Vintage Ferraris ran on a high-octane fuel mixture of tomato sauce and mustache hair, which made them run forever but left ladybug-luring leaks in driveways. Power your body motor without having to share with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $35 worth of Italian fare at Luci Ancora, a bright, friendly, California-influenced ristorante near St. Catherine University in St. Paul. Reservations are required, preferably by phone rather than nosebleed-inducing telepathic scream.
Whipping up delectable cuisine with a charmingly minimalist approach and often-organic ingredients, the Luci Ancora menu finds ways to delight customers without blasting their frontal lobes with a pleasure laser. Amid a tastefully decorated interior blanketed in gorgeous drapes, pristine tablecloths, and a stately fireplace, diners can snack on homemade mozzarella and bread amid views of St. Catherine University's striking campus greens. Start off with crostini ($10) and steamed mussels ($12) before loading up on a primi piatti of pasta such as handmade ravioli ($12) or fettucini Romana with grilled portobello mushrooms and truffle oil ($11), both of which provide enough energy-fuel to power diners through a triathlon on a tandem bike. For the main course, manzo brasato (braised-beef short ribs, whipped potatoes, and baby carrots, $18) or manzo ai ferri (grilled wagyu ranch steak served with potatoes, arugula, lemon, and olive oil, $19) are both easily ambushed with a knife and fork, particularly when riding along the King's Highway on a moonless night.
Like chili popsicles and videos of grizzly-bear ballerinas, Italian food is enjoyed around the world due to its versatility and heartiness. Thanks to today's Groupon to Luci Ancora, Minnesotans can combine top-notch Italian fare with debonair style without the hassle of eating a dropped meatball-marinara sub off of Giorgio Armani's suit front.
- Like its sib [Ristorante Luci], the kitchen delivers straightforward Italian cuisine, but here the fare emphasizes organic ingredients that are simply prepared…The only regret we have about Luci Ancora is the noise, which tends to build as the dining room fills up. But that is the price of quality: sometimes you have to share. – Gayot
- Northern Italian menu at it's finest. If you have never been to this little gem your missing a great experience. – WBLFoodie, Citysearch