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Review: Luci’s, Lasswade

Living just outside the city means there is a distinct lack of restaurants on your doorstep. So, when you find a good one locally it is always cause for great celebration. And as it turns out, Luci’s in Lasswade is a really great place to celebrate.

Situated right by the River North Esk, this is a modern Italian restaurant and cocktail bar with a relaxed and friendly feel. We visited early on a Friday evening and there were a real mix of diners here, from extended families, to couples and some ladies enjoying a cocktail or three in the bar overlooking the river and on the covered and heated front terrace.

Never ones to shy away from al fresco drinking, we join them for a delicious pre-dinner coconut and pineapple margarita. We’re reminded again, that we are out of town while perusing the prices on the cocktail menu. My margarita came in at a very reasonable £7. I’d happily challenge you to find a cocktail for under a tenner in the city centre.

For full disclosure, I’ve eaten at Luci’s before, but my last visit was many years ago and it is now under new ownership. The menu has been pared back since then, and is all the better for it. He kicked off with a rich ball of arancini with salty pecorino and a hidden pop of flavour in the braised short rib core (£11). I plumped for the fried calamari (£10), which was perfectly crisp and served with a light and zingy Amalfi lemon and chive aioli.

Weighing up our main course options had been made tricky by watching some delicious-looking pizzas being delivered to our neighbouring tables. There are also three main dishes on the menu: a chicken parmigiana, ricotta gnocchi and stone bass, but none could temp us away from the pasta. My home-made egg tagliatelle was perfectly cooked and served up with a generous helping of Scottish white crab meat, red chillies and spring onions in an Amalfi lemon and coriander butter sauce (£20). It was fresh and moreish and perfect for a summer’s evening. His huge bowl of wild mushroom and black truffle bucatini (£17) was almost too much for him, but enjoying its rich and earthy flavour, he bravely soldiered on.

The large stack of profiteroles that we shared for dessert was possibly a step too far for both of us. But they were so delicious that we hung around and ate them slowly in order to ensure they didn’t go to waste.

There really wasn’t anything that we didn’t enjoy about our date night at Luci’s. It’s right by the bus stop making it easily accessible from much of Midlothian, Edinburgh and even some of East Lothian. The décor is vibrant and contemporary. The location by the river is perfect. And the staff are friendly and helpful. If you’ve read this far then you already know how I feel about the food, so what are you waiting for?

Luci’s, 14 High Street, Lasswade, Midlothian EH18 1ND. Tel: 0131 663 0961.