I may have mentioned before that I’m a bit rubbish at taking advice. It must be at least a year since someone told me to pay Café Lucia, at the Festival Theatre, a visit. Better late than never, and all that.
It was a thoroughly miserable day as I battled the elements up the Bridges. Soon enough, I was in the warmth and airy stylishness of Café Lucia. With a long bar, which does terrific business on performance days, and a simple array of tables and chairs, the setting is smart and modern.
The seating section is quite expansive, so I felt rather sorry for the one waitress who had the task of patrolling the whole area, looking after table service, pouring drinks, and fetching dishes from the kitchen. She did a really admirable job, buzzing around at a considerable rate of knots, but she really could have used some help to share the load.
Their selection of dishes sounded quite promising, with a daily changing pie of the day, a good selection of sandwiches, breakfast rolls, and salads. My eye was caught by their croque Norvegian, which consisted of Arbroath hot smoked salmon and cream cheese topped with béchamel sauce, and served with a simple salad. I had soup too, of course, with cream of mushroom being today’s choice. I asked for both items to arrive at the same time.
Dishes promptly arrived and looked very good. The Norwegian toastie comprised three little sandwiches, which seemed a very generous portion. I couldn’t resist having a little munch, prior to eating my soup. I was delighted to find them extremely tasty.
Packed with lots of good, sweetly smoky salmon, the toasted white bread was delightfully crisp, but then given a really satisfying wetness by the béchamel topping. I can’t vouch for its Scandinavian authenticity, but I found it an incredibly satisfying and filling dish.
The soup was equally good, with light and nutty mushroom goodness permeating a creamy broth. It was just the job on such a bleak day.
So overall, I was very pleased with Café Lucia. It deserves to be busier, as the quality they have on offer is really good. Of course, more customers would mean that the scurrying of the poor waitress may break the sound barrier, so they do need to consider their staffing. I’d be happy to go back, and would recommend you visit, too.
Blythe scores the Café Lucia
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 14.5/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: mushroom soup; croque Norvegian
I drank: water
I wore: pinstripes
Total bill: £8.70