Restaurant review: Lucca Back Bay

Last January I shared a glowing review of Lucca Back Bay. I returned again for a visit in the spring of 2011 and had a similar experience so I was happy to go again this past weekend to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

Perhaps we had a new waiter, but at nearly every turn she detracted from the dining experience.  She did not offer the night’s two specials and actually forgot the second entirely.  Throughout the meal errors like not filling empty wine glasses or inquiring if we’d like to order another bottle when we ran empty all happened one after another, making me wonder if I was eating at a quiet discount Italian chain.

Problems with service were exacerbated because one of the friends did not care for the gnocchi they ordered.   To make sure he was not being overly critical I sampled his plate, and agree it was (at best) mediocre.   Lest you think I’m overly negative, I would like to assure you that we did have a good time (after all its the company that makes the evening) and the four other main dishes were delicious.

For those contemplating a visit, pasta plates range from $23-$36 and main courses or “secondi” range from $28-$36. Dinner for two (appetizers, main dishes and a shared dessert – not including drinks or tip) is ~ $90.00. 

Lucca in the Back Bay is at 116 Huntington Ave Boston, MA
Reservations strongly recommended, Tel: (617) 247 2400

Lucca Back Bay on Urbanspoon

4 responses to “Restaurant review: Lucca Back Bay

  1. Hi,
    I am the owner of Lucca Restaurants and I just came across your review of Lucca Back Bay. We pride ourselves on giving exceptional unobtrusive service. I was disappointed when I read that you didn’t receive the best service at Lucca Back Bay. We are very hands on owners, My business partner and I work the front door at each location. I am a stickler for empty glasses, ask anyone who works for us, no empty glasses ever!!!!!
    As for the gnocchi that is a great dish when executed properly. I will check it. The restaurant business is hard to say the least. You hope that your staff represents you and your establishment properly, obviously in this instance it wasn’t the case. I dine out a lot and I am very confident with the standards of the food and service at both locations. Rest assured that if there is a person who is not following our order of service, or who isn’t buying in to the friendly atmosphere we try and create, they will not be there for very long. Hopefully you will give us another opportunity in the future.
    Sincerely,
    Sean Williams
    Co owner Lucca Restaurants

  2. Actually, I don’t mind if we re-pour our wine glasses, but they were never done. Even when the server came to bring food, they left without refilling the glasses even though several were empty. The worst part of that was then the bottle was empty so some of us sat without wine during part of our meal – which really detracts from the taste of the food since the pairing of the two go so well.

    I’m not sure why the comment above indicates we ate at a “poorly lit” restaurant, I made no comment about the lighting or the decor in my review or why the idea of one of our guests ordering gnocchi is a poor decision on my friend’s part. There are several restaurants that serve some delicious gnocchi which I’ve even reviewed – the most recent I believe being at Union (strangely not an Italian restaurant). I suppose there are several things about the initial comment that leaves me baffled.

  3. I worked as a server for 17 years. This server is definitely not doing their job. When you order a bottle of wine or champagne, the server should ALWAYS be observing and refilling your glass. Anyone who says different is poor at their job, and time to move on, out of the service business!

  4. Hi, new to your blog here, which I really have enjoyed looking through. However this post bugged me. I am a fellow server and it does sound like your waitress wasn’t on top of her game this evening. I can’t believe people still expect servers to rush over and refill empty glasses of wine, while the bottle is sitting right in front of them. Don’t get me wrong, I do it, and I’ve been reprimanded by ridiculous people for not pouring their wine for them. I noticed you left out the type/brand of wine you were consuming, I sure hope it wasn’t the cheapest bottle on the menu. I think that we are at a point in society where once the bottle of wine is place on the table and the first glasses are poured, you are on your own. I totally understand that she failed to inform your party of the specials, left you wine-less because your bottle ran dry, and didn’t seem attentive, but pour the wine yourself! You blog post is sort of ripping a part this restaurant, yet how do we (as readers) know that your party did not suck. I mean you and your party could have been totally needy or rude or high-maintenance causing this waitress to stay away so that the rest of her tables are unaffectected. It only takes one crazy table to mess up a servers’ system. Your party is not the only party a server is taking care of and the more difficult your party is the worse the service is going to be. I love how you folks were surprised that the gnocchi, tasted, “mediocre”. What were you expecting? You went to Lucca and order the most boring dish on the menu. Gnocchi is for people who want to dine out a fancy schmancy place, but are afraid of flavorful combinations. I mean its potatoes in pasta, if you didn’t think it was going to have a bland atmosphere than shame on you for ordering it in the first place. Anyone looking for a dish with personality does not order gnocchi. Not only that, but your paying for Back Bay. And not even the cool Back Bay. You ate in tourist central. Thats what you paid for. You didn’t pay for exquisite service, or remarkable food. You paid to say you had dinner at a poorly lit, but tastefully decorated restaurant with ties to the North End, in the heart of Boston. I know you are just detailing an experience you had while out to dinner, but I just had to let you know how ridiculous it is when people get upset that the server is not refilling the wine. Its right there in front of you, pour it yourself. And it you can’t pour it yourself then order it by the glass or try a coctail instead.

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