Monday, December 19, 2011

Delucca's: New and Improved

Small, family run, "holes in the wall" are some of my favorite types of eateries.  You may have read my post about Delucca's before.  Today, it's time for an update.

First, they've moved.  They've gone down Hwy 378 closer in to Columbia and are in that little strip center right next to the entrance of the Riverbanks Zoo's Botanical Garden.  Second, it's a newer shopping center than the previous one and they've been able to get a larger space.  There are actually two dining rooms now.  They still have the same dark red & gold color scheme, but everything is new and fresh.  Third, Brenda still works there, but we didn't get to see her today.

Delucca's new location certainly indicates that they are ramping things up a notch.  It has the feel of an upscale restaurant now as opposed to the cozy familiarity of the previous location.  I can only assume that means they are enjoying success and I'm happy about that, to be sure.  My only concern is that they have done away with their lunch menu.  I've only eaten at Delucca's for lunch and each time I've been there, the restaurant has been full.  Now, the only items that fall within what I consider an acceptable lunch price range is the pizza, paninis and wraps.  I just cannot and will not allow myself to order a $14 pasta for lunch.  And this is a shame, because their pastas and chicken with risotto and awesome dishes but I guess I won't be having them as lunch anymore. I hope making this change doesn't chase off their former booming lunch business.

But, back to the food.  My dad DID bite the bullet and order pasta. It was the penne with roasted vegetables and meatballs. 

Sorry this is kinda blurry

 His comments were that the meatballs were tasty and there were plenty of them.  The vegetables were well-cooked and he enjoyed it.  But, he made the same comment about the price for a lunch time order.  Mom ordered lasagna.  This is probably her favorite dish on Earth;  well, 2nd favorite.  The woman is a fool for turkey & dressing.  She said today it was "ok."  It has been better in the past. Well, we all have our days.

Beef lasagna

Vivian and I split a 12" pizza.  I was glad that Viv suggested it because I've never gotten around to trying their pizza before.  We got off easiest on the price.  We ordered 1/2 cheese for Viv and 1/2 pepperoni for me and we rang in at $7.50.  

That's just beautiful
This is good pizza, folks, and if you know anything about me at all, you know I am a pizza aficianada.  The crust is homemade and you can taste it.  The sauce was light yet full of flavor.  Some pizza sauces end up feeling heavier than the actual pie, but not this one. I can only assume it's made in-house because it was so fresh tasting.  The cheese is outta sight.  Very creamy, milky mozzarella and they don't skimp on it.  Pepperoni is pepperoni and is perfect any way you slice it.  Definitely will indulge in this pizza again!

Lastly, I'm going backwards to salad.  Mom, dad and I all had a caesar salad. 

Homemade croutons make me smile
I've always loved Delucca's caesar, but today was exceptional.  The romaine was so crisp and delicious, the homemade croutons were wonderful as usual and they serve their yummy dressing on the side.  Too many restaurants don't understand the caesar and drown it in dressing, completely ruining the whole thing.  I trust that the Delucca's folks would properly dress my salad, but I like that they give the customer the responsibility to dress to their liking.  I just think it's a really great caesar salad.

So, to recap:  Delucca's is in a new, larger location.  Lunch menu is gone.  Pizza and caesar salad are money.  Check them out, if you haven't already found them.
Delucca's Italian Grill and Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

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