I HAVE BEEN TO LUCA SEVERAL TIMES AFTER WRITING THIS ARTICLE AND THE SERVICE IS LACKING BEYOND BELIEF. LUCA NEEDS TO MAKE SERIOUS CHANGES BEFORE I WILL BE COMFORTABLE RECOMMENDING THEM TO ANYONE AGAIN.
Luca & Leonardo is the best thing since Morning Star created fake bacon! With seventeen restaurants in Mexico, possessing five different concepts, this gift has given me a relevant reason to reside in The Woodlands.
Luca & Leonardo’s Tuscany inspired menu derives from executive chef Daniel Miranda’s own interpretation. After creating the menu while still in Mexico, considerable changes occurred after arriving in the states.
While meeting with suppliers, chef Miranda realized significant differences in the quality of food which is now at his fingertips. Having more ingredients to work with resulted in new menu mania. Chef Miranda explained he is all about quality & the always exciting… “keeping it simple.”
Um, in case you are wondering, L&L is not messing around, presently offering forty Italian wines at $25 per bottle. Let us not forget to mention the sassy reserve list described as “global in nature.”
Ooh la la.
Per Luca & Leonardo…
“We created this wine list to remove inhibition & confusion of price from your wine selection. We encourage you to explore the many styles & great values here. All of our wines have been specially selected as an ideal pairing to all our pasta & bread dishes.”
All whom heart L&L’s Italian with a tongue wagging want, La Lupita is opening downstairs in two months. Super savvy Mexican restaurateur, Bill Traynor, is… semi anti fusion. Anyone possessing fusion fluff… beware. This guy is keeping it traditional, stating… “It’s just Mex… No Tex.”
The advice about to be given is free, while still maintaining quality as substantial as visiting a real… live… therapist. If ever a time, in which you dine, the service is not as shiny as the cell phone I finally returned to my ex-boyfriend with a double life, um, a fluke is upon you.
Bartenders on duty are comparable to that of a chain gang, as they relentlessly polish wine glasses, only to break order, if only for a moment, to perform a mini glance around service check.
Googling chain gang occurred, thus making AVH well aware it is “a group of prisoners chained together to perform menial or physically challenging work.” Due to uncanny clairvoyance, I am certain these guys are chipper slash heart their job. Just try & find a spot on one wine glass. Impossible.
Moving right along…
In preparation of the carpaccio di mare, swordfish, tuna, and octopus are sliced super thin & placed beneath a vinaigrette slash balsamic swirl, then topped with baby arugula, tomato, and shrimp.
The spinach & ricotta balls may have been breaded & fried, but all you can feel are the warm fuzzies while gloriously sifting your way through each pomodoro sauce covered… ball. Really.
Fun Malfatti Ball Fact:
Almost the most popular item on the menu.
Quaint presentation sensations abruptly entered all parts of my being. Gnocchi with sage & olive oil in fontina cream brought forth a sense of mild unexplainable joy. Besides this dish causing unlimited bliss, just wait… Luca & Leonardo also offers black ink calamari fettuccine in garlic & white wine cream with shrimp having been topped with… red caviar.
Fettuccini alle arrabbiata is served in a spicy sauce with garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and chicken. Chef Miranda searched deep within his iron chefness, resulting in a quick approval to serve this dish with… shrimp.
Please & Thanks.
Holy Bone Marrow Moly.
Um, I’m sorry. Isn’t bone marrow something a person painfully has extracted from some part of their spinal cord to ultimately help another human, they may or may not know… live? Bone marrow has a purpose to provide a miraculous slow motion moment of “Now you get to live. You’re welcome.” Am I wrong?
L&L must receive, without wasting another skeleton of a mammal moment, a… Double Did Someone Use A Saw To Make It Look That Way Wow.
What happened next ultimately forced AVH to highlight a dish containing Bambi’s first cousin’s… best friend. Just when I thought the pappardelle ragu was just another stepping stone to reach carnivore contentment, something unexpected happened.
Upon tasting, John unknowingly semi slipped into a hypnotic state. AVH quite possibly witnessed John becoming above average excited over… food. He must never forget this blissful moment of pappardelle pleasantness.
Zafferano is saffron risotto with sautéed shrimp & peppers. The very word… risotto… causes any hint of frown wrinkles to fade. Other risotto offered is Portobello & cremini mushrooms with truffle oil, as well as black risotto with sauté squid & marinated peppers… Squid Ink!
We tried one salad, which tasted all around fantastic. Spinach is tossed in pancetta vinaigrette with marinated peppers & goat cheese. With many interesting salads to choose from, my joy happened upon reading… di polpo. Mixed greens tossed in lemon vinaigrette with cherry tomatoes, black olives, and… shaved octopus.
On two different occasions I had the…halibut allo zafferano served with braised leeks in a saffron cream sauce. Heart! Two other seafood options are suitable for AVH, with the first being breaded & grilled swordfish with arugula, dried tomatoes & green onions in lemon vinaigrette. Chef Miranda also offers a seafood stew in a tomato & Pernod broth.
Refreshing indeed is, at times, opting for a light dessert. Panna cotta is served with vanilla bean, then topped with amber moscato.
Crack meringue. Yes, that’s right… served with ice cream & fresh fruit, is an absolute fantastic ending to a perfect dinner. AVH is officially a fan.
Executive chef Daniel Miranda’s bio showcases his talent in the many facets of his craft. Being such a shy guy, it’s hard to believe he is the 2010 winner of “Prime Gourmet: El Reto” in Mexico. This televised “culinary battle” is comparable to that of Iron Chef in the United States.
With chef Miranda at the helm, along with several quality dining experiences at Luca & Leonardo… the deal is sealed. It’s hard not to possess a pip & skip while entering this Woodlands restaurant. With gorgeous décor, great service, and authentic Italian food, Luca & Leonardo is a fully embraceable dining destination.