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“Everything was fabulous”
Review of Lucia

Ranked #170 of 3,609 Restaurants in Dallas
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Description: New in Bishop Arts District....charming.
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Everything was fabulous”
Reviewed May 26, 2014

Our party of four made it a point on this first visit to try different appetizers and main dishes. Everything we ordered was fabulous. I had the soft shell crab appetizer: superb. I followed it with the Black Bass, equally great. Others had pasta, meatballs, port loin, preceded by the home made prosciutto appetizer. We loved everything. It was nice that this restaurant had its own parking lot and was quite easy to access even from North Dallas. Loved it.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank rjmartintx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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148 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Grand Island, Nebraska
Level 6 Contributor
652 reviews
396 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 370 helpful votes
“Impossible to get in, even tougher to leave”
Reviewed May 17, 2014 via mobile

Lucia has barely a dozen tables and reservations require careful advance planning, especially if you have weekend intentions. But few restaurants in the Dallas area are so characterized by food that derives from the heart and soul. We too have traveled and dined at many Mediterranean destinations and Lucia is spot on for a fine, rustic dining destination straight from the Italian countryside. Start off with a plate of the house-cured Salumi misti and instantly transport yourself to northern Tuscany. Complimentary olives and a fantastic, oven-warmed, crusty bread heighten the pleasure. The menu frequently changes but we had primis of rabbit tortellini with peas and rabbit broth and a heavenly risotto of cavolo nero, guanciale, and morels. The pasta for the tortellini was very rustic and chewy (perhaps a bit too much so), but the risotto was a melt in the mouth creamy delight with the rice a perfect al dente. For secondi, I had a veal chop with a silken fava bean purée, pancetta, and cippolini. The meat was impossibly tender and juicy and the topping/sauce of goodies made my mouth water even more. The wife had the Texas Wagyu beef tongue with warm salad of artichoke, fingerlings, and purslane. Tongue never tasted so good and the other items were tender as could be. We finished by sharing their olive oil cake accompanied by rhubarb, Texas strawberries, and mint syrup: satisfying, flavorful, rustic, and not too sweet. 'Twas a fitting end to an immensely pleasing evening. Wines are Italian, moderately priced, and cover a broad spectrum. There are a few parking spots available but because this is the Bishop Arts District, be prepared to spend some time to locate parking.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank mingfatsai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southlake, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
246 reviews
174 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“Do you like high priced hype?”
Reviewed May 14, 2014

First, let me preface this by saying I'm a harsh critic of Italian and French cuisine because I've been to both countries, and have seen it executed in its authentic form. While I don't expect all restaurants to stack up, I do expect that those that talk the talk, walk the walk. The lead-up to dining at Lucia was worthy of an award -- elusive reservations, mysterious rotating menu, profound statements calling it the most difficult table to get in Dallas, salami hand-crafted in house by Ghandi (OK, I made that last part up)

We arrived a few minutes late, convinced that the fierce competition for a table would have seen ours given to any of a line of patrons wishing for a free table. Not only were there no patrons clamoring for a table, there were but a few tables taken at all. The staff greeted us warmly, and quickly seated us. (But part of me started to wonder if the elusive reservation thing was a masterstroke of marketing...)

We were given a few minutes to review the day's menu and wine list, at which point our server asked if we had any questions, and kindly reminded us that the menu "has a lot of words in Italian" which she would offer to translate. It was then and there that I wanted to leave. The menu at Lucia makes it a point to include rare and atypical ingredients, but please don't make your patrons feel like imbeciles. If I didn't know what n'duja was, I'd be sure to ask.

The wine list is a very good assortment of all regions of Italy. I expected to find some more adventurous picks in there (maybe a Nero D'Avola?) but spied what I thought was a nice Dolcetto -- but I wasn't sure. I asked if I could see the bottle before opening, just to be sure of the region and varietal, but was cocksuredly told it was made from the apparently-new "Vigna Tecc" grape. (That must be that fourth grape variety from Northern Italy I'd never heard of). Ten minutes later, our server emerged with the bottle and a small correction that it was a <gasp> Dolcetto! There's no sin in not knowing every detail about the offerings on the wine list. What was so wrong about simply saying "I don't know, let me go get a bottle and we can look?". Instead, a brand new grape was invented on the spot! Do other diners fall for this?

The menu takes time to evaluate. These dishes are not simple, nor are they ordinary -- and that's typically a good thing. There does seem to be the gratuitous use of ultra-rare unicorn ingredients (YES! You will see a dish with ramps!), but the place does come with a lot of hype around this. So a few highlights:

The pancetta wrapped shrimp are $14. For two shrimp. Nice, but forgettable. And complete with Midtown-NYC-but-you're-still-in-Dallas pricing.
The cured meats are quite good, but again, you'll shell out a ton for a few slivers of meat artfully propped up on a cutting board.
The risotto was expertly prepared, and was the best dish of the night. The addition of morels really took the dish to a terrific level.
We had another pasta appetizer dish that was so forgettable, I can't remember what was in it.
The veal chop was very tasty, but again came with an ultra-high price tag for what it was.
The Berkshire jowl was a complete bust. What was described as a slow-cooked morsel of tender pork fattiness instead was an inedible slab of hard fat topped with an inexplicably atomically spiced dollop of broccoli raab.

Desserts were very good to OK. Bafflingly, there is no option for espresso (really? what Italian would rather have French press?).

And then came the bill, which completely broke the limits of what I expected it would be. Granted, we did try a few more dishes than an average table might, but the bill was a wallet-destroying amount for what it was. I would have been way more OK with things if it was a third the price.

In the end, I kept looking at how empty the place was, and wondering how I fell for the hype. I don't doubt that the owners care to provide high quality ingredients, but the overall experience doesn't add up. I should have went with my instincts and left when we were offered Italian translation help.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank DragonChowhound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California, United States
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Italian in Dallas”
Reviewed May 3, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Food was delightful. As good Italian as you will find. Walter our server was gracious and wonderful.

Visited April 2014
Thank Houston S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Just allright”
Reviewed March 25, 2014

Don't get me wrong it wasn't bad it just could have been better. The service was good and the food was good. But they do not call gourmet restaurant fine dining for less then immaculate.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Phineas P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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