Luciano’s is located across from the pool at Habtoor Grand Beach Resort and Spa. If you pass by it, it seems like its just your average restaurant by the pool, but its so much more! We came here for lunch on the second day of our stay at the hotel. There’s outdoor seating as well as indoor, but we opted for indoor since my 1 year old Khalifa would run to the pool every few minutes if we sat outside!
After being shown to our table, we ordered drinks and were helped in choosing what we wanted to eat. There is a very large selection of wine and alcohol, but we chose to have some mocktails.
With our drinks came a bread basket filled with different kinds of breads and breadsticks, and along with that came three different dips. Khalifa filled up on the breadsticks but my husband and I waited for our starters since everything we ordered seemed so appetizing.
For starters, I ordered Cappesante al Tartufo Nero di Norcia, which is scallops with celery puree and black truffle. The scallops were cooked to absolute perfection– slightly opaque and definitely not over done. It was served on top of a celery puree and had bits of truffle a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. The presentation for this dish (as well as every other dish that was served to us that afternoon) was so elegant.
My husband had the Scampi Saltati con Rucola. The prawns were covered in a tomato sauce and placed on a bed of rocket leaves, parsley and garlic. The prawns were very tender and just like the scallops, perfectly cooked.
For mains, my husband was confused between either having a pizza or a seafood dish. The waiter suggested we try a bit of both, so he ordered a Spiedini di Pesce and a small version of the Pizza Diavola.
The seafood dish he ordered was so good! It came with grilled Omani lobster, Hammour fish, calamari, prawns all with a creamy lemon butter sauce, and it had a small cup of steamed rice on the side. The sauce was mouthwatering-ly good, and all of the elements on the dish were cooked just right.
I had a slice of his Pizza Diavola and I was surprised when the waiter told me that it is in fact not made in a wood-fire oven because its tastes and smells as if it came straight out of an old-fashioned pizza oven!
For my mains, I ordered the Risotto alla Aragosta, which is a lobster risotto. I was expected to see a dish mainly of risotto, with bits of lobster and other ingredients, but Luciano’s went way above my expectations. The chef used a whole lobster for the risotto, and even served the dish inside the actual lobster! How creative is that?! The risotto was very creamy. I asked them to omit the use of white wine in the dish, which they happily accommodated, and the risotto still didn’t feel like it was missing anything. This is a very very heavy dish, so I couldn’t finish more than half of it and ended up taking the rest for take away to enjoy later in the hotel room.
After all of that food, we had absolutely no room left for dessert, so we had the rest of our drinks and went out to enjoy the rest of our stay at the hotel. By the look of it, I was expecting Luciano’s to be more of a casual place, but the food that’s served is definitely not casual or average at all. Its real, hearty Italian food and the presentation of each dish was very elegant.
- Staff/Service: 5
- Ambience: 3
- Food: 4.5
- Presentation: 4.5
- Cleanliness: 5
- Value for money: 4
Overall Rating: 4.3
Worth Trying?: This restaurant has really great Italian food and the vibe is very laid back. I was very happy with it, and I love how authentic it is.
For more information, call Luciano’s at +971 4 399 5000.