Used to go for lunch and everything was great. Went one night with my husband and the atmosphere was different and the waiter was borderline hostile. The food was good, but took too long to get our meal and it was basically thrust in front of us with no fanfare. The waiter did not come back voluntarily - I had to call him over twice during the meal and he seemed exasperated each time. I think I could have forgiven the poor service if they were busy, but they were not overcrowded at all. The best food in the world doesn't make up for bad, hostile service. Won't go back EVER!
There is more to this little Italian restaurant than meets the eye. They beat Maggianos any day when it comes to prices and quality on catering a party or going there on the weekends. The service is friendly and the waiter is knowledgeable and helpful. There dishes are very flavorful and they provide a more intimate setting where everyone seems to be close like family. I have been there several times and am always happy and impressed when I leave. Definitely worth checking out with your friends and family!
We had my mother/father-in-laws 45th anniversary party here, they have a small party room above the restaurant. The service both in the restaurant and catered for parties could not be beat. The pasta (we had 3 different varieties) were excellent and my in-laws are Italian, so . . . we also had chicken that was so moist, everything is just great!
I decided to stop in for a drink and ended up having a 3 course meal. The food was delicious and the service was impeccable. The music and the atmosphere of this place was just impressive. I will definately be back!
Pros: overall atmosphere, great tasting food and drinks
We just got back from another fantastic meal at Cafe Lucci. I had the Veal Gorgonzola and my wife had the sea bass with artichokes and capers. Both dishes were perfect. Appetizer (escargots) and dessert (tartufo) were very tasty as well. Service was outstanding as always. We asked our server to recommend a moderately-priced bottle of wine and what she suggested was delightful. Despite it being early on a Tuesday evening there was a lively crowd of diners which appeared to be a mix of first-timers and regulars, and a fun atmosphere. We love this place!
Pros: Super service, atmosphere, food
I've been to Cafe Lucci many times in the past few years, for regular meals as well as several of their special wine dinners and other events. I keep being drawn in by the versatility of the menu, which is such that you could dine there constantly and not get bored. We love the pastas and veal dishes but have eaten from every part of the menu and always love it. The first time I went to Cafe Lucci, I ordered some fish dish off the specials board. Bobby offered me the same fish, but with fresh in-season morels. The fish arrived covered with the sublime morels in a wonderful wine sauce. This was my introduction to how the kitchen adapts, not only to diners' wishes but also to the season and what's in the market. By the way, I like that you can eat there quite inexpensively or you can splurge, depending on food and wine choices. There are plenty of good, affordable choices on the wine list. To have Bobby's expert advice on the wine makes it even more of a plus.
Then there is the service, which is more consistently professional than any other restaurant I can think of in the Chicago area. In all my visits I cannot recall a single service snafu, but that's only the beginning. Everyone you encounter at Cafe Lucci seems to take real pride in creating a great overall experience. It's about as customer-friendly as a restaurant can possibly be.
Pros: Super wine list
This is our favorite place to go for dinner when it's just the two of us or to host a Winemaker Dinner for a group of 20. Bobby and Augie take excellent care of us. The food is excellent and the wine selection is wonderful.
Sam, Bobby and Augi not only offer some of the best and innovative food and wine, but it's like going to a good friend's home for an enjoyable evening. My wife and I have been going to Cafe Lucci since they opened and NEVER had a bad meal or service that was not top notch. Augi always keep it fresh with new menu items and his willingness to meet your requests on non menu items is a welcome touch. Bobby is always there to match a fine wine with your meal and to make sure you enjoy your evening. For a special occassion or just a date with your wife Cafe Lucci will make it an evening you will remember.
Pros: Great food, afforable and vast wine selection, enjoyable ambience
Cafe Lucci is a classy Italian restaurant with a professiional wait staff that caters to
the clientele without being pushy. Chef Auggie takes a personal interest in the
customers, as well as being a top rate chef. Bobby is, the personality of the room, and has
an extremly vast knowledge of wines.
The food at Cafe Lucci is diversified, with a heavy slant toward Italian.
