Kirkland UFO Sighting
Market Street Cafe -- Officially Open!

Lucia Opens this Week

Luciaopening_007I had a chance to go to the soft opening of Lucia  (222 ParkPlace Center) on Saturday night and let me tell you--you're in for a treat!  The old 'Mama Lucia' has gone through a serious face-lift.

We started with the crab cakes, which were delicious and full of crab meat drizzled with creamy wasabi sauce.  Then onto the caesar salad-they use that same zingy garlicky caesar dressing as before which I've always loved- I even drop by just to buy that dressing sometimes.  For the main course, I had the Braised Kobe Beef with Pappardelle.  The tasty red wine sauce perfectly complimented tender strips of kobe meat, red peppers and mushrooms not to mention my glass of wine.  The portion was plenty for me to take home and enjoy again for lunch the next day (minus the wine, that I finished ;-). 

Luciaopening_002 When you walk in the decor is rich, contemporary and inviting while the tune of a funky beat plays in the background.  You'd never guess you're in a strip mall in Kirkland- it got more of a downtown swanky feel-maybe even LA looking at the lounge area kissed with some bright overstuffed pillows.  Owner Mike Halter (photo right- and yes, his sweater did match the restaurant decor) did all of the interior design himself.  There's great lighting and fun features like a cozy fireplace and a back-lit wine wall.

Luciaopening_001 Mike's mom, Cathy Shyne (photo left), also owns other successful restaurants in LA and Hawaii and carefully creates all of the menu selections.  She is this gorgeous petite Italian woman that makes you feel like part of the family when you stick your head in the kitchen to say hi. I love the feel of this family owned business because they all have a true passion for what they do.  You can find Lucia's full menu here

They open their doors on Monday November 12th 2007 from 11am on.  In addition to the restaurant, I think this place has great potential for being a late night lounge for the in crowd.  Anyway-I'd definitely recommend getting in there-it's a transformation that you will need to witness for yourself.  The menu looks fabulous- there are lots more things on there I want to try- and they are all priced reasonably too.  Appetizers and salads run between $8-12 and most entrees are under $20.  You can make reservations on Open Table.  See you there!  ~j


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Rob Butcher

Thanks for the restaurant reviews, Janis. You and Steve have the best thing going on with the reviews. I rely on you a lot.

Keep up the good work.


Elizabeth O'Connor

I've enjoyed reading your blog over the past month (my cousin introduced me to it).

We were very excited when Lucia's opened up given we were big fans of Mama's and went their quite frequently. But unfortunately, our experience last Friday was disappointing. For a full review, check out my husband's blog at

Eric J.

As a long-time supporter of Mama Lucia's, I was excited to see the expansion and remodel of the restaurant. The only complaint I had of the previous incarnation was that it was too cramped - a result of its poularity. My girlfriend and I went to Lucia's with the hope that the interior design changes would only augment a great menu. Unfortunately, while Lucia's offers a more trendy and contemporary feel (not unlike Purple), the approach to customer service is a dissapointment. They no longer participate in the Passport Unlimited dining program and no longer have the 2 for 1 Monday entree special. The temperature in the dining room and bar is too cold and the music is too loud and better fit for a cocktail lounge. The prices are still acceptable, but the food has gone too far in the way of "nouveau cuisine". We enjoyed the taste of the Tomato & Basil Bruschett, but the plate was delivered with pieces the size of a dollar coin. It reminded me of a movie moment where the server brings you the plate, sets it down and says "voila!", only to make you laugh and the ludicriously small portions. My serving of Lemon Chicken Angel Hair was also laughably petite and contained dried, clumps of undercooked pasta. To their credit, I was comped my dish when I brough it to their attention. I understand the nature of Kirkland resutaurants are changing to more trendy and pricey establishments, but I now mourn the passing of Mama's. I do not doubt that Lucia's will be quite poular with the Friday and Saturday night crowds, but I thought it was important to share my thoughts on the results of the change.


We ate here a few weeks back and it wss spectacular. Yes, its contemporary, but its well balanced with a quality decor and atmosphere. Few frills. The food is amazing the price points, for what you get, are truly great i.e. its hard to find that elsewhere.

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