Close To Home: Luca Bistro
After visiting the wonderful Household Books in Cincinnati, I thought I might as well grab some dinner since I had driven two hours to the big city. I wasn’t sure where to eat, so I looked up places around me and finally settled on one called Luca Bistro. It advertised itself as French cuisine, and since I’ve never had authentic French food before, I thought I’d give it a try.
It was located in a super cute area of town called Mount Adams. There was free public parking only a block away from the restaurant! The outside was painted bright red, making it easy to find. Upon walking in, I saw it wasn’t very busy, and the bartender told me to have a seat anywhere and she’d be right with me.
The menu had some interesting graphics, including a map of France showing where the chef is from:
And a section to learn French terms from:
While writing this post I used Google to translate what the French is at the top, and apparently it means “gastronomy is the art of using food to create happiness.” If you know French, let me know how accurate that translation is. I think it’s a pretty neat saying, anyway.
To start, I ordered the Bistro Side Car, mostly because I liked the name.
I’m not positive if I’d had Cognac before this particular drink, but either way it was good!
Looking at the menu, I knew I simply had to try the gazpacho:
I’ve had gazpacho exactly one time before this, and it was one I made as a freshman in high school. This was better. In fact, it was so much better than I could have ever hoped a bowl of gazpacho to be. It was the perfect encapsulation of a summer garden. Fresh, crunchy, unbelievably ripe produce in a harmonious medley with bright herbs made for a truly light and delicious bowl of soup. It was more like a chunky salsa, really, but that’s no problem as far as I’m concerned. Plus, it was a pretty large portion. A total 10/10 gazpacho, in my mind.
I also got the Tarte Tomatoes Provençale:
This flatbread was truly next level with its perfectly flaky, crispy crust and melty gruyere. Its herbaceousness is not to be understated, as it was intensely flavorful. It was like pizza, but better. You heard me right; better than pizza! Plus it was a great sharing size if you had a dining partner with you.
At this point, it was time for another drink. The bartender was very kind when I told her I wasn’t sure what to get, and she whipped me up a Boulevardier.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not the biggest fan of bourbon, but this was definitely drinkable. I appreciate the bartender giving me something fun to try. And who doesn’t love a maraschino cherry?
At this point I started to look more closely at the decorations. They were quite interesting.
This one in particular was my favorite:
My entree of salmon came out, and it tasted every bit as good as it looks:
The salmon was perfectly cooked and flaked apart nicely. The herb cream sauce was light enough to be the perfect accompaniment to the super creamy mashed potatoes. Everything paired together beautifully, and it was surely a showstopper salmon.
Thanks to the implementation of to-go containers, I had room for dessert, and got this pear and almond tart:
While this pear tart was mild in flavor, I honestly thought it was a better end to this meal than something like an ultra-rich-mega-decadent-chocolate-lava something or other would’ve been. It was light, and not too sweet, and had a wonderful texture and delicate flavor.
Instead of ending on dessert, I ended on one final cocktail, the French martini:
This cocktail ended up being my favorite of the night. It was sweet, totally yumalicious, and came with a huge orange slice! The pineapple juice definitely made this drink for me.
All in all, I had an excellent time at Luca’s. Aside from the food being pretty dang amazing, the service was really excellent. Everyone was so friendly and engaging. I wish it wasn’t two hours from me, because I really want to go back. At least I know the drive will be worth it.
Do you like gazpacho, or is cold soup too weird for you? Have you been to a French restaurant before? Which special would you try? Let me know in the comments, don’t forget to check out their Instagram, and have a great day!