I’m no stranger to the wonderfulness that is Lucca. In fact, I have already raved about it on the ol’ blog. The Englishman however, has only experienced Lucca during the breakfast and lunch hours, and was all too eager to have the full Lucca dinnertime experience.
After talking about going to Lucca for dinner for months, we finally decided last Saturday that we would get all fancied up and have a grand dinner at Lucca. And what better way to start off the evening on the right foot than with a bottle of Pinot Grigio?
The Pinot Grigio was the perfect complement to the crostini and olive tapenade that we nibbled on as we scanned the menu. I had seen an email from Lucca (yes I’m on their mailing list) a week prior announcing the arrival of freshly made Pumpkin Gnocchi (!), and since I have a love affair with pumpkin, my mind was quickly made up. The Englishman, however was having a more difficult time choosing. Finally he decided on the Land and Sea – sirloin steak with the catch of the day over sweet potato mash and vegetables. Of course, no meal is complete without some shoestring fries as a side dish.
Lucca serves their dinner tapas-style, so smaller portions (ie: normal sized portions) that are meant to be shared. This is one of my favorite ways to dine because you don’t leave feeling overly stuffed, and you get to try out other dishes you may not have ordered!
My Pumpkin Gnocchi was served with broccoli rabe and a chipotle-maple syrup on the side (I requested on the side, but normally this dish is served with the sauce on top).
The gnocchi was cooked to perfection and I loved the contrast between the sweet pumpkin and the bitterness (in a good way) of the broccoli rabe. I actually didn’t end up using much of the chipotle sauce because the gnocchi was flavorful enough to begin with. The Englishman actually ended up stealing the sauce and using it in his dish.
Which brings us to the Land and Sea. The steak was cooked to perfection, the sweet potato mash was nice and creamy, and the fish, while good, wasn’t all that memorable. It was probably the lower point of the dish overall.
The Englishman and I agreed that the gnocchi was by far the superior dish of the evening.
Then it came time for dessert. 90% of the time I don’t order dessert in restaurants, namely due to just not being hungry for it, food allergies, etc., but this time we decided to go for it. Peach tart with chocolate sauce and homemade vanilla ice cream it was!
The vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate sauce were the scene stealers in this dessert – the ice cream had nice vanilla flavor and was not overly sweet, and the chocolate sauce was melt in your mouth good. The peach tart also had nice flavor, but I would’ve liked to have seen more peaches! Less crust, more peach next time k?
And so we have another successful dining experience at Lucca. Lessons of the evening? Definitely order their seasonal specials (like the gnocchi), you are almost guaranteed to have an amazing glass or bottle of wine, shoestring fries go with everything, and whenever in doubt, always, always order the dessert that comes with chocolate sauce at the end of the evening.