For Italian-style theatricality and atmosphere, you'll not find a better spot than La Cucina, with its elaborate painted and brickwork ceilings, dramatic lighting, hanging copper pans, chandeliers, white napery, and exuberant waiters who know that performance is part of the charm (as long as they're not too busy). In terms of its pizza-and-pasta remit, all the necessary boxes are ticked: the pasta is homemade and al dente when served and the pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven. Fish and meat dishes stick to tried and true Italian formulas and are very nicely prepared and presented. At lunchtime, it's very popular with people doing business, and offers a better than average set-price lunch menu. Reservations advised.
Astoria Hotel, Pilatusstrasse 29, CH-6002
Our Rating Neighborhood Downtown Hours Mon–Thurs 11:30am–1:30pm, 6–10:30pm; Fri 11:30am–1:30pm, 6–11:15pm; Sat 6–11:15pm, Sun 6–10pm Transportation Bus: 1 Phone 041/226-8888 Prices Pizza/pasta/risotto 19F–28F, main courses 40F–52F Cuisine Type Italian Web site La Cucina