I woke up at 6:43am after dinner at Luca Osteria and panicked. I forgot the leftovers in the car. So I got up, even though I really didn’t want to, and rescued the last bits of pasta and prosciutto from the backseat. Even in leftover form, the food here is just too good to abandon.
Luca Osteria is an Italian restaurant in Coral Gables located along the pedestrian-only Giralda Plaza. It has lots of spacious outdoor seating and a small, bright dining room good for a date, dinner with the parents, or sitting solo at the bar with a negroni and bowl of pasta. But the food (which justifies climbing out of bed at 6:43am) is the big reason to come here.
Luca is a serious contender in the “Miami’s best pasta” conversation, with about six rotating pastas that feature the kind of fresh, al dente noodles that make you want to name your first born child Bucatini.
But there is one dish that’s a definite must-order: the patate fritte. It consists of a base of little fried potato balls covered by a creamy layer of parmigiano fonduta, black truffle, and a single egg yolk in the center, which you mix up as soon as it hits the table. Every bite is a perfect little explosion of fluffy potato, truffle, yolk, and cheese. The only way dinner can go wrong here is if you don’t order it. And, in the unlikely event that your table doesn’t wipe the plate clean, please remember to take it out of the car when you get home.
The menu at Luca Osteria changes frequently, but here are a few examples of the kind of dishes you might find here.
Order this. Please. It would be tragic if you didn’t because it’s one of the best dishes in the entire city. The crispy little fried potato balls are tasty enough on their own, but after being blanketed in a silky parmigiano fonduta, black truffle, and an egg yolk, they transcend to a higher level of deliciousness. There’s also an option to add even more shaved truffle, but this masterpiece doesn’t need it.
Cacio E Pepe
This pasta is simple and excellent. Bits of smoked pecorino cling to each noodle for dear life, and there’s just the right amount of black pepper to cut through the richness.
Bucatini Alle Vongole
This is not one of those seafood pastas where you’ll need a magnifying glass to find the seafood. The manila clams are (thankfully) all over the plate, and the best part of the dish. The pickled garlic butter is a close second though.
If you are a diehard lamb chop fan - like, you own an “I love lamb chops” shirt - then get this. They’re very good lamb chops. But the money is better spent getting more pasta on the table.
Here are three facts about this tiramisu: it comes in a bowl, has a satisfying distribution of ladyfingers, and is a big enough portion that you won’t have to have a spoon fight if you split it with someone. If you’re sharing with three people or more, though, things might get aggressive.