Santa Lucia, Kingston

ant 3 May 2008 5

Just had lunch at that Canberra institution, Santa Lucia. I didn’t have high expectations, as the only strong memory of the place is many years ago, our hockey group got a conga line going through the restaurant and got all the other punters involved, but when the line went out the front door, the owner locked the door behind us! (He let us back in though).

They were half empty, despite it being APS pay week. And they had a lot of staff wandering around, but we still had to attract their attention to get more wine and the bill.

Friend had the carbonara, it looked bright and fresh and he said it was great.

I, of course, tried the pizza. They have real dough! It was a proper, actual, crunchy/puffy pizza crust! And they’d evidently pre-cooked it so it was all puffed up and cooked. However, it was totally let down by the topping, which hadn’t even been cooked enough to melt the cheese. The tomato sauce had too much onion in it, so it had that flavour like the sausage sizzle outside Bunnings. The pepperoni on top was very generous, but needed to be thinner sliced, and, er, cooked. Olives were those pre-sliced oily ones. And the cheese was quite salty and oily, cheddar probably.

I ate the crust from around the edge, and left the middle. They’ve got the hard bit, the crust, spot-on. Now they just have to get the topping right and they’re on a winner.

Their lunch deal is $13.80 for wine, bread and food, which is good. However, adding an extra glass of wine is another $3.50 (nice though). The service initially is prompt, but if you stray from the script, some arm-waving is required.

I really hope they adjust their pizza, because the crust was great. I’d go it with a slop of oil, a wipe of garlic and some salt. And the pasta apparently was top-notch. Promising.

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5 Responses to Santa Lucia, Kingston
ant ant 9:59 am 05 May 08

Drool. A pizza place that does a good Margherita is gold. Even Pizza Arte’s Margherita is pretty ordinary. La Mente and Sadie both give the Fyshwick market deli raps… definitely going to check it out.

la mente torbida la mente torbida 8:28 am 05 May 08

A good pizza? The italian deli at the Fyshwick Markets do the best Margherita I have had in Canberra…real buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil, great tomato base and a great crispy base.

ant ant 10:26 pm 03 May 08

Good tip, ZDBM, I’ve seen the place. The thing is, Santa Lucia’s pizza crust was really good, not floury and bready like a lot, but really rather nice. But the topping was heavy and vile (and not cooked). Le Rustica, up a few doors, has those pre-made pizza bases (lifted it and there were the giveaway pin pricks, plus it tasted rubbish). There’s no excuse for it.

ZDBM ZDBM 5:14 pm 03 May 08

I heard they dont care anymore because they have sold the restaurant and at the end of June will be turning it into a Bar.
However if your looking for some top quality italian food and a really nice atmosphere you should try the place a couple of doors up I think it’s called Lunico or something, i also heard they are putting in a woodfired pizza soon.

CanberraResident CanberraResident 2:46 pm 03 May 08

Papa Guiseppe’s – $3.99 – Coles – good as gold. Just kidding.

Actually, I think many restaurants do become a bit complacent after so many years in the business …

Mind you, pizzas in Italy don’t have all the crappy filling on top. They are very basic – dough, tomato and cheese. Maybe they should go back to basics, and start serving the authentic pizza as it is served in Italy … might just catch on.

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