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“Scrumptious Surprise”
Review of Caffe de Luca

Caffe de Luca
Ranked #11 of 77 Restaurants in Forest Park
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed May 16, 2013

After a book signing at Centuries and Sleuths Book Store, we looked for a place nearby for lunch. Caffe De Luca's door was open. We liked the cozy atmosphere and welcoming staff. We each ordered the crab cakes and were delighted with the presentation and taste. Served on a bed of greens with capers and a yummy sauce, the crabcakes were plenty to eat. However, we spotted the Italian custard on the dessert menu and my Italian friend twisted my arm. I forget the Italian name, but the custard was wonderful -- drizzled with a bit of carmel and a few strawberries.
My share of the lunch, $20, was pricey for me, but I payed it gladly because it was delicious.

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1  Thank Jeanne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (35)
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28 - 32 of 35 reviews

Reviewed February 17, 2013

This looked like an appealing spot on a trendy stretch of Madison St., and the interior was nice enough, although not exactly cozy. My friend and I decided to order soups and split a pizza for lunch. The eggplant soup tasted ok but was warm, not hot, when it arrived. The pizza was the big disappointment, though. You would expect a pizza with goat cheese, roasted red peppers and arugula to be tasty, but the toppings were sparse and virtually flavorless. Add to that the fact that the waiter kept addressing two older ladies as "guys," and we were happy to flee down the street to the Brown Cow for some really delicious ice cream to save the day!

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Thank salcal73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

Caffe De Luca is located in a lively section of Forest Park among a cluster of restaurants and bars. It consists of a large main dining room on the first floor with tables along one wall and a very long bar on the opposite wall. The tables are fairly comfortable but the atmosphere feels more like a barroom than a dining room. There is also outdoor seating in front on busy Madison Ave. and a second floor room used for private parties. The place is decorated in a faux-Italian style that comes off as being artificial. The menu provides a fair assortment of antipasti and pastas with limited meat and fish dishes.

I consider one of the hallmarks of a good Italian restaurant to be the quality of the table bread. So dining there on a recent Saturday night as a first-time customer I looked forward to tasting the bread. Well, the bread was so bad that I had thought that somehow a mistake had been made. It was served sliced with a very soft texture akin to American commercial bread without any crust and was tasteless and somewhat stale. I told our waiter about the problem and asked for a replacement. Our waiter was accommodating and brought out a new portion, however, it was as lousy as the first.

One of my favorite Italian dishes is braciola. The menu described this dish as “Tender flank steak stuffed with prosciutto, Parmesan, and arugula, Panko bread crumbs, topped with tomato mushroom sauce over creamy polenta.” I ordered it expecting that the braciola would be a whole roll or two of meat that I would slice. However, the meat came sliced and placed on a bed of polenta covered in tomato sauce. After cutting the meat for a while the pieces became enmeshed in the polenta, resulting in a somewhat unappetizing, mushy mixture. The polenta tasted good but the braciola, although tender, was just fair. To the credit of this restaurant, the wait service was competent and accommodating.

Café De Luca is not recommended because of its and bland food and marginal ambiance.

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Thank ChiMike606
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2012

I love their menu. Always something different, and the prices are reasonable. Good wine selection. Sit upstairs on the balcony in the summer or warmer spring and fall days.

Thank Bill B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2012

This was my second visit, and it was as good as the first. Went with a group of four. The appetizers (asparagus wrapped with prociutto and fontina cheese) and hummus were great. I had the pasta with chicken and shrimp in a cream sauce, very good!! The atmosphere is very relaxing. And, the bellini drink is awesome!

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Thank Aceswithkicker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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