I’m pretty sure I mentioned this when I wrote a review for Bones & Butts BBQ, but Kalamazoo to Ludington is a long way. I’m sure it’s great for a getaway, but doing it round trip in one day is a long day.
Work took me north again. A co-worker and I loaded up into the truck and made the drive up US-31 to Mason County. After completing our task, we actually had time to take a lunch break, so we started looking around downtown Ludington for some place to eat. I was sort of looking for the brewery, but my C.W. saw an Italian place. That sounded good to me, so we swung back around to find a parking street along the busy M-10 that runs right down town.
Luciano’s Ristoranti sits on the corner of Ludington Avenue (M-10) and James Street. The business takes up two storefronts and it looks like they expanded in to one after the first space proved to be successful.
There’s a sign right on the door that tells you to wait to be seated. We walked in the door, which opens right in to the first dining room, and were met by a waitress who instructed us to head to the back of the space and into the second dining room. This space is a little bit weird as it has an unfinished feel to it. The floors have a faux finish that is supposed to mimic cobblestone, but at first glance, it looks like unfinished concrete. There isn’t a whole lot of decoration on the walls which kind of give this room an empty feeling. The front dining room has the typical trattoria feel which is lacking from the second dining room.
Luciano’s history in Ludington only goes back about 12 years. The restaurant was opened in 1998 after the owners moved to Ludington from Grand Rapids. While in West Michigan, they ran two successful restaurants. From 1971 to 1983, the owned Florentine. After that, they opened Trattoria until moving farther north in the late 90′s.
The menu is homemade Italian with pizza, sandwiches, and steaks. They also have a pretty extensive wine and drink list.
I was leaning towards the Lasagna which is a favorite of mine at Italian restaurants. I opted for a sandwich instead. The Italian beef is what stuck out to me. The sandwich is more of a French Dip than Italian beef, but I expected that. It was thinly sliced beef topped with grilled sweet peppers and onions on a crusty homemade roll. It was served with a cup of Au Jus for dipping and potato chips. The sandwich was delicious and the bread was crusty enough that it held up really well when dipped in the gravy. Really, the bread was probably my favorite part of this yummy sandwich.
My co-worker opted for a pasta dish. He ordered the Three Color Angel Hair pasta. It’s served with scallops and shrimp in a cream sauce. He said the pasta was perfectly cooked and exactly what he was hoping for. Before the pasta came out, he also got a side salad and a basket of garlic bread to compliment the pasta.
With two Pepsi’s, our bill was just under $30 before tip. In less than an hour, we were able to sit down and have a great meal in this tourist town and still make it back to Grand Rapids at a decent time. We were both happy with our dinner choice and happy to find such a great place in downtown Ludington.