Sunday, March 18, 2012

Luciano's Restaurante - Corpus Christi, TX

The thing I love about Luciano's (1821 S Alameda St. at Six Points) is that the tables are covered with starched white tablecloths (although now the tablecloths sit under glass) and the waitstaff look so professional in their white shirts and black pants. So, I was a little surprised when we walked in last night and the staff were dressed more casually in green tshirts and khakis. Then I realized that it was St. Patrick's Day. It made perfect sense, except that we were in an Italian restaurant. Which brought to mind the night, several months ago, when Rob and I visited Molly's Irish Pub where Tejano music was playing. We know how to celebrate diversity in South Texas!

Okay, back to Luciano's. We were seated at the same table that we've sat at on our last two visits, which was great, because I love that table. It's right in the corner where the two glass walls meet. It's almost like sitting on a patio, but without the wind and insects. Our server, John, greeted us and took our wine orders while we looked over the menu. Rob picked the Shrimp Diavolo and I chose a classic, the Chicken Parmigiana. John arrived with our drinks and took our orders.
Bread Sticks

As we waited for our meals, John brought us breadsticks. I swear I only took a couple of bites, but my breadstick just disappeared. Before I knew it, all of it's soft, salty, cheesy goodness was gone. I dared not touch another for fear I'd not have an appetite left for my meal. Rob was also struggling to keep from eating another. Fortunately, we were not tortured long and we were glad we saved room for dinner.

Chicken Parmigiana
My Chicken Parigiana was beautiful in every way. The chicken was moist, tender and abundant, wrapped in a light crust of breadcrumbs and parmesan. It lay atop a mound of spaghetti that was drenched in a sweet tomato sauce. Mozzarella Cheese topped the dish -- gently melted until it was just beginning to brown. So good! To look at the dish you would expect heaviness. Not the case. There was flavor, but it was delicate. The dish was all about enhancing the chicken, not covering it. Subtle hints of basil in the tomato sauce served to create great plate of comfort food.

Shrimp Diavolo
Rob stuck with his favorite Shrimp Diavolo. This dish is make-your-nose-run spicy. Not too much heat, but definitely there. The sauce also contained plenty of vegetables and was served over nine (nine? Really? Yes, nine!) plump shrimp and linguini. I don't know, maybe the shrimp were a little smaller than last time, but at our previous visit, he got six. You would think that a sauce with so much flavor and spice would overpower the flavor of the shrimp, but no. The shrimp were cooked beautifully and held their own in this robust dish. Wonderful harmony of flavor.

Luciano's is a real treasure. It may not always be perfect, as in our last review (June 2011), but there is always redemption. In our many visits to Luciano's we've learned that they strive to provide excellent food and if something isn't right they will work hard to make sure you're satisfied. I like that in a restaurant and that's why we continue to eat at Luciano's.

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