It got pretty chilly here in Tallahassee this week. We decided we wanted something “warm and hearty” for our November date night. We visited Lucilla for the first time back in August. It was a great meal and there were a lot of other dishes on the menu that caught our interest. Their big flavors and creative “comfort food” seemed like the perfect match for what we wanted.
Normally, I try and plan our monthly date nights a few weeks ahead, but I have been behind on a bunch of things for the past few weeks. I emailed them on Friday to see if we could grab a table for 6:30 on Saturday night. Joe Richardson, the chef and owner, emailed me back that night to let me know they could fit us in. They were pretty full when we arrived, so I would recommend making reservations earlier than I did. Our server Ana came to greet us just after we sat down. She had been our server on our first visit back in August. She knows the menu well, so we were very happy to have her again.
The menu had most of the dishes we had flagged on our first visit to Lucilla as candidates for our next meal there. These included pimiento cheese fritters, the shrimp, scallops & grits, and the Bradley’s smoked pork chop. There were also some new additions which looked really interesting. We ordered a couple of glasses of prosecco and Ana gave us some feedback on the dishes we were considering. If you have read earlier posts, you know Teresa and I like to share dishes rather than ordering separately. We decided to try the bacon scallop gratin, one of the new items on the small plates menu, for our first course. We ordered the crab cakes for our second course. We chose the cast iron-seared filet mignon for our third course.
Bacon Scallop Gratin
As you can see, the presentation of the bacon scallop gratin is very well done. It was loaded with scallops pieces and bacon. The Pernod and cream sauce is made with garlic and parmesan. The warm “cheesy” color really draws you in. The dish is finished with a crispy browned crust and green shallots that really complete the look. It invites you to “dig in.”
The flavors rivaled the presentation. The scallop was perfectly cooked. The bacon pieces were meaty and crisp. The sauce and crust were delicious and served as the perfect “wrapper” for the scallops and bacon. I had thought it might be “too cheesy” when we first got the dish, but this was not the case. The flavors were perfectly balanced.
Even though this is positioned as a small plate, it is a really generous portion. Teresa and I found it perfect for sharing.
The crab cakes are served on a bed of succotash that has roasted corn, lima beans, pickled green tomato and a spicy aioli. The dish has two large cakes that are filled with crab with a delicious crispy crust. The cakes, succotash and aioli really complement each other to make a great “bite.” Teresa doesn’t really like lima beans, but she went back and grabbed leftovers after she finished her cake,
Cast Iron Seared Filet Mignon
The cast iron-seared filet mignon is served with whipped potatoes, haricots verts with pine nuts, smoked mushrooms, and a red wine demi sauce. It was a great piece of beef that was served medium-rare just like we asked. It was soft, flavorful, and perfectly seared. There was a small corner that was deeply charred that I really enjoyed. The whipped potatoes were silky and flavorful. The haricots verts were crispy and the pine nuts done just right as well. The mushrooms and demi-glace really complemented the beef and the sides. Both of us really enjoyed this classic dish.
For dessert, Teresa wanted to get the meyer lemon crème brûlée with chantilly cream that she had during our first visit . She really likes crème brûlée and was raving after she had this the first time. They also had a pumpkin spice crème brûlée with whipped cream this time. Since she was a little torn between the two, we decided to go for both. The meyer lemon one was as good as our first visit and the pumpkin spice was also delicious. It is a great fall choice.
This was another great “date night” for us at Lucilla. We want to thank Joe, Ana, and the rest of the staff for making us a delicious meal. We left very full and very relaxed. We will be back to explore other parts of the menu in the future.