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Lucali's keeping the quality high...

Folks-

Just a quick note to let you know that I dropped into Lucali's for pizza tonight. A few details:

-- Mark remains as friendly as ever.

-- Still no liquor license but BYOB is an option. There's a theoretical corkage fee though I've never been charged for it.

-- The pizza remains delicious. Make sure to ask for fresh basil on top.

-- Most important, I got there at 6:30 on a Thursday -- there were 3 or 4 empty tables for two. It wasn't until 8pm or so that there was a (short) wait. Mark said that the cold weather is keeping some of the families with toddlers at home and therefore the evening starts slower. In turn, he can get some of the earlier adult traffic seated immediately and keep the whole evening flowing better.

If you haven't been yet because you were scared off by the talk of 90 minute waits get yourself over there ASAP.

Peter

P.S. Oh, and Mark mentioned they'd be closed for the Super Bowl -- he has a birthday party to attend.

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  1. I went to Lucali's for the first time last week and was very impressed. It definitely fell into the "Very, very good" range of pizza I've had.

    I did get charged corkage ($4.00). What's your secret??

    Also, I was told that basil is considered a "topping". Do you pay for basil when you ask for it? My SO and I were remarking how other high-er end pizza places throw on the chiffonade basil on all their pies. Someone ordered the basil as a topping next to our table, and it was the large, whole leaves - which didn't look all that appetizing.

    4 Replies
    1. re: fudluvr

      I don't know why I don't get charged a corkage? Maybe the staff isn't 100% up to snuff. Maybe it's because I've been 6 or 7 times and Mark knows me? Probably it's because I always offer a glass to Mark (who always declines)?

      Aha! I once brought him a slice of Cheesecake from Monte's Venetian Room. ;)

      As far as basil, there's whole leaves of basil in the tomato sauce. You can also get it as an additional topping if you request it. I did for the first time last night and it was perfectly tasty. slicing it up would be a bit easier to eat though. I suspect the owner will read that here and make that change.

      Peter

      1. re: Peter

        do they charge for the extra additional basil on the pizza, that's what i heard mentioned in the Times review too.

        1. re: kevin

          I honestly couldn't say -- I didn't scrutinize the bill that carefully.

          1. re: Peter

            actually i think i got the anwer in that they do. hopefully, i'll be in new york in the next couple months and it'll still be open, that's exactly the sort of joint i've been looking for. di fara simmilaar with out the crazy hassles and bottles of wine to bring in. and i love the fact that it's only pizzas served.

    2. Has anyone noticed the sauce is better? And I like the basil leaves whole. Pete I see you are using your meetup picture.

      1. Thinking of going there tonight. Hope there's no line considering the cold weather...

        Any suggestions on favorite toppings other than the basil?

        1. aren't they closed on Tuesday?

          1 Reply
          1. re: EJC

            Yeah, looks like it. Just saw a post with their hours. Next craving was Al Di La, but they're closed on Tuesdays, too. Why must it be Tuesday?

          2. Pepperoni is one of the best toppings for Lucali's.

            1. Went there last Wednesday after a month hiatus (family took rounds of fighting a germ) and the pizza was as great as my tastebuds remembered. We usually go when they open at 6:00pm since we have 3 1/2 year old so never a wait. The pizza came out so fast you would've thought I pre-ordered it. Only complaint is the ventilation. It overwhelmed me so much I had to gasp for air and hopped in the shower as soon as I got home. Has anyone else noticed this recently?

              2 Replies
              1. re: time2eat

                We ate there last night and I didn't notice any ventilation problems.

                1. re: time2eat

                  Been twice in the last week 9Thursday and Saturday) and didn't notice any problem whatsoever.

                  Maybe he was having a drafting problem with the chimney that night?

                2. i was also there last night! it was as delightful experience (no ventilation problems i noticed). i finally tried the calzone. it was ok, i think it would be better with some of the toppings in it, but i think i'll probably just stick to the pizza in the future. i've said it before, but i love that they will call you when your table is ready.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kazhound

                    Check out the calzone at La Villa. They're dynamite. You can custom order the fillings and the come out nice out of the wood oven.