Saturday, May 25, 2013

Famous Luigi's Food Review

Authentic Italian?

Famous Luigi's has been around forever (1943) and I've enjoyed many a meal there. I'm not sure how famous it still is, but with the number of traditional Italian restaurants dwindling daily, I appreciate its commitment to old school Italian dining.

I went in for an early dinner (4:30) and was warmly greeted upon entering. Luigi's offers two separate dining areas, and I opted to eat inside. It's hard not to feel welcome here... Italian opera plays in the background, and tables are covered with red & white tablecloths (thankfully not plastic.) Service is usually top notch, but I was privy to a bit too much personal conversation between the kitchen and numerous servers today. I ordered a pizza for two with sausage and onion toppings ($9 + $2 per topping.) Pizza for one is fine for lunch, but I was hungry.

My server was chatty and well-seasoned. I wasn't keen with his frequent visits to remove and replace plates, table settings, etc., nor did I like the fact that he touched my back in affirmation at one point. He cut my pie tableside and served my first slice (nice touch.) Overall, service was good; and I felt valued as a customer.

Luigi's pizza is doughy with a generous amount of gooey cheese. The sauce was homemade, but lacked salt. Toppings were top notch, though I'd have preferred more of each. The edges of crust were especially doughy... too doughy. I like my pizza zesty, and this one wasn't: Still, it did the job just fine.

The best time to visit Luigi's is when they're busy. Nothing matches the energy of a full house, when their kitchen comes to life: Perhaps I arrived a little too early. I've had better visits, but I'll definitely be back.

Atmosphere: B (Hasn't changed much since my first visit more than 30 years ago.)
Service: B- (Not their finest effort, but solid just the same.)
Crust: C+ (Too doughy.)
Toppings: C+ (Lackluster sauce brings score down.)
Value: C ($23 including tip, for pizza and a soda is a little high.)
Overall: C+