April 21, 2011

Good Enough to Share

Lucia’s Wine Bar never fails to delight.

I know this because it’s the one place we go to regularly where Zach will split things and share. All other places, all bets are off. But because we (Zach) know(s) everything is always good, Zach is willing to share. This is rare.

When we lived in Uptown, we were at Lucia’s Wine Bar at least once a week. We spent many a school night at Lucia’s Wine Bar, procrastinating.

We don’t make it there every week anymore now that it’s more than four blocks away, so I’m super flattered that the waitress we always have (at the table all the way in the back by the serving window) always remembers that we like the crostini trio with extra goat cheese and no tapenade. (As you’ll see, we deviated from this tonight, and got the crostini trio as intended, but I loved that she remembered.) Good service example #1.

That focaccia that they use for the crostini trio is sinful. Full of olive oil, so moist. And even better when they brush it with more olive oil and give it a very light toasting.

The crostini trio is always a must for us.

After that, it’s hard to tell what we’ll order on any given night. The menu changes every week. Zach very frequently will pick whatever chicken they have (it IS so versatile, after all, which he apparently LOVES). I look and look and look, often overwhelmed with indecisiveness and too many tempting choices.

Tonight we decided to split the hangar steak. We put all our odds in one dish. (And maybe in the dessert tray we knew would come at the end of the meal, as well.)

Good service example #2: they brought our hangar steak out on two plates. This is a big deal when you’re sharing with a boy, particularly a boy who eats really fast. How relaxing it was to actually eat my hangar steak at my own pace because I wasn’t afraid he’d start eating MY share. I know that my mom will roll her eyes when she reads this. But I’m being real with you.

Hangar steak with watercress butter melting over the top (swoon), light and fluffy whipped potatoes, and broccolini…who wouldn’t want to make sure they got their fair share of that?

After we polished that off (some more quickly than others), we patiently waited for the killer dessert tray. Their dessert tray is incentive to split and be somewhat sensible.

I have had some pretty delicious things off this dessert tray: a broiled oatmeal cake, a root beer chocolate cake that I failed to replicate at home, a chocolate pecan pie, chocolate sea salt cookies with homemade ice cream.

Tonight we picked the carrot cake with homemade honey ice cream. It was as moist and perfect as it looks. And the ice cream was truly honey-y and lovely.

So, the food is fantastic. But so is the atmosphere. Cozy, consistent, dimly lit, friendly, European-ish. If you try, you can convince yourself you’re in another country. And if you're like me, you daydream about living there in that cute little space, pretending you're in Europe every night, eating at that table by the serving window every night. 

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