By Melody Burson
In Gig Harbor, there are a couple of places to get the quintessential Italian-American cuisine and we have a gem in Il Lucano Ristorante Italiano on Judson Street.
I must admit that I was not overly enthused the first time we ate there years ago. I can’t remember what my husband and I had for entrées, but we thought they missed the mark. We decided to try it again many months later – sometimes you need someone to make you lasagna – and it was wonderful. We’ve been back many times and I think the key is ordering classics, like their pastas and pizzas.
Chef/owner Michele Simone came to the U.S. from his hometown of Oppido Lucano, Italy in 2000. Working for an Italian restaurant in Gig Harbor, Chef Michele and his wife Azusa decided to create Il Lucano when that establishment moved in 2008. By the way, that former restaurant became Massimo Italian Bar and Grill by the Purdy bridge.
During the COVID-19 restrictions, Il Lucano has still been providing us with some great meals via their Take-Out service. One of my favorite dishes is their Penne Lucane, a delightful baked mixture of pasta with marinara sauce, mild Italian sausage, mozzarella and pepperoni. It’s a generous portion with enough for a couple of meals. We have also had to-go orders of Veal Saltimbocca (sautéed in white wine sauce topped with prosciutto and zucchini) and Lasagna (beef, pork sausage and ricotta cheese, tomato sauce and mozzarella; served with homemade marinara sauce). Their take-out menu has lots of choices. In addition to their usual 17 kinds of pastas and six varieties of pizza, they have an additional 20 more entrées listed under Specials and Meats & Fish. Appetizers, salads, and desserts are also available. There is an extensive gluten-free menu.
Il Lucano has discounts on their large collection of mostly Italian wines. On Tuesdays, purchase two dinner entrees and you’ll receive a bottle of wine at half price (on bottles that usually sell for $50 or less); it’s 25% off the other days with the same minimums and restrictions. We thought this Sangiovese Chianti in the photo paired nicely with our penne pasta dish.
We appreciate all that they are doing to help keep their employees and customers well. You are asked to wait outside the front door if another customer is already in the restaurant, and once inside, contact is minimized and distances are maintained.
Il Lucano is closed on Mondays; Tuesdays through Sundays they are open 11:30 a.m.to 8 p.m.
3119 Judson Street, Gig Harbor, WA 98335 | 253-514-8945
In these stressful times, I highly recommend ordering some comfort food from Il Lucano. There are many things we can’t enjoy right now, but a hearty plate of pasta and a good red wine shouldn’t be among the forgotten pleasures. And don’t forget the Tiramisu.