It occurred to us recently that we don’t often eat in Italian restaurants. It’s not that we don’t like Italian food – we love it! But for some reason, we often tend to choose a different cuisine when eating out. Last Saturday in Lincoln, however, we had a sudden craving for a hearty Italian lunch – and we found exactly that at La Trattoria Da Vincenzo.
After a delicious homemade pasta meal in this cosy family-run eatery, we decided we should dine at Italian restaurants much more often in future! Here’s our review of La Trattoria Da Vincenzo, what we tried and why we liked it so much.
Our first impressions of La Trattoria Da Vincenzo: a homely Italian restaurant
There is something you just can’t beat about an independent, family-run restaurant. What we really loved about La Trattoria Da Vincenzo is that it almost felt as though we were eating in a family home.
The restaurant is set inside a terraced building in Lincoln city centre that was originally constructed as a residential house. We’re not sure exactly when it was built, but it has the look and feel of an old Victorian townhouse.
It blends in so well to the row of homes that you could easily miss the restaurant when walking past. Stepping inside, you are met with the homely charm of a simple, non-pretentious, family-run eatery.
The decorations are subtle but add character, such as the painting of a medieval Italian citadel that hung on the wall near our table.
Met with a friendly welcome, we were seated in the main dining area, which occupies the space that would typically be the living room in a building like this; downstairs, at the front, with a large bay window bringing in streams of daylight.
Vincenzo Tragni is the co-owner and resident chef who opened the restaurant in 2011, hence the name. He places an emphasis on authentic, traditionally Italian cuisine cooked with authentic recipes. And to him, the feel-at-home vibe is just as important as the quality of the food. It shows.
As our visit to La Trattoria Da Vincenzo came at midday, we had the option to order from the special lunch menu. This features a range of mains for £11.50, or you can choose two courses for £16.50.
There is a wide range of choice on the main menu. Much of it is grounded in classic Italian cuisine – homemade pasta and pizza (with veggie options) – but you can also choose from various steak, chicken or fish dishes.
With such a broad selection, we needed a few minutes longer than usual to make our decisions! Added to our dilemma was the additional option of the freshly cooked special of the day, handwritten on a board above the fireplace.
What we tried at La Trattoria Da Vincenzo
Lisa and I both ended up choosing fresh pasta dishes, as that’s what we had been craving, but we opted for slightly different variations.
Lisa was swayed by the pasta con ragu di cinghiale – wild boar ragu with wild mushrooms, cooked in a tomato-based sauce with garlic and red wine.
Before we arrived, I had said to Lisa that I fancied a creamy pasta dish with chicken and bacon. Sticking to this instinct, I chose the pasta boscaiola – a creamy fresh pasta dish with chicken, bacon, onions, mushroom, garlic, and a hint of tomato and basil.
Italian food goes hand-in-hand with wine, and so we obliged. Naturally, Lisa ordered a glass of house red to go with red meat, and I a glass of house white to accompany my creamy chicken dish.
On another day we might have ordered more courses, but a side of garlic bread was enough to satisfy our appetites on this occasion. There are some very tempting starters (the mussels in particular) and desserts, and we’ll definitely be back again to try some!
Our verdict: a satisfying, soul-warming lunch
Our experience at La Trattoria Da Vincenzo hit us in all the right places. The low-key, humble vibe was the perfect antidote to the busy city centre on a Saturday. The service was attentive and friendly without being over the top.
Most importantly of all, the food was delicious and filling. The portions were just the right size to satisfy our midday hunger. And the pasta – wow! Fresh, homemade pasta, when done the right way, is really irreplaceable. We’ve travelled in Italy and eaten in many a countryside restaurant, and this pasta was just as good as anything we’ve tried in the homeland itself.
Next time you’re in Lincoln, you’re feeling hungry and you want a break from chain restaurants and trendy modern eateries, you can’t go wrong with an old-fashioned homemade meal at La Trattoria Da Vincenzo.
Opening times at La Trattoria Da Vincenzo
La Trattoria Da Vincenzo is open Monday to Saturday, and splits its opening times between lunch and dinner. The window for lunch is quite short, from 12–2:30pm, and so it’s best to be seated by 1pm or so. In the evenings, it stays open from 5:30–10pm.
Find out more about La Trattoria Da Vincenzo and explore the menu on the restaurant’s website.
Have you eaten in La Trattoria Da Vincenzo in Lincoln? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.
For more ideas on places to eat, check out our selection of blog posts on food and drink in Lincoln.