Classic Collection

The dècor is nothing to write home about, but Luciano's sure-handed take on Italian favorites ensures that you won't care

One recent evening at Luciano's, the more experienced servers (yes, more than one) were assigned to the center square, where Vince Bommarito doled out more handshakes and manly shoulder claps than Al Gore on a visit to New Hampshire. He greeted guests as though Luciano's were his own restaurant, except that the patrons were coming to him and not the other way around. Bommarito has a reputation for running a tight ship at Tony's, and we wondered whether he had noticed the dumping ground the valet parking attendants had created just outside Luciano's front door. Cigarette packs, cell phones, water glasses and pitchers formed a trail of detritus pointing the way to the entrance. Will someone please buy these guys a valet stand?

Even the most timeworn recipes taste better at Luciano's Trattoria.
Amy Bautz
Even the most timeworn recipes taste better at Luciano's Trattoria.

Location Info

Map

Luciano's Trattoria

172 Carondelet Plaza
Clayton, MO 63105

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Clayton

Details

Tomato-mozzarella salad $5.95
Eggplant Parmigiano (side) $3.50
Mussels in saffron cream (appetizer) $7.95
Cheese tortelloni $13.25
Roasted pork loin $14.95
Chocolate-chestnut semifreddo $5.50

314-863-9969. Hours: 11 a.m.- 3 p.m., 5-10 p.m. Mon.-Thu.; 11 a.m.- 3 p.m., 5-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat. (Breakfast and Sunday hours will be established in about a month.)

172 Carondelet Plaza (Clayton)

Our servers were still a bit wet behind the ears. One was so tentative that he dribbled wine all over the glass and tablecloth. Another couldn't quite remember both of the nightly specials, exhaling like a relieved spelling-bee contestant when he finally spluttered out the last ingredient. These problems are trifling and will improve as the servers learn the menu and gain confidence. They also need to practice reading tables. It should have quickly become obvious to our waiter that we wanted to take our time, but he kept popping by to pressure us for our wine and food orders. He reminded us of an irrepressible kid who keeps leaning into the front seat to ask, "Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" Maybe not. But despite a few bumps in the road, we're happy to report that Mr. Del Pietro is wide awake behind the wheel.

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