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.
Brunch at Luca & Leonardo quickly achieved a massive menu win, with executive chef Daniel Miranda showcasing his talent for developing traditional Italian dishes for hungry brunchers. Two consecutive Sundays were filled with fantastic food in an ideal environment.
Patios are made for brunching, and Luca does not disappoint. Looking over the waterway, gorgeous greens surround pitchfork sorda purse holders and one funny guy service industry worker. That’s right. Before beginning this terrific tale, let us not forget Luca is a building of overall happiness. This is not to say the service doesn’t need a tall glass of water for the hiccups it possesses ever so often.
Ah, the comedian. I’m sorry. There is no reason whatsoever to tell two jokes during each table taunt. Even if these jokes were funny, ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings would have, if he were still alive, interrupted this funny guy for a special report: If you are producing horrific service, hold your jokes deep inside the inner core of your jokester heart. Joke telling is only acceptable if all humans in your section are joyously happy. Drinks must be delivered before beginning a statement in which you perceive to be that of a joke.
This server holds on tight to an alter ego he has given himself which is that of the actor Jim Carrey. He moves, walks, and talks, as well as enters, exits, and breathes like Jim Carrey. His brain signals his body which ultimately forces all responses to include an “Alllll-righty then” or the always in every Jim Carrey movie… “Ohhh-key-Dokey.” We were prisoners of this patio act for a second time two Sundays ago.
Angels in the heavens rejoiced as trumpets played this past Sunday, as even though this service industry worker was once again assigned as our server, he maintained a status of not sucking.
Moving right along…
Morning refreshments linger beneath the insalate section of the menu during brunch. Cranberry juice, Stoli vanilla vodka, and St. Germain Elderflower cordial make up Luca’s Italian soda.
Another is the sgroppino created using limoncello liquor, pucker citrus vodka, and amaretto di sarrano. Of course there is the always on the menu mimosa made with fresh orange juice and sparkling wine, as well as bellinis with white peach, kiwi, strawberry, and wild berry.
Luca’s brunch menu is the bomb. Chef Miranda sashayed over to our table on the patio and declared three courses were to come. Asparragui e Pancetta is my favorite of the day which, um, didn’t exactly arrive with the end of its name.
Chef Miranda was oh so nice enough to somehow forget this ingredient we call… pancetta. He did however serve asparagus with breadcrumbs & sauce to cover oven baked eggs which arrive served in a black iron cast skillet. Joy.
Several options exist for ordering crepes during brunch. Prosciutto e formaggio is filled with ham & topped with cheese. Luca also has caponatta filled with ricotta cheese and ham with eggplant and zucchini caponatta, as well as spinach and chicken crepes with spinach, ricotta, and chicken with garlic & cream cheese.
Many items during brunch are served with housemade potatoes. Additional sides may be obtained for one to two dollars each. Some of the sides offered are English muffins, yogurt, Texas toast, granola, one egg, and the always exciting basket of assorted pastries & bread.
Mista is served with mixed greens, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, heart of palms, chickpeas, and parmesan cheese in lemon vinaigrette. Another salad is the Spinaci, Pancetta e Caprino with baby spinach, pancetta, vinaigrette, goat cheese, and marinated peppers. There is also the always available traditional Caesar salad with an option to add shrimp or chicken.
Benedicts galore continue to be somewhat of a bore, but the crab cake was surprisingly nice. Arriving with poached eggs, sautéed spinach, and béarnaise sauce, this dish is also served with housemade potatoes.
My friend from Delicious Mischief enjoyed sinking his incisors into the L & L Benedict with sliced & roasted focaccia, grilled asparagus, prosciutto, and béarnaise sauce.
We ordered the Quattro Stagioni pizza with black olives, artichoke hearts, and sherry mushrooms served over mozzarella and tomato sauce. Prosciutto is usually plastered on this particular pizza, but the chef kindly refrained from grossing AVH out.
Wow. Interesting arrival indeed is the roasted portobello dish with poached eggs, sautéed spinach and béarnaise sauce, with a touch of truffle oil. Chefs beware, for a semi truffle movement is upon us all. Even a touch is too much for many growlers around town these days.
Blueberry pancakes can make a rainy day morph into sunshine & rainbows. Three pancakes are served with blueberry sauce and ricotta cheese. Simply pay $2 and on your plate will appear a mini side of bacon, Italian sausage, or the always pink & slimy… ham.
Ah, foursquare. Upon checking in, show your server that you have unlocked this special and expect to receive a free dessert delivered to your table before exiting. Foursquare = Heart.
Whether it be tiramisu, brownies, cake, or ice cream, prepare to experience total dessert satisfaction. Besides having a dessert menu all to itself, white chocolate and rum bread pudding served with cruzan rum sauce is listed front and center in the la dolce vita section of the menu.
This dessert is interestingly called crack meringue with fresh fruit & ice cream. All of the desserts leave a light feeling afterward, rather than a feeling of miserably stuffed.
Hooray for Luca & Leonardo’s new brunch. It’s easy to recommend this particular brunch to everyone. One guy is semi sorda frightening,but there have been many others that consistently deliver excellent service.
Luca is an AVH favorite in The Woodlands. There is no way the food will cause any one person’s frown wrinkle to wrinkle. With service being hit or miss, hold on to your funny bone and enjoy!
FIVE: High 5!
FOUR: Please & Thank You
TWO: Double Wow
ONE: Wow + Ouch = Wouch
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