Luca

4.5
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1983 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Chef Frank Bonanno dug into his Sicilian heritage and east coast roots to create this authentic Italian Eatery. Luca has amazing personal touches from the daily made breads and pastas to the meats and cheeses that are cured in house, to the charcoal drawing of Bonanno’s son (and the restaurant’s namesake) that hangs in the dining room. Luca is colorful, lively, and tasty; the menu is designed for gluttonous abandon. It’s not your ordinary pile-of-pasta-and-sauce Italian joint; it’s the real (and tasty) deal.
What 1983 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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C
Denver
8 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had tasty cioppino here served by the very friendly and professional manager Andrew.

RF
Denver
8 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely terrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrific. Food fun and folks, wait/server staff.

b
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a fantastic time at Luca. The food was incredible--especially love the meatballs, and the happy hour prices make it a very affordable family meal. Our server was also our bartender, and he made some really tasty mocktails for my teenage daugter. We had a great night!

FG
Denver
11 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A wonderful dining experience. The service and the food were both very good. I will be back!

B
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a great meal with an attentive server. Definitely will be back soon.

S
Denver
12 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food, great service, and wonderful location - what more could you want.

AR
Denver
11 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

This was sadly not what was expected from the Bonnano team. A far cry from experiences at the likes of Mizuna, Osteria Marco, Russels Smoke House, French 75.

Here: Food, Service, a big miss.

3 different servers - as there was indecision on who should cover the table
1st Bottle of wine ordered “wasn’t chilled” and would be a while . But was offered to buy some Prosecco while we waited- passed and ordered an alternate (less expensive)

Grilled romaine - ice cold - and chopped - + browning (not charred) pre-grilled perhaps earlier in day?

Caprese salad- cheese amazing- tomatoes mealy and unripe
Requested bread “we will have to charge you” - not an issue- but wasn’t at Some cut rate place, an unexpected response . 4 oil soaked pieces of ciabatta later.....

Pasta was reasonably good - most edible of all dishes

Saltimbocca was tough to get through- very greasy //left half way over salted ... perhaps the shaker fell into the pan

Courses took too long to receive not spaced out very well.

Really bummed- almost 20 years in Denver, - have always enjoyed the Bonnano restaurants used to dine at lou’s on 38th weekly while it was there- always on point .

Mizuna amazing 4 weeks prior and again prior in April of this year .

Perhaps just a bad night - but not one I wish to repeat- with a restaurant with many open tables - perhaps an indicator of what was in store. Still a fan of the Bonnano family- sadly not Luca.

OT
Denver
114 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Luca has the best happy hour in Denver . Have a exemplary Negroni and plan out a multi course adventure with delicious food and great wines.

S
Tucson
60 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

I loved my short ribs. My wife described her gnocchi as flavorless.

OT
Denver
5 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

A big thanks to the Luca team for making a special accommodation on one of our entrees. The food was exceptional!

DA
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Food and atmosphere are great. Wine list is comprehensive.

OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious and the wine special was amazing!! Highly recommend checking it out!

SP
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing service & food. We don't typically take advantage of deals, but we did the 4 course/bottle of wine for $50. What a great value! Can't wait to come back and try regular menu.

CL
Denver
105 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was out with a friend I hadn't seen in a while. We never felt rushed to order our meals nor to finish quickly. Our server was excellent and had great wine and food suggestions!

EL
Denver
13 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Luca does a good job but we just weren’t wow-ed. Service was a little spotty. There were only three scallops on the dinner which didn’t seem like enough.

D
Denver
23 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

One of theses days we will have a great dinner. Luca was good, I expected more. The scallops were delicious but the polenta was runny. Wish we had been offered a table at the dining area by the bar as our neighbors were a bit loud, noticed it on the way out. It was our anniversary and no one acknowledged it, even though it was noted on our reservation. The waiter ignored us at the end - he knew he did and apologized but there was no reason as he wasn't busy... he was talking to a couple at the bar!!!

AB
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service were everything I wanted for my birthday dinner. We were so well taken care of and will be back soon!

We especially loved the mushroom pasta, charcuterie board, and the oysters. Everything was fresh and the creativity of the dishes made our night. Greco is a culinary magician and Andrew made sure our dinner was special.

JO
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic find! A guy at Trader Joe’s highly recommended Lucas and we headed over for dinner that evening.
Maxwell was a fantastic server and guided us thru the menu. Loved the $25 charcuterie and bottle of wine happy hour all day special on Sundays.
We loved it so much that we will be back on Thursday will a large group.
5 star!

AB
Denver
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

The food was super fresh and homemade, but was to salty.

A
Denver
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

Made a reservation online via opentable shortly before arriving at the restaurant. Despite a virtually empty restaurant, we were offered the worst table between the kitchen and the bathroom or to wait a few minutes at the bar for a better table. We chose to wait, but (after our wait) , we were not seated at the table we were promised, but a much less desirable table, essentially in the middle of the restaurant next to the host stand. Again, there were several better options. The explanation for this seating choice was that other people had reserved the preferable tables online in advance. How? We also reserved a table online, in advance. The food was good, but the service pretentious. The waiter ran the wrong tab on our card. Then, when we returned home, opentable had sent us a message saying we never showed for the reservation. Odd...when we checked in, I said I had a reservation and the host even commented about us being "a little early." For a slow Saturday night, we were received with delays, poor accommodations, incorrect payment, and a "no show" note of reprimand even though we were clearly present.

