New to the Tallahassee scene is a Northern Italian steakhouse called Il Lusso. This is a welcome addition to the fine dining options for the metro area, and a fantastic add to the downtown area.
Bright and airy, the details of the interior really provide the feeling of being in a much bigger city while retaining enough warmth to keep it from seeming too industrial. Wood floors are balanced with marble tile sections and cozy couches are in the waiting area.
The bar was well-staffed and had some lovely custom cocktails. I got the Lavender Bliss (with vodka instead of the gin), and although pretty strong – it was tasty.
The menu has a great selection of starters, and the entrees are focused on high-steaks and fresh pastas, with options for seafood, chicken or vegetarian entrees.
We began with the Blue Crab Arancini and a Caesar Salad (super sad that they were out of the Sweetbread starter, which looked delicious.) BUT the arancini were heavenly. I can’t tell you what was in the squid ink sauce but it was scrumptious. The caesar salad had a perfectly executed traditional dressing with toasted croutons.
The a la carte sides looked exceptional, making it hard to choose, but we settled on the cauliflower with anchovy, parsley and lemon, and the rosemary potatoes with fondue sauce. The cauliflower was nicely charred although I could have used more of the flavorings (more anchovy and lemon please!). The potatoes had great herby flavor and the taleggio sauce provided a good balance.
As a splurge, we got the 24 oz (!) Prime Dry-Aged Cowboy Ribeye to share and a small portion of the Lamb Ragu Malfadine (ruffled noodle). Very pleased to see the option of small and large dishes of the pastas so that we could sample one.
First, the pasta was one of my favorites of the night. With a deconstructed lasagna vibe, the ragu was flavorful and rich and the pasta was a perfect al dente.
And for the star of the show, here is the ribeye…perfectly cooked and the aging gave it a pleasant tang of flavor (reminiscent of parmagiano reggiano.)
Conclusion: This is a great fine dining option, but with the cost (well justified with the quality of the ingredients and the location), but I am looking forward to trying the lunch menu so that I can eat there more often. (They have also hinted about brunch coming soon!) Either way, we will definitely be going back.