Anyone tried Luchentos in Millstone yet??
We stopped in a few days ago for lunch. Still BYO (but the waitress just couldn't get over the fact that I brought beer - $10 a six pack craft beer - but still "too pedestrian" for their new upscale image, I guess. She had to comment on it 3 or 4 times...). Place seemed pretty busy for a weekday lunch, with a mix of what appeared to be "business lunch" types and retirees from the Monroe area.
The temporary sign out front recommends reservations for Fri-Sun, so I guess they're doing great business already (we were out of state when they re-opened).
I got my "usual" linguini with white clam sauce, and it was pretty much as I remembered it- maybe a bit more money (somebody's got to pay for that 1.5 year shutdown and the complete rebuilding/remodeling of the place) but I could be comparing it to dinner vs. lunch pricing. My wife like her eggplant parm, and really liked the upscale remodeling The warm bread was back (there was some debate during the last Luchento's thead if the new owners had dropped the bread and salad IIRC), but no salad- but again, that may have been a lunch/dinner thing.
Even tho' we didn't try to use 'em, the manager told our waitress (out of our earshot, and what seemed to be a very long explanation) they would not honor our gift certificates (which I discussed in that last CH thread) that were bought a few months before they closed for remodeling because they were "new owners". Unless this is a third owner, we'd already used them with the "new" (post-Luchento) owner, but we didn't really expect they would take them after such a long shutdown. I don't understand WHY they'd choose to keep the Luchento name (review of old CH threads will show it didn't have the best rep here) and yet not honor ( in some way) the old certs, but, that's capitalism, I guess.
For anyone who has concerns regarding gift cards or gift certificates purchased before the shutdown or sale that failed.....find out if the *new* Luchento's is operating under the original business corporation that had shut down. If it is the same corporation, I'll bet it falls into the two year requirement to honor gift certificates, even if they have a one year expiration date. Under New Jersey Small Claims Court statute. any business corporation that is being sued must bring an attorney to court to defend itself, and as such, it would not be cost effective to fight the claim.....but instead, be more prudent to honor the certificate.
went for dinner and was less than pleased. we have been patronizing luchentos for years for various family occasions and were so excited to see it opening up again
-familiar favorites from the menu are now missing. the inside front cover of the menu states "tommy luchento will make any meal you desire provided we have the ingredients". well, we requested an old favorite which they had the ingredients for, based on other menu items, and were told "no". it remains to be told whether or not our terrible server even asked the chef. i sincerely doubt he did since it took him 20 minutes (YES, 20 minutes!) to take our order
-and about that service....TERRIBLE! i have a history in the food service industry, including opening one, and they were lacking in several areas. it took 5-7 minutes for someone to even say they will be right with us. then, they opened our wine and we did not see them for another 10....with no wine glasses or water poured!!! at this point, we just wanted some wine glasses and, since we had time to pretty much memorize the menu, someone to take our order. bread was cold, salad severely overdressed
-side dishes accompanying meal consisted of oily vegetables and a non-descript tasteless potato log
-prices went up considerably which i would understand considering the circumstances, but have some quality of the food and service to justify it
User Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
by cndleman 09/05/2010
Dinner with 6 on Sat Sept 4, 2010 - This is the FIRST I have ever done a restaurant review. But felt it my duty to my fellow man (and woman) to do so to warn you to save your time and money. 1) water glass was dirty with dried food on it (yech!). 2) Appetizers were served without utensils to serve them (like a large spoon) 3) Calamari appetizer was undercooked 4) pasta soup was tasteless 4) three of the six appetizers were not hot and had to be returned to be reheated 5) two of the entress were so tasteless (inlcuding my eggplant dish) they were returned and asked to be taken off the check. 6) awful service since the poor waitress didn't have a bus boy to help her. All in all a truly memorable evening- and for all the wrong reasons.
Went there last night (a Thursday night) and was disappointed overall. The prices were high and the food quality average, certainly not what I would expect for the price. The service was poor. We ordered an appetizer and had to use our salad plates (with the remaining dressing on it) for it as the waiter never came back with new plates. My daughter ordered the fettucine alfredo and returned it as it had a weird after-taste. She then ordered a penne with vodka sauce. The sauce was more like a regular tomato sauce. She did not like that either. I ordered the St. Peter's Rouille with extra sauce. It looked like they just added more water the the current sauce as it was thin and runny as opposed to the way it was under the original Luchentos. The waiter said he would pack up both of the pasta dishes to take home which he did do. He also charged us for both on the bill. While it was not the worst place I have been to, it certainly is not close to the prior Luchentos and I will not be going back.
520 State Route 33, Millstone Township, NJ 08535
Any Italian place with moderate ambiance in that neck of Manalapan/Millstone will draw people. Lots of cash there with low expectations.
Been there three times with work people. Service friendly but horrible two of the three times. Kids or relatives working the floor (not good). Food was ok but I will mention that the meatballs and gravy are above average vs so much of the dreck in our area. Sciclian calamari is nothing to speak of. Sit on the other side of the wall if you want to hear yourself think. Night and day from the big room.