Lucca redefines bar food with their new Bar Snacks menu.
Running from 4 pm to 6 pm you’ll have the opportunity to taste a variety of fantastic dishes. The size (and price) is right and the menu has something for everyone.
They have an impressive wine and beer list and the restaurant itself is worth walking through just to take it all in.
We devoured the fresh burata cheese with basil pesto and oven-roasted tomatoes. Soft, flavorful, heavenly.
The grilled artichoke has a great balsamic aioli and I loved the clams.
Pan-fried with sherry, pancetta, garlic and scallions, be sure to get some bread to soak up all that lovely juice.
Bresaola (salt-cured beef) hand rolls with poached pears, baby arugula, parmesan, balsamic and a lemon creme fraiche. So incredibly delicious.
Don’t forget the roasted butternut squash bites with the bacon nutmeg aioli. Mmmm hmmm I said bacon aioli and you’ll be shocked at how much bacon flavor comes through.
If you’re feeling like some more traditional bar food you can always order the Angus beef try tip sliders and the shoe string sweet potato fries. Beware that the brava dipping sauce for the fries has some serious kick!
Hopefully while you’re in Lucca you’ll get the chance to meet Chef Cathy. Talk about some serious kick, she’s full of energy and passion and presence.
Sand dab bites with tartar sauce and fennel slaw for fish lovers and pork belly for…. well anyone in their right mind. You cannot go into Lucca without ordering this dish.
They cure their pork belly in house, braise it and top it with dried apricot chutney. It sits on a bed of corn kernel- marscarpone polenta. The pork belly is melt in your mouth delicious and the polenta creamy and perfect.
I’m actually salivating thinking about it.
I had to pause at the first bite of the seared ahi. Green apples, scallions, fennel, kalamata olives and what really threw me off, the vanilla bean aioli. I wasn’t sure how I felt at first. It was good, definitely unique and I just kept taking more and more bites so I could figure out the flavors. I’d order it again, I mean, how often do you get a dish that makes you really think about the layers of flavors?
Wild Salmon Crudo with a horseradish cream is definitely another winner with perfectly made potato chips.
Last, but definitely not least, is the Blue Cheese Tartlett with cippoline onions in agrodolce and a port wine reduction. I had this with a sparkling moscato and it was perfection.
Plates range from $2.50 to $7.50 and allow you to try just about everything, which is really my favorite way to eat.
Lucca will also be participating in the upcoming OC Restaurant Week, so be sure to check out their menu.