Lucca Cafe: Birthday Edition

If you are a regular reader of Sweet Potato Bites you know that I have written about Lucca Cafe numerous times.  So it should really be no surprise that I am writing about Lucca once again.

The reason for our recent trip to Lucca was to celebrate my mom’s birthday.  She recently signed up for Lucca’s birthday club (visit Lucca’s website to sign up!), and was excited to use her birthday coupon for a free entrée and birthday “surprise.”  So on Saturday evening, my parents, the Englishman and grandparents descended upon Lucca for a bit o’birthday celebrating.

Whenever my family dines at Lucca we always start out with one of Lucca’s signature cheeseboards which includes a variety of cheeses, crostini, dried and fresh fruit.

This cheeseboard included a Cotswold Cheddar, Ewephoria Gouda and Midnight Moon Goat Cheese.  The Gouda is missing from the picture above because we were accidentally served a Brie cheese instead of the Gouda.  But more on that later.

For my main course, I always tend to gravitate towards fish at Lucca because it is fresh and prepared well.  This time, I went with the John Dory with green beans and potatoes (green beans were in place of spinach since I have a spinach allergy).

My parents ordered the same, and the three of us practically licked our plates clean.  The fish was cooked perfectly and the white wine sauce was delicious.

My grandparents and the Englishman decided to go with the pulled pork and Kobe beef sliders.  I tasted some of the pulled pork and it was so juicy and tender.  Definitely ordering this next time.

Of course, no meal is complete without some sweet potato fries, so we ordered a few of those to share with the table as well.  I must figure out how Lucca gets their fries so perfectly crispy.

After all that food, we were feeling full, but not too full to pass up some of Lucca’s signature desserts.

The first thing we ordered was Lucca’s Bread Pudding since it is one of the main things that always catches my eye whenever I dine at the restaurant.  In addition to the bread pudding we went with a Chocolate Orange Torte, Ice Cream Sundae and my mom’s surprise birthday treat.

The bread pudding was delicious and had macadamia nuts inside.  The consistency was a bit more cake like than other “traditional” bread puddings I have had in the past, but it was still quite good.

The Chocolate Orange Torte was good, but a bit too rich for my liking (the creme brulee put it over the top).  I did like the fresh oranges on the side with chocolate shavings though.

I only had a few bites of the Ice Cream Sundae and one of the flavors was pumpkin sorbet. Yes, Lucca, I do need more pumpkin sorbet in my life.

My favorite dessert of the evening was by far the Lemon Poppy-seed Cake that was brought out for my mom’s birthday.  This cake was so, so good.  My mom and I pretty much demolished the slice ourselves.

If there is one thing Lucca does right, it’s lemon desserts.  Dear Lucca, please make this cake for my birthday in August.  Thank you.

While all of our food was delicious, the low point of the evening was the service.  With the exception of Adam our waiter, the service was just not on par.  When the cheeseboard was ordered the wrong cheese (Brie) was brought out, and our side of salami to go with the cheeseboard didn’t arrive until after we had finished the board itself.  My mom’s birthday cake was brought out significantly later than the other desserts, so she was sitting around waiting while everyone else was digging into their after dinner treats.  Fortunately, Adam was very apologetic about the situation and even mentioned that his team was “not on the same page” that evening.  Hopefully Lucca can get their service straightened out because the food truly was delicious!

Service issues aside, I still consider Lucca to be one of my favorite restaurants in Orange County and I declare their Lemon Poppy-seed Cake to be one of the best around.  Until next time…

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