Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lucia's Restaurant

For over two decades, Lucia’s Restaurant has graced Uptown with its presence. Situated on the corner of W 31st St and Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis, Lucia’s dwells beneath understated blue awnings. If you happen to drive by in the winter months, it’s easy to overlook Lucia’s behind the snow banks. But take a stroll through uptown in summer and you won’t miss the ebb and flow of patrons through Lucia’s blue door.

Inside, the sights are simple; pure ivory walls, bright oak floors and royal blue accents clear the visual senses of unnecessary distractions and prepare the palette for a journey of its own. The menu, created weekly, features fresh, locally grown and seasonal foods carefully prepared to satisfy even the most discriminating of tastes, all presented by the most professional and knowledgeable of wait staff. On some nights, owner Lucia Watson may even stop in to pay a visit to your table.

I had the privilege of dining at Lucia’s last night. First, I enjoyed the freshest of mixed green salads drizzled in the house vinaigrette. For my entrée, I enjoyed curried chicken served with jasmine rice, steamed vegetables and three summer chutneys. Each of the chutneys was Indian-inspired and added a lively kick to every bite of chicken. I finished with a deconstructed German chocolate cake. While the goo was a little sweet for my taste, the chocolate cake and plain whipped cream were a marvelous combination. Overall, a wonderful meal.

If you visit Lucia’s, be prepared to spend $30-40 per person (this estimate includes an appetizer and entrée). For us college folk, this makes Lucia’s more of a special occasion indulgence than an everyday meal. That said, make your reservations several days in advance. Lucia’s has a come-as-you-are dress code, but as is often the case, better dress = better service. After dinner, stop at Lucia’s Wine Bar (next door) for a fine glass of wine, then head over to Magers & Quinn Booksellers to browse great books at discounted prices. You won’t be disappointed.

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