Wednesday, January 27, 2010


In the ongoing exploration of Gwinnett County, I have managed to find a diamond among stones!
Juan Arroyave, my host at Luciano's, has given me a culinary experience not to be soon forgotten. Executive Chef John Soilis has brought his twenty plus years of experience to Luciano's, and his team at the Sugarloaf location (the other is in John's Creek) reflects his experience well!
Luciano's boasts "creations inspired by the rich traditions of Naples, the regions of Emilia-Romagna and Northern Italy". I had to try my luck.

The atmosphere of Luciano’s is very romantic. Dimly lit with white linen tablecloths, interior columns and a back-lit bar, the restaurant finished off the mood with soft music that had no hint of Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra (I love their music, but don’t you get tired of the cliché?).

I started off with a small Wedge Salad. It was a nice blend of iceberg, gorgonzola, bacon and chopped tomatoes, with creamy parmesan dressing.


I was next to try the Carpaccio. I have to say up front that Carpaccio is not my favorite. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised with flavor of the thinly shaved beef tenderloin. It was enhanced by the crispy capers, truffle oil and garlic aioli. The dish was topped with shaved parmigiano and baby arugula. The presentation was superb!

Pasta e Risotto

Ask any American what he thinks of first when he thinks of Italian food, and I will bet the vast majority says “Spaghetti and Meatballs”. I don’t know if it is my inner child, but I am no different. Luciano’s serves theirs with braised meatballs, San Marzano tomatoes, onions, garlic and fresh herbs. Believe me it tastes as good as it sounds. The texture is just right. The meat is neither too dense nor too crumbly. The sauce is pleasantly spicy without being overbearing.

Specialita Della Casa

Finally. I have been struggling to hold in my thoughts on this dish the entire time I have been writing this review.

Agnello Scottadito. Practice saying that. Look up the pronunciation and say it over and over in the mirror until you get it right. Then, once seated at Luciano’s, repeat your well-practiced phrase to the waiter. He’ll be asking about drinks and salads, you just say “Yeah. Yeah, whatever… Agnello Scottadito, please.” You will be rewarded with some of the best lamb chops, grilled and seasoned to perfection, accompanied by roasted Yukon Gold potatoes, grilled peppers and balsamic. Pretend you thought of it yourself so that your date is impressed, and thank me later.

Luciano's Ristorante Italiano on Urbanspoon

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