Prior to seeing 9 to 5 at Music Circus a friend and I had dinner at Lucca Restaurant and Bar – a very convenient location on J Street (near 16th Street) and not far from the theater. I had made a reservation for 6:00 p.m. as I knew the restaurant would likely be busy.
We secured metered street parking nearby, and paid for two hours. The parking meter hours at that location have been extended from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. as a result of the parking rule changes the City has made in the downtown/midtown core.
It had been some time since either of us had been to Lucca – and I always enjoy sitting outdoors on their beautiful patio on a pleasant Sacramento afternoon or evening.
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We each ordered a glass of Sangria ($8) to sip while we looked over the menu. The Sangria at Lucca’s is always tasty.
Neither of us was overly hungry so we decided to share a salad and pasta dish. Since we were on a time schedule we ordered a starter and our dinner choices at the same time – and let our waitress know we were going to Music Circus.
My friend suggested that to start we order the Zucchini Chips ($5). We then settled on the Lucca House Chop Salad (romaine, radicchio, feta, lemon oregano vinaigrette) ($8) and the Pesto Chicken Risotto (creamy carnaroli rice, basil pesto, cherry tomatoes, corn mascarpone, Parmesan) ($17).
We were served our salad first, and then shortly thereafter the zucchini chips – but that was no big deal. It had been some time since either of us had the zucchini chips and they were not as good as we remembered. The chips were a bit oily and they were very bland. Both of us remarked that they used to be more like potato chips – a bit salty.
The salad was unremarkable, but I did appreciate the lightness of the lemon oregano vinaigrette.
The risotto did nothing for my taste buds. My friend observed that it was creamy and while there was no “pop of flavor” she did not necessarily expect that from risotto. I don’t know if I agree – I have had risotto previously that was very tasty.
Our waitress had been pleasant and attentive, but when it came time for us to leave she was nowhere in sight. We took the bill up to the front desk to pay and the hostess paged our server who arrived in short order to take care of our bill.
As we were standing there waiting for her to return we realized that we had failed to ask for the 10% discount Lucca offers to those attending Music Circus. Our fault – but since we had specifically told our waitress we were going to Music Circus it would have been thoughtful of her to mention the discount to us and ask to see our tickets. As it was, we had to leave without securing the discount in order to make the performance on time.
I have enjoyed the food at Lucca previously, so I intend to return at some point. One disappointing meal is not enough to keep me away from one of my favorite outdoor dining spots.
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Have you dined at Lucca Restaurant & Bar recently? What was your experience?