Like many, I am a pasta and pizza lover - but there is something about a rustic Italian setting that always makes it taste better, and that is why I love Luciano’s Italian Restaurant in Penrith. A modest Italian restaurant that is no frills, and all about great food.
Ricotta Ravioli is homemade fresh
Open the door to a warm greeting by the owner Tony with his thick Italian accent and welcoming smile, and walls covered with artworks which depict a combination of landscapes and masterpieces of Italian artistic greats. The windows are draped with long maroon curtains, and when drawn block out the busy street scape view. Classic tracks of Sinatra fill the air, and I am suddenly transported back to Italy circa 1960’s.
Welcome to Luciano's
There are three sections to Luciano’s with the main entry being suited to couples and groups of four, to the cross section for larger groups of families and the upstairs dedicated for large group reservations. A smart set up which creates the right ambience per diners needs.
A romantic dining experience
Entree selections are not extensive, but stick to the classics. There is your starter breads of Garlic ($4) Cheese and Chive ($4.50), and Bruschetta ($7.50). For something more substantial, Deep Fried Calamari ($16.50), or the Garlic King Prawns ($18).
I went with the Bruschetta to share, and loved the light bread, fresh tomatoes and drizzling of balsamic vinegar. Very enjoyable.
The Bruschetta is light and bursting with flavour
The choices for mains are anything but limited with a great selection; especially with the pasta range. The menu gives the option to choose first from the pasta: Penne, Fettuccine, Spaghetti, Ravioli, Gnocchi or Tortellini. Sauces range from the famous Bolognese, Pesto, Marinara, Carbonara and many more. All pasta’s are $17.50 with a $3 surcharge for Ravioli, Tortellini or gnocchi.
A menu of great Italian favourites
If pasta isn’t on your taste buds radar, there are many other options like the Porterhouse Steaks starting at $26.50. Choose from Entrecôte Alla Parmigiana, steak cooked in a white wine and tomato sauce topped with eggplant, or the Al Pepe steak served with pepper sauce. Pizzas start from $15 with a wide selection of toppings from the basic Margarita, Parma-Proscuiutto, Vegetarian and indulgent seafood.
For the seafood lovers, there are a variety of prawn dishes starting from $33.50 - like the Gamberetti Alla Creme al Funghi, comprising of a combination of king prawns and mushrooms cooked in brandy and served with rice.
The black board specials featured a ricotta filled ravioli ($18.50) which I had served with a Boscaiola sauce. The pasta was fresh, and you could taste it was homemade. The food is generous and served with love, combined with the traditional atmosphere - you feel a relaxed, quaint ambience.
The Polo Chicken pasta is flavoursome, rich, and matches beautifully well with the penne pasta ($17.50).
The Polo Chicken Pasta
Deserts are changed daily, and feature a section of cakes, gelato’s and ice-creams. I went with the Cherry ice-cream ($8) which was surprisingly light and delicious like a cherry ripe.
The coffee starts ($3.50), and is carefully crafted by skilled baristas - topping off a wonderful meal.
Cherry Ice-Cream...a sweet and delicious dessert
Luciano’s is a fantastic option for a romantic evening out, or for a group dining celebration. The service is friendly and accommodating. The food is fresh and made with love. Luciano's is a local Italian dining gem.
The Alfresco Dining option is great in summertime
Where: 3 Tindale Street Penrith NSW
Why: Traditional Italian dining experience, friendly service and amazing food.
Cost: $17.50 for mains
Sunday: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm and 6:00-11:15 pm
Monday: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm and 6:00-11:15 pm
Tuesday: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm and 6:00-11:15 pm
Wednesday: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm and 6:00-11:15 pm
Thursday: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm and 6:00-11:15 pm
Friday: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm and 6:00-11:15 pm
Saturday: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm and 6:00-11:15 pm
Good for kids: Yes
Take away: Yes - lunch specials are available.