The restaurant has an Italian cast to it. It iscnot large, and reservations are recommended, although there's a small bar seating three that looks into the kitchen, available first come, first served. We sat at the bar, having decided late to go there.
Each dinner...comes with a little amuse-bouche to start. The night we were there, it was a little dollop of dill cream with minced cucumber and a crackle of fried cheese on top.
We had an appetizer of quickly deep-fried calamari, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, in a light dusting of spices. There also a light cream dip with just a hint of turmeric.
The entrees came with a salad of mixed baby greens, glazed pecans and dried cranberries, with a light watermelon viaigrette. The salad was delicious.
We had the New York steak with blue cheese, medium rare--it came out just right--and a fillet of wild-caught walleye, pan-fried. They were accompanied by sateed veggies and potato cakes. The potato cakes were little flattened balls of mashed potato browned on the grill. There was an option of polenta or orzo in a cream sauce instead of potato cakes.
Lucca's offered four desserts the night we were there: tiramisu, of course; a lemon curd tart with berries; panna cotta; and a brownie with French vanilla ice cream. We had the tart. We lemon curd was tart, the blueberries and raspberries were semi-sweet and it was topped with whipped cream. The pastry shell was firm, buttery and flaky. Delicious.
We didn't have wine, but the wine list is long. When the owner/maitre'd seated us, he told that they had two selected wines by the glass: an Italian red, and an Oregon white.
The server we had was very pleasant and solicitous.
The dinner was not too expensive by my lights, but then I'm not a Helena resident. About $110 including tip for the two of us. There's free parking on the streets nearby.
If you live in Helena, you'd do well to have this your rotation of places to dine out, or for some special occasion. If you pass through, and have the time, be sure to go.More