Italian cuisine – a splendour that will never slip off our list of Friday night guilty pleasures. This is the kind of food that tops almost everybody’s preference for a tasty dinner. After a long working day, one can only dream of a hearty bowl of carbonara drenched in cream and mixed with bacon. No, cream is not meant to be used according to the traditional recipe, but if anything delivers happiness al pronto then that option should be exercised straightaway. This is exactly what it was like when I had dinner at Luca.
The restaurant is a convenient 5 minute stroll from Farringdon station, positioned on a quieter street off the main road. Before even entering, the beautiful marine green exterior provided an astonishing welcoming sight for the eyes – the kind of stylish view you imagine you would normally see as a scene in a movie. Once inside, a well-dressed lady rushed over to greet us, in what seemed to be a genuine example of the commitment to good service that was demonstrated throughout the evening. We were seated right in the middle of the restaurant, sadly not beneath the upper seating area where natural light streamed in to illuminate the whole room. For the first time when receiving a menu in a restaurant, I didn’t immediately look at the content. Instead my concern was observing the entire room and acknowledging how the decor and lighting have evidently been the subject of very careful thought and design. The cutlery and tableware were not only aesthetically pleasing, but they (the glasses in particular) were so squeaky clean that they gave a sharp screech when touched. My inspection continued on to their logo and colour palette choices – it is a joy to be sitting within the realm of such successful creativity.
Pistachio Pesto arrived proudly green with a nice al dente touch, though the flavours weren’t really hitting the spot. The lamb chops must’ve been cooked very precisely, demonstrated through the delicate meat and gentle crisp outings. Truffle Agnolotti was made up of 7 pieces of vibrant yellow topped with truffle shavings. The flavours were undeniably good – a calming sanctuary. Glasses of Vermentino and Verdicchio Bucci (white wines) were a perfect complement to the meal. Our waiter recommended Baked Chocolate Mousse for dessert, claiming that its the most popular choice from their menu. We accepted his suggestion and proceeded to receive a bowl of chocolate mess with roast barley ice cream in the middle. At first I thought my 8-year old cousins were in the kitchen attempting to woo me with their desert. While the mousse itself was a godsend, the ice cream didn’t exhibit any definitive flavour with barely any presence of barley.
Luca restaurant did well at pleasing my appetite and cleaning out my wallet that night. Our selection of dishes proved to be ideal for that evening. The staff were clearly carefully selected as they all demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the menu, as well as a genuine ability to spark a good conversation. I kept looking at the food station where chefs and managers appeared deeply absorbed in what they were doing. Had I proved to my bank that my salary was healthy, I’d definitely come here often.
Pistachio Pesto £11
Truffle Agnolotti £20
Lamb Chops £26
Glass Valentino £6
Glass Verdicchio Bucci £7
Baked Chocolate Mousse with Roast Barley Ice Cream £9
Total £79.00 + £12.5% Service = £88.88