We went to Lucano's last night (Friday) with our friends from NYC. I was interested to see how it would go, given the recent bad experience of Bill K (more at the end). We have been going there for years. To start, we arrived at 7:30 for our reservation, and they took us directly to our table. Reservations are a must on weekends, as they fill up, and last night was no exception. We were greeted by the owner, who we know from previous visits, and Christina, one of the wait staff, who we also know. This is a family restaurant, and we find the service to always be warm. When they are really busy, you do see less of them, but that is understandable.
We started off with appetizers: 2 lobster risottos, caprese, and beet salad(ugh, but that is a personal opinion). I had never had the lobster before, and it was wonderful, a mildly sweet sauce and plenty of lobster for a starter. Everyone else really liked their starters as well. For the main courses, our friends ordered the veal chops, and my wife and I each had different veal dishes: cognac and marsala. They were all really good, and my friends said that the veal chops were probably the best they have had. The service was good, but not overbearing, during the meal, and the waiter had made recommendations in response to our questions, and the owner came over during the meal to make sure everything was good (they almost always do this). The wine was a red from the south of Italy. We sat around and talked, and did not leave until 10pm. At no time were we rushed, but we could have left earlier had we wished to, so it was not due to slow service.
Why do I give what I consider the best Italian restaurant in Rochester 4 stars? Well, it is not as good as some of the best ones in NYC or San Francisco. Their sauces are homemade, but not their pasta. Too many people in Rochester are only looking for quantity; a clamshell to take home afterwards. It makes comparisons with other cities difficult.
For Bill, they do occasionally make mistakes, but in my experience, they are sincere about wanting to provide a positive dining experience. If you had said something to the owner's wife earlier (I know most of us do not want to do this), she most likely would have adjusted your bill. We once had one of the dishes messed up and we sent it back, so when it finally did come, I had almost finished mine. I said something to the owner when she came by the table, and they did not charge for it. I considered this to be a very fair resolution, and it certainly reinforced our opinion of the place.
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