It was a lovely Saturday evening with some lovely friends. Dinner at Lucca to try out what new creations Chef Josh Schory has put on the menu for Spring/Summer. With a 6:30 reservation, we walked in around 6:40 thanks to Google maps sending us on a wrong turn. Then again, do I blame Google maps or the weird way the streets run in Canton? Ahh, that's neither here nor there, we made it and weren't too terribly late. The night started off right with a lot of great conversation in our group of six. Our waitress was very attentive and came by often to see if we had made drink or appetizer decisions. When it was clear we hadn't, she left and then came back again to tell us that Chef Schory has created an amuse bouche for the table. Isn't that a pleasant surprise! Before too long each one of use received a perfectly cooked scallop with lemon aioli and a dollop of mango salsa on the side, sprinkled with pepper powder.
Not being much of a seafood gal myself, I thought this was absolutely beautiful to look at and pretty darn tasty to eat. Perfectly seared scallop, creamy and flavorful aioli, juicy sweet mango and a little spice from the pepper. Great balance and a very nice way to start what would be one excellent meal.
Even though I'm not a seafood gal, I am a sucker for calamari so when I saw it on the menu, I pretty much had blinders on to the rest of the offerings under appetizers. I've never been able to find a calamari appetizer that I've loved more than the one at the new defunct LeFever's in Cuyahoga Falls, but that doesn't mean I ever stop trying! This one was cornmeal dusted and fried, with cherry peppers and roasted garlic aioli.
I'm glad I gave this one a shot. I had to share this plate of calamari but I could have easily devoured it all on my own. The outside was crispy, the inside tender and delicious. The garlic aioli was a perfect compliment. Some of the peppers were a little too hot for me, but so what. That certainly is no big deal. It didn't beat LeFever's but it was damn tasty.
For my entree I chose Chicken Picatta with Parmesan Risotto. I do love a picatta but he had me at risotto. It arrived at the table with three pieces of chicken breast, succulent and juicy in the classic lemony sauce with capers, and the risotto.
I really enjoyed this dish, so much so I didn't even mind the capers (which I'm usually not too keen on). The risotto was creamy and cheesy. All in all, a winning choice. And at $14, a deal too!
Nick chose the Gnocchi with Pesto Cream and Parmesan Tuile.
Isn't that stunning? The Parmesan Tuile surrounded the gnocchi like a crown. It was almost too pretty to eat. Almost. It broke apart easily and scrumptiously. And inside the crown were the most delicate gnocchi I had ever tasted. They were soft and pillowy. The sauce was beautiful and I loved the whole pine nuts in it.
It was a lovely night all around... beautiful surroundings, good food, good company and a relaxed meal. We weren't rushed in and out as is often the case when one goes out to eat anymore. And we didn't break our bank account. Yes, I will be going back to Lucca.