A month after the food critic for Le Journal de Montréal declared that Luciano makes some of the best pasta in Montreal, Lesley Chesterman gives the Petite-Patrie trattoria a try. The Gazette critic may not agree with Thierry Daraize, but finds more than enough to like to give Luciano a relatively strong endorsement. "This restaurant is just so warm, unpretentious and affordable that I found myself reluctant to get up and go back into the cold."
Chef-owner Luciano D’Orazio wins Chesterman over with a superb wine list (courtesy the bygone Le Latini's L’Enoteca di Moreno De Marchi agency), polished maître d'hotel Angelo Forcherio, and well-executed classics like a caprese salad, polpette, and fregola with osso bucco. The critic is "a bit on the fence" when it comes to the kitchen's pastas. "I loved both the pillowy gnocchi and the beautiful little medallion of mushroom ravioli with its perfumed sage butter. But a full dish of tagliatelle with porcini and veal sauce failed because the porcini were mushy and the sauce puddled at the bottom of the plate." D’Orazio's branzino, however, hits the mark ("the fish was moist, melting").
Three desserts largely impress: "a pistachio ice cream as dense as peanut butter", a Nutella tart, and a tiramisu, which, admittedly, could benefit from more booze. Chesterman's verdict on Luciano? Two and a half stars on four.