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Brunch Days Are Coming To Luca

In July of 2016 I met Taylor and LeeAnne Mason in their newest Lancaster restaurant LUCA to interview them for Fig magazine. The way they spoke about food and community, resonated with me so deeply that I made reservations to bring my whole crew with me for their opening night. That first night was the beginning of a foodie love affair between me (and the rest of the family) and LUCA. Since 2016 our family has celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, winning baseball games and theatrical debuts around a LUCA table. I’ve made big life plans over many a wood-fired Piccante Pizza and toasted the happiness of most of my favorite people over an Aperol Spritz, Luca Sour or Milletti Mule. All of this background to explain why an email from Taylor Mason could never get buried in my inbox. I see the alert, and my mouth literally begins to water before I even open the message. What’s this? An invitation to the soft opening of LUCA BRUNCH?!?!?! I RSVP right away, I don’t even cross-check my calendar. I’m there.

WPN Luca Brunch-20190907-DSC07904WPN Luca Brunch.JPGPin

Fast forward to this bright and beautiful Saturday morning and the excitement of brunching where No Lancastrian has Brunched Before…I breathe in the novelty and newness of it all, knowing full well that once the word gets out, I’ll have to reserve a brunch table weeks in advance! It’s little league season so most of the LUCA loving fam is at practice, but my bff and coproducer Joel and I arrive with nothing but excitement in our bellies! We start by asking for recommendations and decide that we will pretty much order whatever the LUCA team recommends. My first drink is called the Garibaldi, with the orange-sunshine of a mimosa with more air and shine and less acidity. This is my absolute new favorite brunch drink. If you like delicate flavor and complexity that isn’t complicated, or if you just want to experience the wonder that is “fluffy orange juice” (who wouldn’t want to experience this?!) than give the Garibaldi a try!

My next recommendation is a combination of the Sticky Bun small plate, and a side of Benton’s Bacon. I am not a sticky bun person. I usually find them heavy and too sweet and the texture never feels right to me, but Joel is a sticky-bun lover so I was trying to be a generous friend and brunch partner…until the sticky bun arrived, and then, let me just confess that all of my generosity went out the window after the first buttery, flakey, nutty bite! The LUCA sticky bun is not dense and heavy, it’s made of gloriously light croissant dough, and sweetened to perfection with averna amaro, pecans and currants. It’s heaven Friends, I kid you not. Since we ordered so many things to try, the Benton’s Bacon came out while we were still swooning over our first sticky-bun bites and the rich aroma of that bacon distracted me just long enough to let Joel sneak his fork back into that sticky bun ( I already confessed, my generosity went awry, I’m sorry!) If you order the sticky bun (which, of course you will) I highly recommend alternating bites of that decadent sweetness with the salty and savory magic that is Benton’s bacon- your tastebuds will be overcome. Come back and tell me I’m wrong.

We rounded out brunch with two mains: the Capra: Slow cooked goat and pomegranate-pinenut-serrano chili relish on griddled flat bread and Croccante: olive-oil friend farm eggs, heirloom tomatoes, prosciutto di parma, and salsa verde.

The Capra was elegant, hearty, with just a bit of heat. This dish embodies the perfect LUCA balance of flavors in each bite when the buttery smooth flatbread and the savory mellow goat meets the bright bursts of pomegranate. The Croccante was bright and light, flavorful and satisfying, when I think back of my time in Italy and the flavors of the morning, this dish tastes like those memories. I would order both again (after I get through the rest of the menu)

The soft opening for brunch continues through the next two weekends (Saturday & Sunday) with limited, reservation-only seating, but Brunch Days at LUCA are here to stay! You can make your reservations for Luca Brunch (or dinner) here: https://lucalancaster.com/#reservations

If you’d like to learn more of the STORY behind this Lancaster Favorite, and see more of the heart and soul that sets the LUCA team apart, check out this incredibly film by Thread Creative Co.

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