If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that we always eat out on Saturdays for lunch and 95% of the time they’re Italian restaurants. I can’t remember how I first heard about Luca, which is an Italian restaurant in Clerkenwell, but it looked lovely decor-wise and I liked the look of the menu so off we went one sunny Saturday.
There are two parts to the restaurant – as you enter there is a bar area where you can have drinks and lighter bites to eat and the restaurant is at the back. The restaurant has a lot of natural light from the windows as well as sky lights in the ceiling and the decor is modern, elegant with pops of colour from the leather seats.
Luca describes itself as ‘British seasonal ingredients through an Italian lens’. They source high quality produce from around the U.K, with a focus on pasta. In fact, whilst we were there we spotted a chef making pasta from scratch.
We started with some drinks and bread whilst we perused the menu and ordered the Parmesan fries straight away. An Aperol Spritz for me and Franciacorta (which is more like Champagne) for my husband. Luca doesn’t serve prosecco by the glass – only by the bottle.
The bread was absolutely divine. I believe it was a sourdough and it was so fresh and moreish! The olive oil that accompanied it was high quality (believe me, you can tell the difference) and was served in a cute little blue jug, rather than a bottle. The bread was so good, we had two portions.
For starters we chose the burrata with marinated artichokes and speck (a type of ham) and the salad with bitter leaves, pear, Gorgonzola Dolce and halzenut dressing. Despite ordering the Parmesan fries with our drinks, they arrived with the starters.
The Parmesan fries were amazing! Crispy on the outside and delicious cheesy gooeyness on the inside. If you’re a cheese fan, you’ll be in Heaven.
The burrata was lovely and creamy and also a good size. Often restaurants serve you half the burrata!
The bitter leaves salad was a bit underwhelming. I think it needed a lot more dressing to counteract the bitterness of the radicchio leaves. Also, I couldn’t taste much pear.
Our starters were quite light and it took a rather long time for our pasta to arrive – I was getting pretty hungry! I ordered the wild mushroom tagliatelle and my husband chose the orecchiette with turnip tops, smoked cod’s roe, chilli and garlic.
I loved my pasta, which was perfectly al dente. I adore mushrooms and this was so flavoursome. The portion size was decent too.
My husband enjoyed his orecchiette, which is a homage to the traditional orecchiette con le cime di rapa from Puglia although he felt there was too much garlic. To be fair, he’s not a massive garlic fan, despite being Italian!
We enjoyed our meal at Luca. The restaurant itself is lovely and the service was very good, although slow at times. It’s quite pricey – this meal was over £100. We will return but it probably won’t make our regular Italian restaurants list.