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July 2, 2007 / Tony

Santa Lucia Restaurant Review

Santa Lucia is a Greek restaurant that is a part of a Canadian chain of restaurants of the same name.  The décor is stereotypically Greek with faux stone sporting chiseled letters, Mediterranean hues, and marble columns.  It gives a warm, welcome feeling (much like the Mediterranean sunshine) but one can’t help to think that every stereotype, bad or good, about Greece has been rolled into the décor.  Hence, I had the feeling of knowing I really shouldn’t like the cliché décor but I let myself anyway just because it was done well enough. The menu offers a nice variety of Greek and, surprisingly enough, Italian dishes.  All of the classic Greek dishes are there: Saganaki, Spanakopita, Dolmades, Moussaka, Souvlaki, and Gyros.  The Italian dishes were heavily weighted towards pastas.  The menu included Fettucine Alfredo, Lasagna Bolognese, Chicken Cacciatore, Canneloni, and a Baked Spaghetti.  As I was there for lunch and not very hungry, I opted for a lunch sized portion of the Moussaka and a small Greek Salad.  The salad was fresh, crisp, and perfectly dressed with a pleasantly tangy vinaigrette.  The dressing was a perfect match with the matchstick size cucumbers, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, red onions, and pepperoncini.  The Moussaka was a rich blend of eggplant, ground beef, potatoes, marinara sauce, and a creamy béchamel sauce.  It was baked and offered a nice blend of flavors and textures.  The eggplant was tender, the beef was well-seasoned, and the potatoes added a needed firmness.  The portion was perfectly sized for a luncheon entrée. 

My lunch companion ordered the Fettucine Alfredo.  I tasted and found the pasta to be perfectly al dente and the sauce was smooth and creamy with the flavors of Parmesan, garlic, basil, and, I thought, chicken base or stock.  The only thing wrong with the dish was the garnish.  Chopped parsley was sprinkled over the dish but it was so unevenly cut that the effect was lost.  There were just too many large chunks of visible stem. 

Overall, this restaurant deserves another look.  It is moderately priced and offers some interesting wine choices (retsina anyone?) that are unique to this area.  I would also like to try some of the appetizers.  Another post on this restaurant is definitely in order.  Below are photos of my lunch guest and her Fettucine Aflredo and my Moussaka. 

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