Portland >Food & Dining > Lucca
3449 NE 24th Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9721245.548142 -122.641408
Neighborhoods: Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, Alameda - Irvington
Lacking – Finally given up on this restaurant after eating there regularly since its opening. There’s a lot to like about this place, great space (although very loud at times), outdoor seating in summer, we’ve enjoyed some nice food, their fish specials are usually good. But the service and management is frequently unhelpful and offhand. On entering the restaurant the host's desk is regularly unattended and one can be left waiting and unacknowledged for some time. All the wait staff seem constantly harried and on the run. There have been several instances when flatware hasn't been replaced after appetizers have been cleared from the table; entrees are hastily delivered and utensils arriving sometime later after a request, the entrees sitting, cooling in front of you as you wait for them to arrive. I’ve experienced difficulty in getting any useful information on the wines on their list, the most recent example in 12/10, when I asked what a particular Italian wine was like I was told it was was really yummy! This statement was followed by a great pause while the server tried to think of how else to describe it, couldn’t, so just said: Yeah, it’s really yummy, you’ll really like it.
Upscale food in a relaxing atmosphere – This is a restaurant not to be missed. The seasonal variety of the menu is a standout. The chef knows what he/she is doing with the combination of flavors and textures. The lamb was outstanding.
The only minor issue was the appetizer- we had a charcuterie dish which was unremarkable and boring. Nothing a very good martini couldn't make up for!
Great place for pizza-plus – I was in town for a sports event and had been told about Lucca and the amazing food. I was lucky to get a table. The atmosphere is great and the place just has a happy, friendly feel to it. My dinner was wonderful, I had the chicken. I look forward to coming back and trying another dish from the menu. I will be spreading the word to my friends.
Can't stay away – I travel from SEA to PDX monthly and always have Lucca on my trip schedule. Whether its grabbing a table to meet with friends or sitting at the bar and watching the action, it's a can't-miss visit.
Salty salty carbonarra! – Yuk. We had a terrible meal on the 1/8/10. Ordered the carbonarra and it was horribly salty. The squash soup was bland and awful, too. I hope they haven't changed chefs because that will be there downfall!
Not worth a second visit – Lunch on Friday. Roasted squash soup with pesto was very good. However, both pizzas at our table tasted like cardboard; overcooked, (burnt on bottom)with scant toppings. Reminded me of the cheap frozen pizzas we used to buy for the kid's parties. The pasta dish went half eaten. First and last visit.
Great food, service is the weak link – I really love the atmosphere and the food, but apart from a few of their wait staff, the majority of their room service is seriously wanting. It's hard to imagine that in this economy it's hard to have a waitress that ignores a table for 15 mins or so on a mid-week night. I think after two really wanting nights at Lucca in 2 weeks, it's time for the owners to seriously review their service operations (note - it may not be the wait staff, but how they run the store) because poor service will drive us (and others) to other restaurants.
OWNERS - PLEASE fix this problem, I really want to love your place, but at this rate, I'm going to stop coming and take my time, money, and stomach elsewhere (like RSB, where I actually get service); you need to spend time training and reinforcing the performance of your floor service staff.
Top Notch Service – I ate at Lucca last night with a group of people and it was delicious! We had not eaten here before, our fellow diners have and they love it. I see why. The food was excellent, and the service was even better. We had an antipasto platter to start and salmon for dinner. Both of these dishes are not something I would normally order, but Dena, our waitress, described the food in such a descriptive and delicious way, my mouth was watering with every word she said, and I couldn't help but go with her recommendations. She was so pleasant, smiling, attentive and had a great sense of humour. she made a wonderful impression and completely changed the mood of one of our crabby friends dining with us. And the food was delicious! The salmon, King I think, was tender, moist and full of fresh flavor. It had fresh vegetables and an olive sauce that I've never had the likes of before! Dena said that the chef is a woman from San Francisco and she spoke of her as though she was as impressed with her cooking as we were. How refreshing to be served such great food by a person who obviously takes pride in the food she serves. I will be back! I should mention that ALL the service we received, from the girl who seated us to the man who refilled our waters, was very friendly. The people who work here obviously like their jobs and take great pride. Bravo!
Great, except for the drunk busboy – My wife and I have eaten here a few times and it's been consistently pretty good. We enjoy going for brunch, the scones are always very flavorful, the bacon and egg pizza is a favorite, good bloody marys. The service staff during brunch is very friendly and helpful, although this past weekend was different. It started out fine, we were seated by the nice gal who took our orders. As she was getting our coffees, the busboy came over and asked if we had any questions. The kid was unshaven and reeked of a what I can only presume was a fun July 4th with a lot of drinking. As the brother of a recovering alcoholic, I immediately recognized the odor. We told him we didn't have any questions, thanks. Our server brought our coffees, then politely excused herself to seat another table. The busboy came over again to ask if we had questions. I remarked that we did not, but we could make one up if that would make him feel better. The server came over again and gently led him away, coming back to take our order. Neither us nor the server said a word about the busboy, but I think both parties were uncomfortable with the obvious situation. A while later as my wife and I ate our meals, we saw the busboy behind the bar pouring liquor into a paper cup with a lid and drinking it on the way back to the kitchen. We felt bad for our server, she was really nice, and we wondered if this is the way she has to work every weekend.
So Good – Very nice place, I would recommend it to anyone. Good service, good atmosphere and good food. I really love the pizza, unfortunately everything else is a little over priced. It would be amazing if they had a happy hour!
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