“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” –Arnold J. Toynbee

Benicia’s collection of eating establishments certainly took a hit over the past year, what with the pandemic, lockdown, and restaurant restrictions. Luckily for us, most restaurants used all their creative juices to keep in business, creating safe outdoor dining areas, providing delivery, and takeout. Over the shutdown, Lucca’s took advantage of the downtime, and hired a chef consultant, Bruce Paton, also known as the beer chef, to fine tune their menu.

Lucca Bar and Grill’s beer garden and outdoor music venue is a welcome respite for music lovers and food lovers alike. Commitment to quality and creative cuisine has always been apparent, and even more so now that restrictions are being lifted.  Tasty tuna tartare, and the unexpected deviled eggs are sure to please. These are not your Aunt Martha’s deviled eggs from the 1980s, but something more unique. These deviled eggs come with crab or bacon, and the one that can’t be beat comes with duck prosciutto and pickled figs. The flavorful combination is an incomparable taste treat well suited to a cold white wine, sangria or glass of beer. Lucca’s popular staples like wings and their famous poppers are also available.

Besides the aforementioned bar bites, more substantial sandwiches like the Lucca burger, or the crab roll with chimichurri sauce fill the bill. Lucca’s fried chicken is perfection, with its crunchy coating and succulent chicken meat within. Other popular dishes are the creamy and velvety mac and cheese, the beef or duck confit sliders, and the homemade country style biscuits. Lucca’s salads are all great choices, and include Caesar, Cobb, Crab Louie, and the unrivaled Salad Nicoise with seared ahi tuna. On the menu are vegetarian options as well with a vegetarian chef’s salad, and a delicious beet salad with Humboldt Fog goat cheese.

Now that the CDC has finally ascertained that it is safe to visit our favorite local establishments and watering holes (as long as we are vaccinated!), we can enjoy our community mainstays like Lucca’s, and venture out to enjoy creative menu items and live music in al fresco settings. It’s time to revel in the delights of the season after so many months apart and indoors. Laissez le bon temps rouler!