Sunday, August 28, 2011

First Trip to Luciano's... and it might be the last.


I recently got around to trying Luciano's recently. Luciano's is located on the main level of the Falls Center, the space formerly occupied by Food & Fermentation, the Brickhouse, and the Sioux Falls Brewing Company. It's gorgeous space-- open, rustic beams and brick and wood floors. There is also seating available outside with really nice views of the courthouse and the Cathedral. Great place to sit on a nice evening.

Luciano's here in Sioux Falls is an off-shoot of the eatery of similar name in Sioux City. I don't spend much time in Sioux City. Like most people from Sioux Falls I am rather skeptical of almost all things Sioux City and pretty much limit visits there to hitting the occasional concert. But, word on the street is that the Sioux City Luciano's is pretty decent and, hey, the place is new, so gotta give it a try.

Despite the Italian sounding name of the place, the menu is more European than it is Italian. Yes, there is some typically Italian sort of fare, such as lasagna or other pasta dishes, but there are also things like different varieties of schnitzel (complete with German potato salad), and French dishes like Flemish beef. There are also seafood selections.

We started the evening with some antipasti. I love these assortments of meats, cheeses, and pickled vegetables. I didn't notice anything particularly "authentic" on the plate, i.e. a good dried sopressata or mortadella or aged provolone, but still, pretty good. Unfortunately, this was the high point.

We'll skip the unremarkable soup. It was unremarkable. Let's get to the main dishes. I had lasagna. This is a dish that I often puzzle how one can screw up. They did. Overcooked pasta. Practically flavorless sauce, odd ricotta/b├ęchamel. And a really flat, poor presentation to top it all off. The Secret Salad Fork had a fish dish- Salmon Wellington. I had a bite that was mostly the mushroom duxcelles and puff pastry. I kid you not, I nearly had to spit it out, it was that bad. That's a new one on me.

Service got a solid C+ for being friendly and somewhat knowledgable. I give the guy credit, he tried. But I didn't want placation or platitudes at that point, I wanted out.

I am told the place does a great job when owner Ray Hoffman is in the house. I hope so. But even then, it is going to take a great deal of convincing to get me back in the place.

9 comments:

Cory Myers said...

Secret Fork - You're spot on! Loved the comment about the "odd" ricotta. It was gritty and off-putting! Here's what I said on my first trip: http://foodfalls.tumblr.com/post/7122172629/well-the-first-impression-of-lucianos-north

Fan,

Cory

Anonymous said...

Two trips ,both disappointing.After the 1st we thought maybe it was a bad night. Second time took friends along to try again. Inexperienced waitress. placed dishes by reaching across each of us. Forgot drinks, brought "fresh" parmesan in a cup. (from a bag?) All of us had different entrees. None worth the $$. Cold draft kept blowing over our table. Manager came to our table and told us sorry......lease management controlled heat???????? Oops....."forgot to make coffee" once again our dear waitress. Marginal food ..... awful service= we won't make that mistake again. Here we come Minerva's!!

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with everything you said! The place claims to be all fresh dishes, that's a lie. There is nothing authentic about the place and the owner is something to be desired! I would never recommend that place to anyone. The food is terrible and the service is just as bad.

Anonymous said...

Oooo. Ad we were going to try it this evening. Guess not. Hope Luciano's gets some better reviews soon. g

Jessica said...

HUH? I have no idea what everyone on here is talking about... we had a GREAT first dinner there this week, wine, appetizer, soup, entree, dessert. Loved it start to finish. I had the salmon pasta dish, "Fettuccini Mezza Luna", and Significant Other had a chicken tortellini dish, both were great. Our server was attentive and seemed to be experienced, no complaints there, either. Friends went there last week and had a fabulous dinner, which is what prompted us to give it a try. We will be back for sure....

Anonymous said...

We thought our meals were delicious. And the service was very good - we didn't see any of the problems mentioned earlier. Maybe they were still too new and hadn't gotten in their full stride.

Lisa said...

I'd have to disagree as well. Every time we've gone the food has been delicous and we've had attentive and personable service. The only issue we've ever had was a slight wait on food one time and this was more than made-up for with a delicious free dessert and very attentive service following. Well done Luciano's.

Jenna said...

I have ate at the Luciano's in Sioux City and recently visited the Luciano's in Sioux Falls. I thought that they are both excellent! It is one of my very favorite places to eat. You must try the Lobster Ravioli!!

Matt said...

We ate at Luciano's for Valentines Day and thought the food was excellent. The lobster bake was delicious and so was the salmon dish. The atmosphere was great with them remodeling an old historic building. We would definitely go back. I chose this place because I had eaten at the Sioux City location and that was good also. Plus, Alot of the bad reviews were from 2011 and I wouldn't put too much trust in two year old reviews. Also, alot of the times people just like to complain. Overall, good food good price good location.