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  • Writer's pictureCandice Brearley

Ristorante Lucca

Updated: Apr 20

We have been dining at this marvelous upscale restaurant since it first opened. I was interested to know just how good this restaurant would be as I have traveled the world…on one trip, I pursued Relais & Châteaux listings (a guide for luxury hotels and eateries), especially focusing on 3 star Michelin Guide restaurants.


When we initially heard about Lucca, there had been some background chatter saying it would never last in the area as it was too pricey. But I don’t care how expensive a restaurant is if the food is that good, and Lucca is! They have a dress code, which is perfectly fine with me. Not to be a snob, but even when I host a dinner party

at home, I hope the guests do not come in jeans!


The first time we went it was a soft opening, but Jon took me there because it was the weekend of my birthday. I wanted to experience something delicious. For dinner, we ate in the dining room, which is beautifully decorated with very large photos of Italian celebrities everywhere you look. The dining area is large and well appointed. I happen to like the lighting in particular. Our waiter was as courteous as could be. There was a pasta appetizer which I had never encountered (of course, there are many different kinds of pasta). This was an elongated thin macaroni, with mushroom sauce, and it was divine! I ordered it again when we went back, but I haven’t seen it on the menu since the last time we were there. My main course was lamb chops, which were thicker than any I had ever had (and very succulent). I considered them to be special lamb chops, real lamb chops, not the lollipops (although I like lollipops as bar food).


Once I wandered into the piano lounge/bar area, except for New Year’s Eve, I never went back to the dining room. Not only is the alabaster bar lighted from beneath (it is gorgeous!), but the menus themselves are lighted, which is great in the mood lighting of the lounge. The bartenders are exceptional. They not only make good drinks, but some are good looking!


Much to our enjoyment, they have engaged an extraordinary pianist, Dean Schneider, who is the Music & Entertainment Director. He is extraordinary because he can improvise, and he is also extremely charismatic. Dean plays on a elegant new Steinway, and boy does it sound great!


Recently, we met the managing partner, William Burris, who is very friendly. It is obvious that his expertise is in his love for fine dining (and he knows his wines!). That night, I ordered the excellent Pâté as an appetizer, which I shared with Jon, who had the Gamberi Gratinati con Panatura al Parmigiano (Shrimp lightly dusted with Parmigiano Reggiano, breadcrumbs, parsley, and EVOOz). As an entrée, I had the Sogliola alla Mugnaia (Fresh Wild North Sea Dover Sole pan-seared and filleted tableside), and so did my friend, Celeste. It was absolutely delectable. The minute Jon tasted mine, I could see on his face that he thought it was delicious; I knew I had to share. Our friend Peter had the Halibut alla 'Don Pino'  tradizionale Calabrese (traditional Calabrese style) and he loved it. I didn’t have dessert because I had had a couple of Boulevardiers, which is a Negroni with bourbon instead of gin, (made by the handsome bartender) and then I had my usual Espresso Martini (decaf!)


All in all, it was a delightful night and special because of the good food, beautiful setting, comfortable seating and first class entertainment. It was our friends’ first time there, and they will surely return!


Ristorante Lucca

144 Us Highway 130 South, Bordentown, NJ 08505-2218

609 262 0110



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