Thursday, June 17, 2010

Restaurant review: Lucca

Someone great* once said, "I love lunch!"  I'm positive that the source must have had Lucca Ristorante in mind when he first said it.  This classy little place calls South Craig Street in Oakland home, where it offers up northern Italian fare to patrons with phenomenal service.  This was my second trip there (the first being for dinner about a month ago), and my previously set high expectations were not disappointed.

We sat outside since it was such a nice day.  My dining date ordered the arugula salad with goat cheese, almonds, and mandarin oranges in a berry vinaigrette ($7).  I ordered the crab cake sandwich that came with a little side salad, pickle, and three gorgeously plump strawberries ($13... the most expensive item on the lunch menu).  I couldn't have selected a more perfect lunch (minus the pickle, natch'):

The Old Bay mayonnaise was a spicy sidekick to the moist and slightly sweet crab cake.  Oh and that bun?  Hello bliss.  The salad was perfectly sized and the strawberries were a wonderful conclusion to this little lunch date.  When I asked my partner how her food was, the response was, "I freaking love goat cheese."  So, there you have it.  One last thing -- the bread basket.  The most amazing bread basket I've had in a long long time.  I'm thinking it was made on a baking stone of some sort since it was so flaky and crusty on the outside and light and fluffy and warm on the inside.  Paired with some olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette... get outta here!

The service is just as I would want it -- polite, timely, and perfectly invisible when needed.  By invisible, I mean that your drink glass is refilled without a scene and dishes are brought and removed without conversation being interrupted.  My friends make fun of me for always commenting on the service at restaurants and stores, but that's something I got from my mom (thanks!) and will always go somewhere with good service but may not return to a place with good food but terrible service.

A few other notes: I've been told by multiple people that the wine list is great (though I haven't sampled myself).  The dessert menu is something straight out of Italy -- the chocolate gelato is prime.  And, for dinner on my first visit, I ordered the fettuccine with mushrooms, artichokes, sun dried tomato, greens, and feta which was a decision for which I was very thankful.  I would recommend Lucca to anyone for lunch and dinner! 

*Genius of aforementioned creamsicookie fame :)

1 comment:

  1. MINUS the pickle?! Pickles are great!