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“We really enjoyed the visit, but have eaten better in Lecce elsewhere” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Il Rifugio della Buona Stella

Il Rifugio della Buona Stella
Ranked #78 of 564 Restaurants in Lecce
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $20
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Kids, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Families with children, Dining on a budget, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Morrison, Colorado
Level Contributor
184 reviews
117 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
“We really enjoyed the visit, but have eaten better in Lecce elsewhere”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2013 via mobile

We picked up a calling card for the Trattoria il Refugio Della Buona Stella, checked it out on TA, and decided to try it. We are glad we went ... Local cuisine appears to be engine ... But we have eaten better elsewhere in Lecce.

The physical plant is charming to say the least. The high arched ceilings, typical of Lecce, have been preserved wonderfully, and the tables beneath the arches only add to the comfortable feel. We were the first customers to arrive on a Monday evening, and had the full charm of the solo waitress. Our combined mixture of English, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese seemed to work well ... We obtained a full tour of the menu. Our choice turned out to be the cheese plate as a starter (great!), the fava bean and turnip green first plate (probably very authentic, but not a hit with us), and the swordfish as a second plate.

Had we stopped with just the cheese plate we would have left enchanted. Neither of us could get our taste buds around the turnip greens, and the swordfish was unexpectedly "fishy" ... to the point we didn't finish because its freshness was suspect. We finished with the spumoni ... suspecting it came to the restaurant pre-prepared in a cellophane bag.

Our bottom line: lovely venue, friendly and attentive service, great menu of local dishes ... but the execution didn't live up to the rest. We would visit again, but be more selective what we ordered.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Cigano-Gitano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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561 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    216
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    64
    25
    17
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Very good Sunday lunch”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2013

Great local food. Fantastic mussels. Four of us dined here last Sunday and although it was very quiet we all enjoyed it very much. Recommended for families or couples.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Donal10317
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tallinn, Estonia
1 review
“The best in Lecce”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 4, 2013

This was by far the best dining experience I had in Lecce. The restaurant it self was really cozy, the staff, including the cheff were friendly and helpful and the food was was excellent. I really recommend this restaurant.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank HeikiL0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Martina Franca, Italy
Level Contributor
90 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“A wonderful taste of Puglia”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 7, 2012

Lovely and delicious dinner at this charming restaurant on a quiet street near the Porta di Napoli. We had an antipasto, two pastas, a secondo, salad, house wine and water for 40 Euros - very good value. It was hard to choose from among all of the great-sounding Pugliese specialties, and there were many seafood choices as well. The maritati pasta with swordfish and cime di rape was outstanding, as was the linguini with clams. We really enjoyed the house red wine, too. We were especially impressed by our friendly but unobtrusive server - she anticipated our every need.

This was our third visit to Il Rifugio over the past few years, and it has remained consistently excellent. We'll keep coming back.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank PugliaVagabond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Begijnendijk
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Good food, Good value”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2012

This is a tough one. I enjoyed the experience: authentic restaurant in a great old building, good quality (enjoyed the starter sea food carpaccio, which had instead of the promised 5 types of fish, actually 7, because of a side dish with anchovy & shrimps), great service (welcoming waiters).
But you start to see that the place slowly gets taken over by tourists (guilty as charged!) who follow the TA guidance.
For lunch, all tables - except 1 - were taken by non-italians, which takes away some of the local atmosphere. Great value, though.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Patrick A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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