A La Lucia

Alexandria’s, A La Lucia definitely is deserving of the buzzword title, “neighborhood gem”. It’s a lively restaurant, decorated with bright colors, paintings, and has a neat layout. It actually has different rooms, each having its own style. The back room is a quieter, more formal dining setting. The front room has booths and appears much more casual and lively. Both serve the same menu. There are also other sections which I’ll get to in a bit.

I can’t say that A La Lucia serves the most amazing Italian, but I don’t think our area has “amazing Italian”. It’s just great neighborhood restaurant that serves very good, consistent Italian food. They give complimentary crostinis to start with that change constantly. I had a lovely white bean crostini once. The menu gravitates towards southern Italian, but I’ve seen a lot of cream and tomato sauce dishes on the menu. One of my favorite dishes there is actually a creamy, vegetarian spinach and cheese manicotti. It has a perfect balance of cheese to spinach and a really nice saltiness to it. It’s also extremely rich, so maybe better suited to order as an appetizer to share. Their veal scaloppini dishes are also solid, but I have to admit not as good as Landini Brothers. You can’t go wrong with the pasta dishes here either. They always have specials on the menu too. I tried a scallop special, and it was really simple and tasty, consisting of seared scallops with capers and a lemon sauce. It’s one of those meals that you feel really good about eating, b/c it’s light, refreshing, and flavorful…and you don’t go to bed feeling guilty.

They have typical Italian desserts of tiramisu, cannolis, panna cotta, etc. I tried the tiramisu, and it was pretty decent.

A La Lucia has nice sized wine bar in a separate section, which is a great place to have glass or two with some apps while you wait for a table. The wine list has a nice selection and is very reasonably priced. Near the wine bar, is an intimate private party room (and appears to double as a wine cellar). My cousin had her engagement party there. The staff was more than accommodating, and the food was fabulous. There wasn’t any change in quality even though they were serving 40. Wine and food was abundant, and everyone had a great time!

This is definitely the type of restaurant you can go to every couple weeks and not get bored. I can easily tell that it has a lot of regulars, my cousin being a weekly regular! The prices are very reasonable, and it has nice ambiance, food, and wine. Also, you don’t have to travel to DC to get there! The service is a little scattered, but it has never been less than satisfactory.

Btw, I just noticed that they started serving pizza, which means I’m due for another visit :)

A La Lucia
315 Madison Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

No comments: