Driving down Bloomfield Avenue in Newark, it's easy to cruise past the unsuspecting and understated Luigi's Fine Italian Tradition restaurant. But that would be a mistake.
Luigi's is a landmark. People who have left Newark return to enjoy the insurmountable heaps of delicious pasta Luigi's has served for decades.
When I first moved to the North Ward of Brick City, this was the place that came most highly recommended. I was told that while delivery and take out were options, dining in was a must. I must admit, I was initially skeptical that Luigi's would live up to the hype. It really was not inviting from the outside, but the inside tells a different story.
Walking through the door of Luigi's, you cannot help but feel as though you’ve slipped from one dimension to another, and miraculously are on holiday in Italy. The service is impeccable; always friendly, quick, and conversational. It's a BYOB, so it won't break your bank when you share a bottle of wine with a friend.
I went there on a recent Tuesday evening and ordered calamari—a favorite of mine—for the table to share, and it was exquisite. Served alongside their homemade marinara sauce, it makes an ideal appetizer.
For my entrée, I ordered gnocchi alla Luigi and, it was marvelous. The gnocchi bursts with flavor and is smothered in a wonderful pink sauce and barrage of prosciutto. It's an incredible dish that goes excellent with a bottle of red wine.
Dessert was a warm apple crumb cake a la mode, paired with with a cup of cappuccino that was topped with whipped cream.
Although I did not opt for a salad on this visit, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention their Caesar salad. It is quite possibly the finest Caesar salad I have had. Paired with their amazing fresh bread and extra virgin olive oil, it's a can’t miss.
Overall, Luigi’s receives 4 out of 5 stars. The food is amazing, the service is immaculate, and the prices are reasonable. The only feature that kept it from being a 5-star is the lack of parking and the exterior aesthetics, an improved facade would have make newcomers feel welcome.
Luigi’s has stood the test of time, and I suspect it will continue on serving Newarkers amazing Italian cuisine for many years to come. I highly recommend taking to trip down Bloomfield Ave. to enjoy Luigi's