Luciano's -Review (long)
I recently visited a tiny little italian gem. It is located in Verdun, on Wellington street. My friend said that it is BYOB (I love BYOB's) and that I must try it. So, off we go with our bottle of merlot, oh yes, don't forget to make a reservation she tells me...so I do. I call for a 6:30 p.m. reservation, on a Wednesday no less, and they tell me that the only place they have is at 8:00 p.m., o.k...now i'm excited, becuase if it's that busy, it must be good ! We get there, and suddenly I realize why they had no room, the entire place holds about 8 tables, 5 tables of 4 and a few tables of two. Now I'm scared.
The host (who I grew to LOVE), looks up at us and says "that you?" pointing at the reservation card. I reply,Yes. He walks away with a grimace, now I'm really scared.
We look around and decide the place is quaint, if not a little kitchy but quite enjoyable, with dim lighting and nice background music.
Then comes the menu and the food. Basically the menu is 4 pages of paper with the type in BOLD print stapled together. The entrees consisted of either snails, salad, soup (i think, can't remember)and garlic bread. We split a large bowl of salad and some garlic bread. This is where everything picked up. The salad was incredible, in a fresh basilic dressing, nice spices sme frsh chopped onions etc. The garlic bread however was blah.
The main course is to be ordered as follows: on the menu all you have a list of about 23 sauces, dishes ranging from 9.95$-13.95$ with a pasta card on the side, letting you know which pastas are available for the evening. Mine had a name (although I can't remember it)consisted of marinara, bacon, button mushrooms, chicken, white wine and cream. It was fantastic. My partner had the alfredo with italian sausage, also very good but way too heavy for my liking, the whole time he could not stop raving about how delicious it was. That being said, I later found out that it's the mom and sister in the kitchen who make the superb home made italian fare, the grumpy old man (husband) who does the service grew on me, as he came over to tell me about another new patisserie that recently opened in Verdun. You soon come to realise that the grumpiness is just his demeanor and it is unexplainable how he grows on you. Oh yes, and the son takes the reservations. I love it.
If at some point you have to go to the washroom and get a glimpse of the open kitchen you would not believe your eyes. It's a single counter top, much like one you would find in a apartment (which is probably what it was). All in all, it was just a wonderful new discovery, and quite an adventure. I am happy to share my experience with the chowhounders (hopefully didn't ramble on too long) so that someone can visit and comment on it as well, I would LOVE to hear another persons opinon of the place. Oh yes, one more thing, who is Luciano you ask? It is their cat, now how cute is that.
Luciano's has a nice cozy atmosphere, and it's BYOB. The father/waiter... is a character. I didn't think anything of him but my companion found him creepy. A B&B owner in the area I know stopped recommending Luciano to guests because so many of them were put off by him.
I liked the atmosphere but was unimpressed by the food. The garlic bread was fine. The pasta was definitely overcooked and the sauce pretty unexceptional. They also messed up our order. Prices were on par with Eduardo's in the Plateau, but the quality of the food definitely was not. On the other hand, it's nicely decorated and it has a very cozy atmosphere.
Yes, I did think he was creepy too, at first. However I LOVED the food, and found the quality/price ratio excellent. Then when I went back the second time, the old man grew on me. Once you have a conversation with him, you realize that this is actually his personality and underneath it all he's quite charming (In his own way, of course.)