Capital Cooking Contributor
Located off the beaten path in Old Town, I’d never dined at a la Lucia, but a friend recently did for the first time during Restaurant Week and really enjoyed it. When I had the opportunity to visit the restaurant and check out their offerings – as well as their private dining area – I jumped at the chance. I’m always looking for good Italian food and a la Lucia did not disappoint.
I began my visit with a tour of the restaurant. a la Lucia has two distinct dining rooms – a smaller, more intimate dining room with walls painted a creamy yellow, and a larger, darker dining room that faces the front of the restaurant, which tends to be more lively. There is also a seasonal patio, as well as a cute bar area. Finally, I arrived in the private dining area – a.k.a. The Wine Room. This charming space houses hundreds of wine bottles that line the walls on custom wood shelves, can seat up to 40 guests, and has its own dedicated bar space.
The menu items I tasted from a la Lucia did not disappoint. I began by sampling a tasty plate of Italian charcuterie, then moved to rigatoni with spicy sausage, peppers, and tomato sauce. Even though I’m generally not a fan of peppers, this dish was very good, with the spicy sausage complementing the sweet peppers.
Afterwards, I sampled a few more small bites – fresh summer melon wrapped in prosciutto and a spin-off of Caprese – this one made with fresh watermelon. Incredibly refreshing on this 90+ degree day!
Moving on to more pasta dishes, I sampled the homemade veal ravolini with tomato sauce and the homemade fettuccini with spinach and tomatoes. You can certainly tell when a restaurant makes their pasta in-house vs. one that uses dried pasta – what a difference!
When I began sampling the pastas, I switched from white wine to red and found that the 2012 Coltibuono Cetamura Chianti was lovely with all three red sauce pasta dishes. This wine was fruit-forward with a hint of spice and smoke on the finish which was a great pairing for the Italian dishes. One major bonus about a la Lucia – they offer 25% off all wine bottles on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays. On top of an already-reasonably priced wine list, this is one awesome promotion!
Great food, a terrific wine list, charming restaurant, and lovely private dining space? A winning combination in my book.