We have been going there for years, and I have probably tried everything on the menu,
plus some things that I have asked for that are not on the menu, and without exception
have been served truly delicious, well presented meals. Their fish specials are really
wonderful, and they have a little chocolate fruit basket for dessert that is amazing!
Dress up, head for Cafe Lucci, and have a wonderful evening.
Pros: free valet parking, mamouth martinis, comfortable classy adult restaurant
Cons: need a reservation
This is my favorite restaurant. I've been coming to Cafe Lucci since it opened and I keep coming back because they do things right. Although I particularly love the rib eye and skate wing (when it's available), I can honestly say that I have enjoyed everything I ever had here. The food is truly excellent. All the pastas I've had have been great and they always have fantastic specials when I want something different. I don't know that much about wine and Bobby always combines the best wines with whatever we are having for dinner. (Alpina, you've got competition.) I think it's great that Chef Augie comes into the dining room to greet his customers and friends. I think the key this restaurant is that it is "Family." Bobby, Augie and Sam are the family that treat you like family, and that shows in the food, the service and the ambiance and the love of doing what they do. There are other good restaurants, but Family and Love, is what makes the food and dining experience better here than anywhere else. Thanks Bobby, Augie and Sam and the entire Cafe Lucci staff for continuing to have a great place to truly enjoy a night out.
Pros: I love everything here
Cons: I love everything here
Went to Cafe Lucci on Saturday night with another couple that haven't been there before. I told them that it would probally be the best meal that they ever had. I was wrong. They said it was the greatest meal they ever had. From the wine selection by Bobbie to the cooking of Augie and his staff to the people outside that parked your car for free. Nothing but top shelf. Great job to the Arfi family.
Pros: well worth the wait
For the past eleven years I have had the unique experience of dining at Cafe Lucci. Nowhere will you find better quality of food, preparation of that food or a friendlier staff. The Arifi family has always made their patrons feel as though they have been invited into the Arifi famlies home for dinner. That is a quality that they have always had and I am sure they will never lose. The dining experience starts at the door where you will most likely be greeted by Bobby who has a terrific memory for your name and tries to greet everyone by name. Then then proceed to the kitchen where Bobby's brother Augie produces some of the finest meals in Chicagoland. And then, their was the patriarch Sam who had a vision to establish a restaurant that would be second to none. The food and wines that are available is first rate, don't know what wine to have, just ask Bobby he can recommend some of the best without breaking the bank.
Congratulations to Sam, Bobby, and Augie for eleven great years and hopefully another eleven, at least.
Pros: food, wine, service, valet
Going to Cafe Lucci is like walking into the Cheers Bar. You're greeted by Bobby and he seems to know all his customers and welcomes them all. At your table you're quickly given water, and warm bread with a roasted garlic spread and a homemade vegetable mix. The waitstaff is very prompt and always courteous. They are happy to make recommendations from the menu or from the daily specials, which are prominently displayed on large blackboards throughout the restaurant. Bobby is always happy to make a food recommendation and is quick to recommend a great wine. The fact his wine knowledge is excellent and that he is not a wine snob in any way, makes it a great experience. It also helps that Cafe Lucci has one of the best wine lists in the Chicago area, all picked by Bobby.
Then there is the food. Bobby's brother, Chef Augie is great. His creations are phenomenal. I've learned that he makes trips to Italy to help enhance his own ideas and to alway keep the Cafe Lucci menu up to date . The quality of his creations, coupled with an obvious choice to only use the freshest ingredients, best meats and fish, makes eating here a pleasure. Some of my favorites are the lamb and veal dishes, but everything I've ever had is delicious. I generally order something different every time I go and have never been disappointed. I just ask Bobby for his recommendations and go with it for the meal. Always great.
The appetizers and desserts are excellent too. I love the crab cakes and bruschetta. Cannoli is one of my favorites and it is always served freshly filled and crispy.
I've never been to Cafe Lucci when it wasn't busy. It seems there are always quite a few people there for lunch or dinner. But to me, busy is good. It shows how many people enjoy eating here.
Pros: Great food, service, wines. It's the total package.
Cons: I just wish I lived closer.
