Covid 19 has caused restaurants to adapt if they want to survive. Frankie has previously visited both of these fine restaurants, co-owned by Chef David and Sommelier Jennifer Uygur, but now the options for getting their good food have changed. Lucia is not offering dine-in service but is doing take out only with a weekly changing menu on Thursday through Sunday with 24 hours advance notice. Dinner for 4 is just $100 and includes bread, salad, choice of entree and dessert. They are located at 408 W. Eighth St., #101 with a phone of 214-948-4998. Trust me, it will be a great meal. Their sister restaurant is Macellaio, just around the corner at 287 N. Bishop Ave. A much larger place, it also has a patio that wraps around the indoor dining room. While indoor is not open they are taking advantage of the nice weather in Dallas to offer “Pasta on the Patio” featuring Lucia’s pastas. Seating is distanced and patio heaters are near every table. It is a fixed price of $100 per person for 5 courses plus their delicious bread and butter. You can make reservations on their website <macellaiodallas.com>. This is an opportunity you shouldn’t miss if you are in the Dallas area. Jennifer has chosen wines for pairings at $50 pp or there is a list of bottles and by the glass or you can describe your tastes and she’ll find something for you.
The dinner started promptly with servers well masked and keeping as much distance as possible. Flatware and napkins are placed on the tables for you to distribute and are replaced as needed. Pacing was excellent and courses were on the large side, but they had to-go boxes if needed. Staff are super friendly, they switched on the heaters only when requested and the lighting was perfect. We opted for the pairings with the meal and they were well matched and nice pours.
The delicious bread from Lucia and nicely softened butter was served with the first wine pairing. I didn’t get a picture but Frankie helped pull one out of our visit to Lucia on Halloween 2 years ago. It is wonderful bread with a great crisp crust and dense chewy interior.
The tasting started with 44 Farms ribeye Cecina with persimmon. It was a fabulous plate of food that was all full of flavor. The thinly sliced meat was smokey and melted in your mouth. The saltiness of the meat was perfectly matched with the sweet thin slices of persimmon. Start strong was not in doubt. Yum.
Taglierini with gorgonzola, walnuts, Brussels sprouts and speck was a spiral of thin pasta topped with the tasty ingredients. It was a good serving of the tender, perfectly cooked pasta. The assortment of toppings all worked well with the gorgonzola flavor and provided lots of texture to the plate. It was another dish full of strong, wonderful flavors. Great.
Root vegetable agnolotti with duck confit and olives in brodo was next. The tender pockets tasted like they were stuffed with sweet carrot. A ton of tender tasty duck meat was hidden underneath the pasta and vegetables. I chose to eat it with a spoon to get some of the intense broth with each bite. Another good one.
Semolina gnocchi was served with lamb ragu. The tender, light puffs of dough melted in your mouth with tenderness. The rich ragu was supplemented with a bit of cream sauce that made this dish killer- heavy, rich and wonderful.
Dessert was a warm Carnaroli rice with apple and cinnamon. The creamy rice was surrounded by a caramel-like sauce and topped with apple purée seasoned with cinnamon. It was a killer combo. Yum x2. Little bits of apple gave it a touch of texture but the luscious rice was the star when mixed with the other ingredients. Start strong and finish strong – this is a tasting to get to if you can.