By Luann & Lou / firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s not hard to find good Italian food in Huntington,
but it would be a challenge to find the impeccable and unique
kind of Italian cuisine found at Lucia Ristorante on Jericho
Situated in the Waldbaum’s shopping center, Lucia exudes
the elegance and quality of a high-end restaurant in a comfortable,
modern atmosphere with romantic lighting and warm colors.
The setting is ideal for an intimate dinner for two, a business
dinner for many, or a family night out, and the food is superb,
offering high quality ingredients at manageable prices.
In the words of the restaurant’s manager Joe La Cerva,
born and raised in Sicily, these guys “have oil and
balsamic vinegar in their blood.” Owner Joe Agnone of
Naples, Italy, came to America in 1969 and worked as a delivery
boy in Manhattan. He opened Anthony’s Pizza, also in
the Waldbaum’s shopping center, in 1979, and 25 years
later opened a restaurant next door called Casa di Anthony.
Earlier this summer the restaurant’s name was changed
With a new name came a new chef, Richard Desmond, formerly
of Dandylions and Bliss restaurants. When he came out of the
kitchen, there was a split second where we thought the death
of Luciano Pavarotti was a myth. Not only does Desmond almost
resemble the great tenor, he has a voice like him too! He
serenaded us with Puccini’s “Recondita armonia”
and the very popular “Nessun dorma,” entertainment
he is known to sometimes provide to patrons from time to time.
The operatic chef did not fail to dazzle us with his modern
twists and turns on classic Italian cuisine.
The succulent song of Desmond’s delights began its crescendo
with an appetizer of calamari ($8) that was simply out of
this world, probably the best we’ve had in a while.
Tender, flaky, lightly battered and golden fried, the calamari
sits in a piquant roasted garlic lemon butter sauce that warms
the tongue and pleases the palate.
A refreshing grilled asparagus salad ($10) with baby greens,
peppered provolone and cherry tomatoes in a sweet balsamic
dressing came with prosciutto, crispy and pink.
We also enjoyed a crabcake prepared with a savory tarragon
horseradish sauce ($10).
Our culinary opera continued with an entrée of pignoli
crusted tilapia over Sicilian couscous ($18). You taste the
fried crust for just a second before the fresh, moistness
of the tilapia finds your taste buds. In the couscous, a sweet
caramelized melon relish creates a melodious harmony with
Next from behind the curtain came short ribs with aged ricotta
over a bed of risotto with a distinctive saffron seasoning
($20). Braised in a pepper tomato sauce, the meat has a tenderness
to it that can only come from slow cooking over many hours.
We didn’t even need to use a knife.
Homemade cavatelli is topped with a creamy bolognese ($15)
with fresh chopped meat and pieces of eggplant, bringing a
fresh version of classic comfort food to the table.
As our meal entered its decrescendo into dessert, we enjoyed
a wedge of milk chocolate torte ($8). Lighter than fudge but
heavier than mouse, its sweet cocoa will satisfy any sweet
tooth. A modern take on a napoleon ($8) came with layers of
thin, crispy, flakes separated by a fresh, light cream sprinkled
with powdered sugar. Strawberries and sugared clumps of rice
crispies added a unique touch.
With impeccable presentation and tremendous attention to detail
and service, Lucia is a culinary trip worth taking. We will
certainly be back to allow Agnone and his crew to impress
717 East Jericho Turnpike
Atmosphere: Comfortable, elegant dining.
Cuisine: Modern, contemporary Italian
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday
2 p.m.-9 p.m.