Luigia – Restaurant Details
Address: Rue Saint-Pierre 3, 1003 Lausanne
Average Price per person (no alcohol): $35-45
Telephone: +41 021 552 03 03
Date Visited: 4th January 2019
Speaking about Italian food, Lugia is in the mouth of everyone in Switzerland.
I hear comments such as “The best Italian pizza in Switzerland” or “is like being in Italy”.
With such feedback, I had to pay a visit to Luigia and judge by myself.
Luigia has seven locations already in Switzerland. I visited the one in Lausanne, which seems to be a repurposed theatre or cinema. Being so popular in Switzerland it wasn’t a surprise that people were queuing outside before noon to get a table on a Saturday (they do not accept reservations).
There is a gate covering the entrance that they open at noon.
Then people run inside where someone is waiting to assign the tables. He suddenly shouts in Italian the number of persons and where to seat them. The whole process was quite messy.
As soon as you enter, there is a hall with a bar on the left-hand side. It seems that the bar of the former theatre was also there. Just opposite, there are the stairs that lead to the stands.
Inside the theatre/dining room is full of tables, and there is a square bar in the centre with high chairs. Right where the stage was there is the pizza oven with all the chefs around.
The tables are small, and the cutlery seems to be quality but is very used.
They play some ambience music that blends with the crowd voices making it a noisy place.
They have also a cellar on the underground.
Staff seems to be Italian (they speak Italian between themselves). They also speak French and English. The waiters wear red jeans and a white shirt and the pizza chefs a tight sailor uniform that is quite cool.
The service is a bit of a mess, only one girl was taking the order in our sector and as you can imagine, after such a tidal wave of people coming in she was overwhelmed. They seem to follow the traditional concept of waiters and assistant waiters organized by ranges.
Another astonishing thing is that the kitchen seems to be faster than the waiters. We could hear the chefs ringing the bell steadily with the waiters struggling to keep the pace of the kitchen.
One more point to improve is the serving timing; we got our food spread in a few batches (this is a common mistake in many places) which is not a pretty thing because you have people waiting while others are already eating.
The main comment on the service is that it is, as in many Italian places, super rushed. They push you to eat fast, pay and leave. I understand that the business of a restaurant is proportional to the number of pax they serve, but sometimes I feel rushed in this kind of places.
They have an extensive menu with so many items on it. Long menus are standard for pizza places due to the many variations of it, but there were also many antipasti, primeri and secondi in the list.
We were delighted to see they have the great Italian coke called Mole-Cola.
I am a big fan of this sort of small calzone called Panzerotto since I feel in love with the one in Luini, Milan. This Panzerotti was the fried version of it (Luini also has the baked one). Filled with mozzarella and tomato. The dough was crisp and thin, and it was cheesy inside. Liked it
Italians get mad when they see the westernized version of carbonara (that white cream liquid sauce they serve in so many places), but at Luigia they follow the Italian recipe. The pasta was al dente but not hard, it was yellowish from the egg yolk, still a bit creamy and topped with some crunchy bacon strips. Nice dish.
Generous portion Bacon very crispy
Pasta well cooked, the sauce was likeable because it was not the tomato sauce they serve everywhere. It was a proper ragu simmered, but I think it lacked salt.
The ragu of the bolognese has very little tomato
Pizza Salentina (Bacon, artichokes, flor di latte)
The dough was the thick one, and the baking is good, I missed a bit more of cheese, smoked bacon and artichokes. The pizza was a bit hollow, empty. That said it okay for a Pizza.
It is a calzone stuffed with a ton of Nutella. I am not going to say is terrible because Nutella cannot be a bad thing ever, but it was just that, bread with Nutella. Also, as expected, very sweet.
That dessert was indeed the westernized version of the tiramisu, the cake one. Within the tiramisu cake category, it was good, creamy and well balanced in the coffee, mascarpone and sugar.
What we liked from Luigia
- The carbonara
- The theatre gives a delightful ambience
- Reasonable prices for Switzerland
Where to improve
- The service
- Hollow Pizzas
- Meeh Desserts
Luigia Lausanne is a traditional Italian trattoria, flash service and high turnover, but the food is right and there is a decent value for money.