Spotlight on Quail Hill's Lucca Cafe

Robin Fenchel August 28, 2012

Quail Hill home owners need only drive a short distance to experience the culinary wonders of Irvine’s Lucca Cafe. If dessert is your thing, Chef Cathy Pavlos’ lemon curd dessert that is served in a mason jar will delight all of your senses, from sight to taste.

The dessert is somewhat unexpected at the Italian-Mediterranean restaurant, however, the flavor melds well with the variety of lunch and dinner items on the menu. It’s also the perfect summer treat, being that it’s light and smooth, and thick and silky all at the same time. The expert blend of tart and sweet flavors will dance on your tongue long after you’ve finished your meal. While Meyer lemons are seasonal, demanding guests have asked Pavlos to include a dessert curd year-round. She gladly obliged and has said she will replace the lemon flavor with other locally harvested fruit.

The lunch menu is punctuated by delicious salads like the chopped steak salad and “better than a caesar,” which also feature locally-grown produce. To satisfy your Italian craving, there are a number of pasta dishes, and highlights include the linguine alla checca, the seafood linguine, and the Norma, fresh pappardelle egg noodles served with a savory ragu of eggplant, chopped Tomatoes, fresh basil, and either fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheeses or grilled chicken breast.

Lucca Cafe features a weekend brunch and has an extensive wine menu. For dinner, they feature a variety of “R + D Micro Plates,” that are meant to share and allow you sample the different flavors of their menu. The dinner menu is much more robust than lunch, and includes seafood, meat and fowl, and of course, pasta dishes.

Lucca Cafe is located at 6507 Quail Hill Parkway near Shady Canyon, and online reservations are accepted.

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