Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Caffe Lucio - Santa Cruz

We had a really great dinner in Santa Cruz at this place called Caffe Lucio. It was awesome. Lucio is this wiry little Italian guy (that's him on their logo) who is just bursting with energy and so awesome to everyone who walks in. He greets everyone in Italian, and I automatically responded in Italian. He then seemed to take a liking to us, rambling on in Italian while putting his arm around my shoulder and guiding us to our table.

381 Soquel Ave
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
tel: (831) 427-0164
Open for dinner

We sat at the bar and shared Bruschetta di Caprino (bruschetta with goat's cheese and grilled marinated veggies), home made gnocchi with tomato sauce, and a thin crust pizza. It was amazing. If you are ever in Santa Cruz, you MUST go there. Everyone working there just seemed to be having a fantastic time.

The pizza cook was wearing this hilarious shirt that said "Free Chorizo" and had an arrow pointing down, and the couple next to us at the bar commented on it. The woman was all "Has your mother seen that shirt??" And the cook just laughed and motioned Lucio over, pointing to his shirt. It said "Half Man," pointing up, and "Half Horse," pointing down. Later, we saw Lucio's very pregnant wife sporting a shirt over her huge belly that said "Lucio JR" on it. Points for the humor and having fun!

I've read a couple reviews that mentioned having to wait - we didn't have this problem, and we went on a Saturday night when there was a college reunion dinner taking place as well. The reviews also mention it being loud and Lucio yelling at waitstaff - it was a bit loud, but we did not witness any verbal abuse. My take was that he was very typically Italian - vibrant and a little bit abrassive. The prices were on the higher side, but that's sort of to be expected at an Italian place in a town with a high volume of tourists.

Good for:
- Atmosphere
- Romantic dinners
- Group events
- GREAT home made gnocchi and pizza

Addy's Rating: 9/10

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