Authentically Italian at Lucia

05.30.2014 by: Allison Turpin
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Every now and then you come across a restaurant that hits the mark perfectly. The ambiance, service, and food are exactly as you pictured they should be. When you step into the quaint, rustic dining room of Lucia, you quickly realize you may have stumbled upon one of those perfect places. 

Cozy Interior of Lucia {Lucia Website Photo}

Owned by Jennifer and chef husband David Uygur, Lucia is situated in a historic building in the Bishop Arts District. The small dining room makes it feel as if you have been welcomed into the Uygur’s Tuscan farmhouse to enjoy authentic, fresh Italian cuisine with good friends. The wait staff is friendly and extremely knowledgeable about every dish. Since the menu changes often and includes many Italian words, it truly is a task to be able to describe every item on the menu in detail. We were impressed.

Lucia has a great Italian wine list, with only a few wines by the glass. Although limited, all are excellent options, and your waitress will help you decide which is right for you. As you sip on your Italian wine and peruse the one page menu, admittedly some of the combinations sound odd. But we promise you, the chef knows what he is doing. We honestly don’t think you could wrong with anything you order.

Tuscan Bread, Salumi Misti, Mixed Olives

Every table begins with a small bowl of bright and salty olives and some crunchy Tuscan bread served with sea salt butter. Whatever you do, do not pass up having a slice of that bread! It is crunchy and airy with a delicious flavor, and the butter is soft and salty. The menu is divided in traditional Italian style, with appetizers at the beginning, Primi (pastas), Secondi (main dishes), and Dolci (desserts). We started with the Salumi Misti, which includes various hand-crafted meats like soppresata, coppa, rabbit rillete, and liver mousse. The meats change regularly, and all were superb.

Morel Risotto

Cavatelli Pasta with Pork Sausage, Greens and Caciocavallo di Bufala

The pastas are offered in two sizes. The smaller size allows you to try more, which we highly recommend. On our recent visit, we ordered the Cavatelli and the Morel Risotto. Both were outstanding. The homemade cavatelli was combined with browned pork sausage, greens, and caciocavallo di bufala cheese. Cavatelli pasta is similar to gnocchi but incorporates ricotta in the dough, giving it a firmer consistency with a richer flavor. The cheese was thick and stringy and coated the noodles and sausage in a magical way. It was so delicious, we wished we had ordered the larger portion. The Morel Risotto was perfectly al dente and tasted of high quality Parmiggiano Reggiano salty cheese, while the morel mushrooms provided the right amount of earthiness.

Crispy Dug Luck with Farro, Figs and Spring Onions

Wagyu Beef with Artichokes and Fingerling Potatoes

From the secondi section, we tried the Duck Leg and the Wagyu Beef. The Duck Leg was served crispy over a bed of farro laced in a sweet chestnut honey sauce. Roasted figs and grilled spring onions accompanied the farro, and the whole dish was a lovely unique combination of flavors that somehow tasted springy. The tender Wagyu beef was sliced and nearly melted in your mouth. An acidic sauce lay on the plate under fingerling potatoes and artichoke hearts. It wasn’t your typical meat and potatoes dish, but it was certainly something special.

There were four dessert offerings, some of which were more savory than sweet, so we opted for the decadent Almond Semifreddo. Crispy almond brittle was folded into a vanilla base and frozen to create a smooth and luscious semifreddo, similar to ice cream. It was topped with saffron infused golden raisins, thin strips of fresh mint, and more almond brittle. It was divine. We immediately regretted splitting it and thought hard about ordering a second one.

There is a small parking lot beside the restaurant, or you can search for a street spot. The only negative is knowing how difficult it can be to get a reservation. They take reservations one month at a time, and they open that month of reservations on a set date. For example, they started taking reservations for June on May 1st at 9am. So visit their website to see when July reservations open, and mark your calendars.

Everything about Lucia is wonderful. You are comfortable as you dine, blissful as you taste the food, and satisfied as you walk out the door. Lucia is authentic to Italy in every way possible, and the owner’s insistence on genuineness is what makes this cozy restaurant a standout among others in Dallas. If you can’t book a flight to Florence, call for a reservation and make Lucia your next destination.  

{Lucia Official Website}

TAGS : Oak Cliff/Bishop Arts , Lucia