Friday, January 9, 2015

Dining at Luca

Right before we left for the holidays, Mr. H and I decided to splurge and celebrate our "one week of marriage" by having a romantic dinner out. One of the first places that comes to mind when we're looking for a special occasion spot is Luca Italian Cuisine. Nestled in the Superior Viaduct (just down West 25th from the main strip of restaurants), it has stunning views of Downtown Cleveland and our bridge system. It's a quiet area, and the restaurant's atmosphere and views just beg for a romantic outing.

We've had five good meals here now, and this one did not disappoint.

What do you think...I think marriage looks pretty darn good on Mr. H.
Overall, we had a really special meal and were treated very well by their staff. However, the only (minor) disappointment came from our Antipasti course. We'd had the Tartar de Filetto Manzo ($15) at our very first visit, and it had stuck in our memory as the best beef tartar that we've ever had. I've been comparing all others to this version ever since. However, this time, it was missing some of the bright citrus and caper flavors that I remember from the first time. It was still a good tartar, don't get me wrong, but it fell a little short of the high standard that I had held it to.
The Whole Grain Crostini served with it was also rock-hard, and way too crunchy for full enjoyment.

From the La Pasta section, diners can order a Half or Full portion, depending on whether or not you'll be enjoying it as an entree, or as a shared appetizer. We ordered a half portion of the Vitello Tortelli with veal stuffed tortellini, cream sauce, prosciutto, and asparagus. It was a solid version of a classic pasta combination. For something a little unusual, order their Sacchetti al Tartufo Bianco.

I decided to try their Costolleta di Agnello (grilled lamb chop with shallot, port glaze, and a sweet pea risotto) for $32.
This dish was exceptional. The flavor and tenderness of the meat was wonderful, and I loved the sweet pea risotto's flavor and texture. I took home over half of it, and it re-heated well.

Mr. H also decided to try something new, and he ordered the Milanese di Vitello (breaded veal chop with marinated grilled radicchio, goat cheese, and aged balsamic) for $47.
Again, this dish was very good. It was a tad dry in the areas where there wasn't any goat cheese, but the bites with all of the components combined were very good. Pounded out to a thin chop and lightly breaded, it was delicious. This dish was also huge, and we took home quite a bit of the veal chop. It was even enough for us to split the next day.

When our server heard that we had just gotten married the weekend before, he surprised us with a complimentary Tiramisu (with candle). That was so thoughtful, and a nice treat at the end of our very decadent meal.
It truly felt like a celebration. We were enjoying gorgeous views, delicious food, attentive service, and each other. A special night. That's what Luca can offer. It will continue to be a go-to spot for us when looking for something special in Cleveland.

Luca Italian Cuisine
2100 Superior Viaduct
Cleveland, OH 44113