So there is this Italian restaurant called Mamma Lucia about one mile from where I have live. In the past five years of eating at restaurants near it—Chipotle, Cheeburger Cheeburger, and Panera Bread—I have never ate at Mama Lucia until now. That may be a good thing.
My mom came from New York to pick me up yesterday, since I will be spending spring break in New York (more food reviews!), and I thought that we could stop by the neighborhood Greek restaurant Cava to eat lunch. Unfortunately, Cava opens at 5pm on Saturdays, so we ended up going to Mamma Lucia.
As soon as we entered, I noticed that there was a sign on the door that said that Mama Lucia was voted for a best pizza award in a local magazine. However, I did not eat pizza because I would much rather save my pizza appetite until I got to New York. The place was set up nicely, but the atmosphere was definitely not Italian. The restaurant looked like it could work for all types of cuisines.
I ordered the pollo con marsala, which is a pasta dish with marsala wine sauce and a chicken breast. The amount of meat was definitely satisfying and reasonable for ten dollars. Compared to an apricot chicken dish I ordered at Olive Garden once, the amount of chicken in Mamma Lucia’s dish was quite a deal. The marsala wine sauce was somewhat weak but balanced well with the pasta and the chicken.
My mom ordered the shrimp alfredo—she always orders shrimp alfredo at Italian restaurants. The alfredo sauce was not too salty or cheesy, but it was definitely creamy. Overall, Mamma Lucia’s alfredo is a “safe” dish. The flavors are not overwhelming; if you are looking for a classic Italian dish and don’t want to try something new and exciting, the alfredo dish is your best bet.
I also tasted an anchovy pasta dish—thanks to my dad’s savvy ordering, called spaghetti aglio e olio. This anchovy pasta dish was my favorite of the four dishes I tried. The spaghetti noodles were drowning in a garlic and oil sauce, and there were anchovies scattered throughout the dish. The anchovies were salty but delicious. They were an escape from the otherwise “safe” flavors found in the other dishes. Although the anchovies were nice and chewy, I wished that some of them were finely minced and merged into the sauce. That recommendation would have balanced the dish more, since the spaghetti pasta was somewhat bland.
Lastly, the grilled chicken caesar salad was sub-par. I could have ordered a better one from the Panera Bread located right next to Mamma Luccia.
All of the pasta-based dishes had pasta that was al dente and perfectly cooked. Also, the welcoming bread basket was heart-warming and crunchy.
Anyway, have a happy spring break! I will try and post everything I eat and see in NY!
14921 Shady Grove Rd
Rockville, MD 20850