Friday, 30 March 2012

Luciano's Revisited - Rivington, Horwich

Don’t judge us, but we ate at Luciano’s in Rivington/Horwich last week, twice, on school, nights. Not because it’s a particularly awe-inspiring place, but we needed some R&R and I was on some insane carb kick that has now, thankfully, abated a little.

Luciano’s isn’t far for us, that’s the beauty of it, but it’s also quite a pleasant place to hang out on a summer’s evening and they do the best pizza round our way. I’m not saying it’s the best pizza ever – it’s just good, homemade and served with a smile.

The first time (last week) we decided to sit straight in the restaurant, foregoing polite pre-dinner drinks mainly because I WANTED SOME CARBS. RIGHT NOW. The restaurant was mostly full and we were surrounded by young couples and groups of certain age ladies – there was a quiet, friendly buzz to the air.

Luciano's at the Millstone - with thanks to Chorley Guardian

Service was quick, efficient and friendly. The pizzas were freshly made, charred at the edges and bursting with flavour – the tomato sauce Luciano’s makes has a sweetly bold flavour; but it’s a good idea to ask for less cheese (unless you like your pizza smothered).

The kitchen was more than happy to listen to and comply with my many questions and demands. Wonderfully, if you ask for rocket it’s always served on top, afterwards and never cooked – as Luciano says “well we are Italian, so why would it be served any other way?” (Take note pizza chains of the North West).

Second visit was on one of those recent, unseasonably scorching evenings; feeling more relaxed we opted to sit in the bar and placed our drinks orders and waited. And waited. And went and looked for a member of staff. And waited.

Hungry to the point of thinking the menus looked good enough to eat we walked off into the restaurant, explained the situation to the maitre’d and were immediately seated. Again the place was buzzing – this time with various birthday parties and some more of those certain aged ladies (do they ever eat at home, maybe they were thinking that about us?).

Service here was attentive, quickish and efficient – a complete opposite to the main bar area. We did have to wait a little longer than usual for food, but we were in no rush and there were quite a few other diners there that night, so non c’ è problema then.

Sharing a pizza, with it’s liberal topping of anchovies and black olives (not enough to make it too salty, just enough for that moreish, mouth puckering tang), the staff were only too pleased to cut it up for us and place it on a stand so we could share and still look at each other (ah, romantic).

Look at all these olives

Our side of bread and olives was a bargain for £3.10 – big juicy olives seasoned with herbs, dried chilli and a massive whack of garlic, which made up for the fact they were pitted (thankfully with no hint of rancid oil). The olives were served with slivers of spanking fresh bread with a peppery, green, grassy olive oil streaked through with sticky balsamic vinegar, that clung to the bread in big musty blobs; divine.

T'boy seeking immortality and fame...and lots of olives

Luciano’s is a straight forward, useful addition to our local restaurants – they’re good at the simple things, which is what you need most of the time; but it’s done with such pride, care and in such a lovely setting that it makes something ordinary, truly extraordinary – plus there is no where in the area where you are treated so warmly, indeed Luciano’s smile could melt a million ice caps and the twinkle in his eye rivals any star in a clear night’s sky.

Pizza £6.95-£9.50, Bread and Olives £3.10, Beer £3.10

Food – 7/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Service – 8/10 (excusing that minor blip in the bar)
Value for money – 9/10 (for pizza, not sure for full mains)

Total – 31/40

Go again? Yes, they’re great for mid-week meals or when we need a quick, friendly cheer up.

Luciano's Italian Restaurant, At the Millstone, Bolton Road, Anderton, Chorley PR6 9HJ - 01257 480205

Luciano's at the Millstone on Urbanspoon