My husband and I go out for a nice lunch once a week. We've tried other spots, but nothing compares to
Cafe Lucci, which has become our 'weekly date lunch". They treat us like family and the food is second to none. The minestrone soup, the pasta, the veal, the seafood- all of it is the best in town. I recommend Cafe Lucci without reservation.
Pros: the food, the service, the ambience
Ambiance to suit any diner: smart and upscale polish without being stuffy, and casual and friendly enough to be comfortable and to feel ?at home?.
Food quality: Excellent. Diverse selections, always-fresh ingredients, well prepared and served by knowledgeable, attentive staff.
Wine selection: satisfies any taste, many price ranges. Bobby has an amazing knowledge of wines and remembers the tastes of returning diners
My husband and I discovered 12 years ago what for many years now continues to be our favorite restaurant, even considering the huge selection of fine dining in the Chicagoland area. I cannot comment on the printed menu as we always choose the daily specials that are prepared according to our specific requests. The service is prompt, but never overbearing, by helpful servers, many of whom have been there as long as we have dined there. (Conrad is one of our favorites!) It is our pleasure to have Bobby pair a wine choice with our entrees. And appetizers are a must: we never will miss the calamari.
In addition to dining there for a special night out, we have had a number of our private parties (rehearsal dinner, special birthdays, graduations, anniversary) for which we have never been disappointed. Bobby has always given us his personal touch in our party planning, with his wit and friendliness and professionalism, in the warm and inviting atmosphere of both the dining room and the private party room upstairs.
No, I am in no way related to Bobby and Augie, but they do make us feel like family! We look forward to any reason to dine at Cafe Lucci because it is just the complete dining package that keeps us (and now, too, our adult children) coming back!
Pros: Overall dining experience, attentive staff, including the valet parking!
Cons: Because it's become better known, can be a bit noisy in the front dining room!
The diner will be greeted by friendly, attentive but not overburdensome service. The waiters are all knowlegable about the dishes and their ingredients (which are always fresh and high quality) from soup to nuts. You have never had better mushroom soup anywhere. Great wine selection without having to break the bank. This restaurant is a gem and I find many customers drive a fairly long distance for the great food. The pastas are all interesting and tasty. The chicken vesuvio (a Chicagoland favorite) is as good as can be found. I love to take out of town guests because they have never been disappointed. If you have a taste for something and it isn't on the menu, ask your waiter and Chef Augie will try to oblige. If you aren't sure about a wine, let Bobby make a selection for you. You won't be disappointed.
We were recently reintroduced to Cafe Lucci after 5 years away. We loved it! The wine list is unbelievable and Bobby can recommend the perfect wine of any type to compliment your order. We enjoyed everything we ate and Bobby (the owner) came over to see how we liked (really, it was loved) his recommendations. The specials are unique and delicious. Cafe Lucci has quickly become incorporated into our restaurant favorites!
Being native New Yorkers, really good Italian food is a necessity...like breathing air!
After first experiencing Cafe Lucci for a small wedding, we were...wowed.
We fgured any place that can cook so well for a group affair had to be terrific for a few couples dining on a weekend. We were immediately hooked, & have been going back ever since!
We have even celebrated several wedding anniversaries of our own at the fun wine tasting dinners over the years. A real blast....but take a taxi home!!
When we have friends & out of town guests, Lucci is always one of our destinations.
From the warm bear Hug from Bobby as you enter, to the smiling bus boys who have been there for years, to Chef Augie's tableside commentary & reccomendations, a trip to Lucci is always a true pleasure.
The wine list is only secondary to the terrific food preperations. Augie's new menu deserves great praise. Try the Cioppino & visualize yourself sitting at a harbor front cafe in San Francisco....wonderful & authentic dish. (Make sure you get extra fresh bread for the sauce....yum!) Go on Saturday night & the Mushroom soup will please even the non soup eaters like me! Great for bread dipping...also!
Ask Bobby about a wine selection & prepare to be schooled ny a master. His knowledge, flair & good humor are a welcome addition to this little gem.
Tasting is the key, so if you have not done so yet, try it & let Cafe Lucci become your gem too after just one tasting!
Enjoy & buon appetit!