V
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Luca has been a fave for years. The menu and the ambience have become more casual (pizza) in order to appeal to a wider audience. That's ok - they still have a very good Italian wine list and some fine entrees. The chef takes a few liberties with some classic dishes - tasty, but not quite what their names imply. The tagliatelle Bolognese has very wide noodles and is more of a deconstructed lasagna. And the saltimbocca is a heavy stack of sautéed veal, greens and shaved parmesan. I prefer the traditional approach of very thin pounded veal with a sage-forward pan sauce that "jumps in your mouth" as the name suggests. This dish was too heavy to jump but it was tasty. The peach & honey panna cotta dessert was really delish.

K
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Spectacular evening. Food, service, ambience were all perfect for my sister's birthday dinner!

f
Atlanta
39 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I had the chicken parmigiana which was very good. My wife had the veal which she said was too thick and kinda tough. Service was very attentive. I thought it weird that with the restaurant being half empty we were seated at one end end of a table for 6 with two you g women at the other end. There were several tables for two that were empty when we arrived and stayed empty the entire time we were there.

IG
Denver
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best homemade pasta in Denver! Great service and ambiance.

GW
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The food was very good from appetizer thru main course. The only disappointment was dessert...we thought we’d ordered spumoni but it turned out to be a sponge type cake with spumoni flavors. It was okay but we were definitely disappointed not to have received spumoni ice cream.

OT
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

Overall disappointing. My husband said the scallops were very good, but my Caesar and the peach salad were nothing to write home about; my margherita pizza was disappointing. Service was good, though...

OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing service. Super accommodating. Food was delicious.

MN
Denver
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Reservation and booking process was seamless. We arrived 15 minutes early and were asked to wait until our reservation time for a table to become available. The departing party delayed our seating by about 10 minutes past the reservation time, and we were offered a free round of drinks as compensation. We sat at the bar while waiting for our table. My wife ordered an americano, and still had not received it in the 25 minutes it took to get to our table. We asked the bartender about it twice.

The food quality was markedly worse from our last visit in 2018. In particular we were disappointed to see that the bread served with the cheese board and crostini dishes is now generic sliced Italian bread. Previously we were given much higher quality bread, obviously fresh baked, and grilled.

The burrata was below average, the filling tasted like a strange hybrid of cream cheese and ricotta. We recently had burrata at Osteria Marco (another restaurant from the same owner) which had a much better taste, not sure what happened there. The other cheeses on the board, as well as the mostardas were very tasty.

The crostini app had the same strange tasting ricotta, mixed with shredded crab meat. Lump crab would have been a nice touch, but the dish was only $8, so understandable.

We ordered the Wild Mushroom pizza for our main. The toppings were delicious, and the truffle olive oil is a nice touch. The crust however was near flavorless, and did not have the char or rise expected of a true wood-fired pizza.

We received the bill and saw that the promised free drinks had been left on, but that was quickly taken care of when brought to their attention. Overall service was acceptable.

Bottom line, the food quality, execution, and flavors currently delivered by Luca are not in line with past visits, nor the asking price unfortunately.

RJ
Denver
49 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

First time, enjoyed the meat and cheese platter although I expected more than 1 cheese, on a meat and cheese platter. But it was good. We liked the brussel sprout roasted vegetables as an alternative to salad. Loved my cocktail! My boyfriend had the shrimp pasta and the large was enough for 2 people. Leftovers! I ate all of my scallops. It was good, but I realized too late I should not have had the polenta, with all that dairy. Might have had saltimbocca instead...Service was outstanding. Alittle loud for my taste. We were talking loudly across a table for 2...

LD
Denver
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Second time at Luca. Great selection of food & Pizza. Wait staff were attentive, but not intrusive.
The Grandkids had a good time which was the goal.

OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

Disappointing first visit. Half food we tried good, other half pretty dull. Service slow and inattentive. Not enough value or high spots to come back for another try; there's plenty else in Denver nowadays. "Phoned-in" is pretty accurate.

j
Denver
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful craft drinks, pasta, cured meats, cheese, bread and service. Great Italian neighborhood fine dining feel. We love it.

RB
Austin
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We moved to Austin Texas a few years ago from Boston. Somehow the Italians never made it to Austin -- we dream of crisp crusted pizzas, hand made mozzarella, sausages made by a butcher, and homemade pasta. Luca had it all and more. Our dreams had come true: a wonderful Italian meal with good attentive service and a neighborhood atmosphere.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved the happy hour prices for food and cocktails ! Our party stayed 31/2 hours and no one rushed us out. It was a reunion and many of us hadn’t seen each other in 8 years. I was very impressed with the noise levels. Thanks for the great experience!

JE
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Luca was fine. I expected better... I was disappointed in the Caprese salad and in the octopus and sausage appetizers. Caprese used a very little bit of dried basil. It's the middle of July! You can't get fresh basil? And, the sausage in the octopus was so minimal, I couldn't detect it in taste or sight. However, for entrees, the mushrooms and pasta, and grilled scallops were amazing! Service was adequate...but, not very special. Prices seemed high...for the lack of originality and inspiration. I felt Luca called it in.

JB
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful wine selection and delicious food. The hand-stretched mozzarella is a true treat!

CM
Denver
20 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Luca experience was great as always. Max takes good care of us and Charles is a great waiter. We brought friends who had never been before and they really enjoyed it.

Such a great Thursday night special, super value.

We'll all be back !!

D
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our host made our visit to Luca special. The food, service and ambience was excellent.

OT
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Some dishes were great- like truffle oil pasta. Carbonara was dry.

JL
Denver
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 4

It was my fourth time dining at Luca and I left a tad disappointed. I made reservations but was not seated until 20 minutes later than my appointed time. Service was slow. Maybe it was just an off day?

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