This week, 14850 Dining is paying one last visit to Lucatelli's Italian Ristorante, serving excellent homemade Italian food and more. It's on the Old Elmira Road in Ithaca's southwest, not far from Route 13 and Staples, and after nearly thirty years, they're closing this week.
The antipasto salad bar at Lucatelli's.Lucatelli's is best known for its generous Italian entrees, like chicken parmigiana and veal marsala. It's also best known for its juicy steaks. And it's best known for its extensive antipasto salad bar. You may be getting the impression that Lucatelli's does many things well, and if so, you're on the right track.
Order an entree and you'll get the antipasto salad bar, which includes not only salad, but also the soup of the day. The salad fixin's included sliced pepperoni, pickled mushrooms and peppers, artichoke hearts, and more. One of my favorites has always been the tuna pasta salad.
If you've never gone to an Italian restaurant for the steak, try the Italian strip steak, a thick and tender cut of meat sauteed with wine, garlic, and a mound of freshly sliced mushrooms.
Gnocchi lunghi with Italian sausage.I'm also fond of Lucatelli's homemade pasta, or their gnocchi, a traditional Italian dish that's a cross between pasta and a potato dumpling. Choose the fresh Italian sausage or meatballs, or one of each. On our last visit, the homemade pasta was a delicious fusilli, and you can order a side of the homemade pasta with your steak for just a little more than a regular side of pasta.
Lucatelli's also has sinful desserts, including good tiramisu, and a dessert cart selection that changes frequently. They'll also do espresso or a latte, with or without liqueur.
The restaurant's last night is Friday, July 19th, and we'll have news soon on this spot's next incarnation. Plan on spending $15-25 on dinner. Call Lucatelli's at 607-273-0777 or visit lucatellis.com and tell them you heard about them here.