We've gone to Cafe Lucci for years and have always enjoyed the atmosphere, food and service. Bobby, Augie and the entire staff have always been welcoming, greeting us by name and making us feel that they're glad we're in their restaurant. The menu offers a lot variety and the quality of the food has always been top-notch. We've never ever been disappointed. Even when they are extremely busy, the service has always been attentive, helpful and friendly. It's a very good value for the money.
Pros: Variety of menu, quality of ingredients, ambience, parking and service.
We have been going to Cafe Lucci since it opened. We drive all the way from Mundelein for dinner. We love to spend time at the bar before and after dinner catching up with the patrons and employees. It is always like coming home when you are there. Everyone is welcoming. Food is always superior. My husband would walk miles in the snow for the Shrimp Bisque on Friday nights, but the new Cream of Porcini Mushroom soup will give it a run for it's money! We usually put ourselves in the hands of the servers for dinner, but always in Bobby's hands for wine. We have NEVER been disappointed!
Cafe Lucci deserves five stars in all of the major categories: food, wine, service and ambiance.
Food- Chef Auggie has amazing depth and flexibility in all of his dishes. His creativity and consistency are unparallel. The Chilean Sea Bass is a huge favorite, and the steaks, especially the bone in selections, rival the best steak houses in the city. However, his pasta dishes, both on the menu and special requests, truly highlight Auggie?s experience and brilliance.
Wine- Bobby?s wine list is world class, and his knowledge of the wines surpasses most sommeliers in the area. In addition to the printed list ask Bobby for any special gems he has set aside for his ?best customers?.
Service- From the complimentary valet parking to the warm greetings by Bobby, Auggie, Sam, and all the staff, it always feels like you are coming home at Cafe Lucci. Everyone truly goes out of their way to make sure you have a memorable experience. It is personal yet highly professional service.
Ambiance- Cafe Lucci can fill everyone?s needs. An elegant room perfect for business lunches and dinners, with the best combination of service but privacy for discussions. Intimate tables and non-rushed service makes it a great spot for a romantic evening. Super for parties, both professional and personal, truly illuminating the flexibility in the management and staff.
And of special note, ?kid friendly? does not even begin to explain Cafe Lucci! Being a family operation, they understand and appreciate the children and know how to serve them quickly and efficiently yet timing the adult?s meals for the optimum enjoyment possible, a seemingly impossible juggling act that they have mastered. Yet, on any given night, families seated next to business diners seem masterfully intertwined and not a complaint to be had by any. An amazing feat!
Overall, Cafe Lucci is a must when in Chicago! Or a destination when not!
Park Ridge, Illinois
Pros: Amazing food, Great Wine List, Terrific Service
Cons: Location is a bit out of the way
Since dropping in for a late evening dinner a few years ago, my wife and I return alone and with friends as often as possible. Even if it's just for dessert at the bar.
The food is always outstanding. The service is personal. Yes, their service is excellent, but more uniquely, they really treat you as a guest. You feel like they want you to be there and enjoy all that they offer.
The highlight - if you enjoy good wine - is the passion Bobbi has for his wines. Often he takes my initial suggestion and converts that into a different wine with superior characteristics.
The best dinner I had there was without a menu. After some questions, Bobbi ordered the appetizers, main courses and wines for our foursome. The result was a perfect and extremely enjoyable dining event.
Enjoy a dining experience at Cafe Lucci once and you will return; often. And if you are like us, you'll find it difficult to leave.
Pros: Terrific staff. Great food. Amazing wines. And of course, Bobbi.
Cons: No longer a secret. They stay busy.
My husband and I drive from Grayslake to eat here often. We love the food and the service is the best. After you make your dinner selections, be sure to ask for Bobby to come to your table to recommend a wine that will suit everyone. He always picks great wine at whatever price point you are comfortable with. Some of our favorite items on the menu are the Caprese Salad, Double Cut Stuffed Veal Chop, Gnocchi with sausage, Pappardelle Con Sugo D?Anitra (pasta with braised duck ragu), and their roasted lamb. Be sure not to miss out on their chalk board specials, either! Whenever they have Chilean Sea Bass, order it. It's awesome!
Pros: Great Food, Value, Wine List, & Service