertised in our hotel, our assumption was that if they were willing to endorse it then it would be ok.

How wrong we were! All seemed ok as we entered, the place looked nice and they directed us to a lower room to a table of our choice. The place was busy so we assumed the locals approved. Then the change....as we weren't able to make a quick decision, anyone who has a child playing up will know what I mean, we asked the waitress kindly if we could have five more minutes at which point she pulled her face and stormed off - strike one!

When she returned, she was much calmer as we ordered, 4 x pesto gnocchi, 2 chicken dishes and 2 curried pork (unusual for Genoa but we thought we would give it a go).

A different waitress then returned to tell us that they had run out of gnocchi but they had pesto lasagna. We were disappointed but we went with her suggestion. To our surprise, when the plates arrived it was with a strong smell of curry and upon close scrutiny we realised that they thought it was a good idea to decorate the plate with what could only be described as a curry like powder - strike 2! We persevered but none of us could get rid of that strong smell which overpowered the taste of the pesto.

Then for the main, well at least that's what we thought. By now the pasta had been cleared and we were waiting for our preordered mains to arrive, the waitress returned and told us that they had run out of chicken leaving only the curried pork (I hadn't mentioned earlier that there were originally 3 choices of main, the 3rd being fish which we had already been told had run out) - Strike 3. So now we were down to one choice or no choice at which point enough was enough and we decided to leave.

Despite not enjoying the pasta we decided we would pay for it but they also decided to charge us 2 euro each for 'service', as you could imagine - not impressed!

To say that we would never return is an understatement and we would recommend anyone else looking for a great Genovese restaurant to avoid La Buca at all costs!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Edoardo A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
212 reviews
145 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2012

Thought the place looked nice when I walked by; entered and enjoyed a nice lunch. Price is decent; not cheap, but a good value. I thought the mixed grilled fish was spectacular, and the streffi con pesto(we are in Genoa, right?) pretty good.
Service more than decent.

Visited November 2012
Thank srm_56347
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
161 reviews
112 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Great Fish!”
Reviewed October 20, 2012

I went with my girlfriends to have dinner before a concert at Palazzo Rosso. They were very nice in accomodating us earlier as they oper at 7:30 for dinner. Serivice was good and all our meal were very good. My fish was perfectly cooked with the right combination of vegetables. Easy to find if you know your way around...If not be careful as there are so many little street were you can get lost and end up in an area that you do not want to be!!

I will go back for sure.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Oswelia T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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