Lucca is one of those restaurants that we were frequenting way before we were adorable little blogger gals. We fell in love with this restaurant years ago and we still find ourselves going back for more, especially for pasta and risotto. Is there better in Montreal?
Our tradition is that Diva #1 and Sweet Pea go to Lucca for lunch, often with Sweet Pea’s papa, it’s a family classic. Their lunch special is simple, everything you order comes with a mixed salad or one of their heavenly soups, and you finish your meal with their delicious tiramisu. Everyone starts with their fresh bruschetta; we really want to know where they get such perfect tomatoes all year long. It’s so good we’re always itching for more.
Sometimes we have wine, actually we almost always have wine. Our waiter and the whole staff are always more than accommodating and helpful, and service is not something that we comment on frequently. Although they have a chalkboard menu that changes regularly according with what’s in season and the chef’s whims, there are usually a few cult classics that remain on the menu, like the fried calamari.
And what a fried calamari it is, the squid is never chewy, the coating is always fried to perfection and never greasy, served with both a marinara sauce and a spicy mayo style sauce under the calamari itself. Honestly most days we grow tired of calamari, we’ve eaten enough of it, but not at Lucca, here we make an exception because they make it taste so damn good.
Diva #1 can never resist the pasta dishes at Lucca, but Sweet Pea’s heart belongs to the risotto. There is usually a risotto dish on the chalkboard menu, and on this particular day we enjoyed a scallop risotto with asparagus. The risotto was perfectly al dente, the asparagus still had crunch to it, and the scallops were tasty and full of flavour. Tomatoes and fresh Italian parsley made the dish fresh and rather light for a risotto.
Diva #1 was torn between ordering the duck or the tagliatelle, Lucca has a way of making everything sound absolutely delicious that you aren’t quite sure what you want to order. She opted for the fresh tagliatelle with mushrooms, Italian sausage and rapini. A light pasta that was not heavy on the sauce but very heavy on flavour. A few vegetables and Italian parsley were used to add to all the flavours of the dish – there was definitely a generous amount of sausage and mushrooms (and we aren’t talking about regular ol’ button mushrooms either)!
For dessert we had their classic tiramisu that comes with their lunch menu, it never changes, it’s perfect just the way it is. In the past we’ve also ordered their chocolate molten lava cake, another favourite of ours. And when at Lucca, always finish your meal with an Amaro Lucano digestif, only available by private import, Lucca introduced us to this gem, and we fell in love.
They seat only 50 people, keeping it small and quaint, the white table clothes and high backed chairs make it feel posh, but the décor is simple and minimalist, just the way we like it. They have a gorgeous window overlooking Dante street in Little Italy, and it’s often open during the summer months, inviting in a cool breeze. Can you tell that we love everything about this restaurant?
Lucca is one of the only places that we’ve reviewed three times, with their ever-changing chalkboard menu it means that we’re trying new dishes on every visit. And every time we’ve reviewed them we’ve noted that nothing has changed, the food remains delicious, the service impeccable and the atmosphere relaxing. One of Little Italy’s best kept secrets!
Our Rating: Always on Thursday
Tagged: 2 Rue Dante, Amaro Lucano, Calamari, H2S 1J6, Italian Food, Little Italy restaurant, Lucca Little Italy, Lucca Montreal, Montreal, Montreal italian, Montreal Restaurant, mushroom sausage tagliatelle, Risotto, scallop risotto, Tagliatelle, Tiramisu, wine