LUCCA RISTORANTE: EXPLORING FLAVORFUL ITALIAN CUISINE IN A SURPRISING PLACE
Lucca Ristorante is an Italian restaurant in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. Wedged in between the campuses of Carnegie Mellon University and The University of Pittsburgh on Craig St., its unassuming visage belies delicious delicacies and decadent deserts.
Visiting Lucca was a matter of happenstance while home during the Thanksgiving holiday. After seeing a movie, my partner and I wanted a nice dinner that was not at a chain restaurant. Of course, since it was evening and basically last-minute, the times for our desired restaurants were fully booked except a few, one of those being Lucca.
Frutti di Mar con Rigatoni (Shrimp, Crab, Scallop, Rose Sauce)
Tagliatelle Bolognese (Pancetta, Veal, Pork and Beef Bolognese, Parmesan)
Filet Mignon (Center-Cut Filet, Truffle Whipped Mashed, Horseradish Butter, Caramelized Mushroom, Onion, Brandy Sauce, Broccoli)
Limoncello Cheesecake (Graham Cracker Crust, Limoncello Filling, Mascarpone Cream Topping)
Gelato (Salted Caramel)
Frankly, The Food Exceeded Expectations By A Lot
When we made the reservation for the restaurant, we weren’t expecting the exceptional flavor of the food. As a blind selection was a success!
My dish, the Frutti di Mare, had a wonderful balance of flavors with the rose sauce mixing with very fresh seafood including some meaty scallops and perfectly cooked shrimp. The crab was muted, but the overall dish was extremely satisfying.
My partner’s dish, the Tagliatelle, in contrast was a very earthy meat sauce dish. The various flavors infused including pancetta and veal reveal themselves immediately with eye-rolling deliciousness.
We ordered two desserts, the Limoncello Cheesecake and a few scoops of Caramel Gelato… We finished both and we NEVER finish desserts.
I’m personally not a fan of citrus combined with any milk or cream based food. However, the Limoncello Cheesecake somehow balanced these things perfectly to the point where I think I ate more of it even though she ordered it.
Should you go?
Absolutely! Lucca Ristorante is not an eye-catching restaurant by any means, but the food is excellent. Some reviews say that the service is bit slow, however, that wasn’t our experience. Since we went near the end of the night when it was mostly empty, our waiter was friendly and attentive the entire time; going late might be the secret.
Until next time…