My parents moved to the US from Italy when they were in their 30's. Everything that comes from mom's kitchen is made from scratch with fresh veggies grown in my dad's garden. It is really hard to go to an Italian restaurant and have an experience that even comes close. Ristorante Lucano not only comes close, it is right up there with mom. The ingredients are fresh and the sauces are simply delicious. I love that fresh seafood is a big part of the daily specials menu. JoAnn and Chuck make you feel like family when you walk in the door and their top priority is that you have an excellent experience. Every experience I have had at Lucano has been just that, excellent. Definitely check out the specialty shop in the same plaza for some wonderful Italian favorites as well as fresh fish, meat and cured meats and cheese. They will even sell you their home made sauce so you can have the Lucano experience at home.
We've been eating at Fiamma almost weekly since discovering it a year ago. Amazing authentic Neapolitan style thin crust pizza, cooked for 60 seconds in a 1,000 degree wood-fired oven. Both the oven and the chef/owner came from Italy - the chef was originally hired by Mario Batali for one of his NYC restaurants, before moving to Rochester and setting up his own place. A nice place too to stop for a glass of wine or beer and appetizers (no hard liquor, but a good selection of inexpensive Italian wines). The location is way off the beaten track, in a mixed industrial area in Greece (but close to 490, so a short drive from anywhere in the area). A real hidden jewel for Rochester.
Exceptionally well done food. Terrible, terrible service. We had reservations and were ignored (not even eye contact) for 15 minutes after entering the door. I would have left but having been in the business, it felt wrong to abandon reservations and mess up the book. I wish I had. Reservations were pointless. We waited for our table. We waited another 20 minutes for our cocktail order which once they arrived were very good and ordered more but only saw half of 2nd round end up at our table. I'm not sure how long the food was... at least 45 minutes. A lovely salumeria style plate kept us going while waited. Frankly it became a joke at our table, "The place is beautiful, I wonder if they serve food here?" The waitress was clearly hurried and walked away twice before taking our complete order.
I hate to be that person who only reviews when they are fully happy or thoroughly annoyed. But here it is... I wanted very much to enjoy this restaurant. The food was skillful, creative and was a solid step away from American style Italian food (good). The cocktails were modern and clever. The wine was, wait, I never got my wine. I really try to give restaurants a second chance in situations like this. Maybe it was a bad night. I'm just not sure though. Watching time and wanting food is not my idea of a good dinner.
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