Golden Spoons Review: Luca

| 06/07/2017 | 3 Comments

CNS Business(CNS Foodie): Birthdays are the perfect time to get together for a fancy dress-up so our group of chatty girls hit up Luca for Sunday brunch. The valet greeting at the entrance was definitely a nice touch and really helped set the tone. When you walk into the restaurant, your first view is of the desserts and cheeses; an exciting glimpse of what’s to come.

One of the nice things at Luca is being able to sit outside on the patio. Though you’re not directly next to the sea, you’re still nestled in the tranquility of the spacious lawns and pool of the Caribbean Club property. But it can certainly get warm out there so if the summer weather is too much for you, there’s plenty of seating indoors. The staff was classy but still present and relaxed enough to joke and chat. I guess our constant laughter got some attention because our server kept coming by to check in and join the fun. Our glasses of Prosecco were well attended all afternoon.

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Selection of brunch items

Though compact, the serving area is actually quite comprehensive and if you don’t pay attention, you might miss an entire course sitting right next to the one you’re currently investigating. All of the classic brunch offerings were available including an omelette station, pasta station, sushi bar, carvery, hot breakfast dishes and savoury hot table. Peppered among these mainstays were several little mini stations for special bites like salmon mousse profiterole, deviled egg or wonton.

Just next to the sushi bar was a tray of oysters, mussels and crab legs followed by cumin-crusted salmon sashimi and fresh tuna ceviche. I liked the idea of the cumin sashimi but it was a very dry rub and for me did not go with the salmon. Likewise, the profiterole looked good but was mushy — in a bad way — inside and didn’t work for me. The crab legs were OK but small and hard to get at any actual meat. The sushi was very good

There are a few veggies in our group and one thing Luca offers, which I know is widely appreciated, is a comprehensive salad bar. As an Italian restaurant, they put effort into their antipasto offerings including several types of grilled and/or preserved vegetables and fresh fruits, alongside a variety of lettuces and, of course, an assortment of fine cheeses, breads and meats. Though salad is not what I come to brunch for, I couldn’t resist making a beautiful creation with so many yummy options. I also tried some classic beef carpaccio with fresh focaccia, which was absolutely delicious.

After appetizing, I moved onto breakfast where I found the French toast to be too dry inside despite the hopeful exterior. I’ve yet to encounter this classic done correctly at brunch. Perhaps it’s just too delicate a texture to serve at a hot table. The sausage was a strange black colour and not to my liking.

The Benedicts looked nice so I tried both of the offerings — the Florentine with spinach and the classic with ham. I found them fairly tasty but lacking any pizzazz. The muffins were barely toasted and, while the eggs were cooked properly, neither was particularly interesting. The spring roll, dumpling, turnover and crispy shrimp were all right but again not especially inspiring.

By far the star of the breakfast table was the scalloped potatoes. I would even venture to say this was probably the most delicious recipe of this dish ever. The potatoes were perfect. Layers of delicately seasoned potato slices baked in just the right amount of creamy sauce with some gooey here and a crusty edge there. I recommend saving room for these.

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Desserts

The savoury hot table offerings of beef Wellington, poached snapper, chicken curry and vegetable ragout were all fairly tasty with the beef Wellington winning for presentation. The veggie pasta was delicious despite being a little on the greasy side. The carvery on offer was roast beef and roast lamb, both of which were classically prepared, seasoned well and pretty near perfection.

If you make it to dessert, you’re guided back to that fanciful presentation that greeted you at the entrance. We all shared mini éclairs, crème brulé, tiramisu, brownies, caramel cheesecake, lemon meringue tartlettes and an apple pastry. The birthday girl even got her own “happy birthday” dessert plate and photo ops with a giant (fake) bottle of Veuve Clicquot.

A nice touch to the location, especially so on a sunny day, is if you need a break between plates of food, you can stroll across the lawns and down by the beach.

For $60 + grats you want a brunch that is going to check all your boxes and I was able to do that with Luca. With a good mix of classy and casual, traditional and experimental, Luca presents s strong assortment of flavours and pairings. Though I wasn’t over the moon about every dish, the quality of ingredients and variety of options makes Luca a strong contender for one of Cayman’s top brunches.

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Category: Golden Spoons Review

Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Luca is my absolute favourite. I eat what I like, avoid what I don't and get such a wide range of so many things that I hardly know where to start!
    LOVE brunch at Luca!!!

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Having had a negative comment about nearly every dish, I find it difficult to understand the high ratings given this restaurant.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    A breakfast buffet is not a brunch. Yuck.

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