Sunday, 26 February 2023

Review: Luciano’s Restaurant, Exeter

It's been quite a while since we've been out for dinner as a family, certainly within our local area so when we decided to have a meal out last week - I was a little bit lost with where to go!

I feel out of touch with what's available these and unsure of where's going to suit everyones tastes, so rather than googling several different restaurants and comparing menu's - I used OpenTable.

By popping in the city we were dining in, OpenTable presented me with a list of restaurants in Exeter with available tables and I was able to browse the menus and offers all in one place. I was also able to read the reviews of past diners and compare to help me narrow down my choices.  Once we'd decided on Luciano's Italian restaurant - owned by Luciano Marco Pierre White, son of Marco Pierre White-  I made a reservation via the easy-to-use booking system and off we went.

When we arrived I let the staff know that we'd booked via OpenTable and they had our booth ready and waiting. The ambience and decor in Luciano's were lovely, it felt a little bit upmarket but not so much so that I felt uncomfortable dining there with children and the staff couldn't have been more warm and welcoming.

My only suggestion would be that offering some colouring in for the children is always welcome when trying to keep them occupied as the wait for our food was a little on the lengthy side.

We ordered some focaccia and dipping oil to share as an appetiser which was freshly baked and delicious, and there was plenty of it to go around us all too.

For our main courses, I chose Mr White's Ragu which was served with linguine and topped with parmesan cheese - it was rich and delicious, and just filling enough. Perfect for a cold Autumn evening and certainly something I'd order again, although surprisingly I'm not actually aware of what meat was used as the menu didn't specify - whatever it was, it was very tasty but I'd have appreciated a description on the menu.

Jon chose the classic burger which was served with chips - the chips were chunky and rustic, crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. We had ordered a couple of extra portions on the side and I'm glad we did as they were a highlight of the meal!
The burger was served with lettuce and tomato, was well cooked and Jon informs me that it was delicious, although worth pointing out that it was served with a very tangy BBQ sauce - he enjoyed this but it may not be to everyones taste so something to be aware of.

As for the children, their menu was very limited with only pasta available served with 3 choices of sauce - pomodoro, bolognese or cheese & olive oil.  (They usually offer a ravioli too but this was unavailable when we visited). At first I thought this was going to be a problem as none of my children are huge fans of pasta, and would usually be more likely to go for pizza at an Italian restaurant - but after a few grumbles, they made their choices.

My eldest decided to try his luck and ask our waitress if it would be possible to have his spaghetti served with meatballs rather than bolognese sauce, and she happily obliged - so my youngest son jumped on the bandwagon too! 

They both really enjoyed it - I didn't get to try any but they reliably inform me it was lovely and that the meatballs had a little bit of kick to them. The children portions were on the larger side, and for the £6.50 price tag I thought they were quite good value for money although perhaps it may be an idea to offer smaller portions but include a drink or a small starter of garlic bread or veggie sticks.


My daughter chose the cheese and olive oil spaghetti, which I was unsure of as she's never had it before.

However to my surprise and delight, she devoured every last bite and declared it the most delicious pasta she's ever tasted! Hurrah! I tried a little (just to be sure!) and I can confirm that it was yummy - buttery, cheesy and scrumptious with perfectly al dente spaghetti! I would happily have eaten a full portion of it myself.

We were all much too full up to try any dessert sadly, but we left feeling very satisfied with a delicious meal in a lovely setting with great service. It was a nice opportunity to catch up as a family without anyone having to cook or wash up - perfect!

If you're looking to book a family dinner or a Christmas get together, be sure to use OpenTable to find the best options in your area and book a table all in one place.

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