We dropped in to Lucia's To Go after a dinner elsewhere, since the dessert menu at that place was not very exciting and none of us had visited Lucia's since Lucia Watson sold this gastronomic gem to new owners and retired. It had always been a place for just good food, beautifully and lovingly prepared and nicely presented. But it was never flashy. It made the Gourmet Magazine list of the top ten Minnesota restaurants every year but it would also never get a Michelin Star. So it existed in the space of those European chefs who have ditched their Michelin stars in order to just cook good food that people love without the constant pressure for dramatic innovation and ever fussier service.
We arrived on a crowded night but immediately found table and a friendly server who engaged us in a conversation about how things have gone wince the transition. The menu did not disappoint. Three of us sampled four desserts, all of them wonderful. There was a chestnut based chocolate ice cream that was more chestnut than chocolate. There was a Japanese rhubarb sorbet with a bit of macha (green tea power) in it that was probably the taste winner. I tried a duck egg pound cake with a berry compote. (Often the real test of such a place is the simple things.) It was rich with the extra yolk of duck eggs and beautiful with the blueberry compote. And then there was a dreamy semifreddo (semi-frozen mousse) that was the overall champ. To top it all off, the drip prepared decaf coffee was tastier than most of the espresso I have had in the last several weeks outside of Italy. It was a successful experiment and we are now prepared to return to Lucia's for dinner in the near future.
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