Lucca Cafe Executive Chef/Co-Owner Cathy Pavlos created a spring menu with many ingredients which are sourced hyper-locally within miles of the restaurant in Irvine. The items include artichoke hearts, avocado, asparagus, grapefruit, limes, raspberries, apricots, and many springtime herbs. The restaurant is also introducing many new grains, such as quinoa, along with nuts and legumes – all healthy food items prevalent the in the south Mediterranean.
“This season, we’re really exploring the southern most parts of the Mediterranean while utilizing the season’s most flavorful offerings! Lots of bright, colorful, fresh and crisp spring items really shine through in this menu,” said Pavlos, whose whole menu is based on the use of healthy and high quality ingredients that extend beyond locally grown organic produce, with the use of certified Angus beef, free-range turkey, hormone-free chicken, wild salmon and locally grown organic produce.
“Our menu inspirations at Lucca have taken a sharp left turn into Spain and Portugal, and following our instincts, we have headed south into Tunisia, Morocco and Israel. In the summer, guests can expect our menu inspirations to head back to our center in Italy and France, stopping briefly in Sicily, before making a sharp right turn into Greece, the islands, and Turkey!”
Following is a sampling of the new dishes featured on Lucca’s menu:
Wild Mushroom Ragout
Asparagus, grilled with, grated cage free hard-cooked egg, and more
Quinoa—risotto style with spring vegetables and Parmesan cheese
Bresaola Hand Rolls, roasted apricots with rosemary, honey, orange reduction, arugula, crème fraiche
Crispy Pork Belly Green Pancakes with sweet pea puree, chili-lime butter, raspberry relish
New Zealand Free Range Lamb Chops
Spring Veggies: artichoke hearts, avocado, asparagus, fennel, grapefruit, pistachios, feta, lime-Champagne vinaigrette
Beets and Stuff, roasted beets, leeks, organic baby greens, arugula, toasted walnuts
Wild Tuna with Pappardelle pasta, Cannellini beans, cilantro-Macadamia Nut pesto, lemon zest
Other items include: Mushroom Lasagna, Salmon, Halibut, Beef Shortribs, Pork Tenderloin and bacon, Hanger Steak, “Just A good Restaurant Burger” and Lamb Chops.
Lucca Café is also known for its European-type bistro dining offering small plates, cheese and charcuterie.
It is located at 6507 Quail Hill Parkway in Irvine (949-725-1773.