When Steve mentioned that Lugano in the Barnyard had a great deal on dinners on Tuesday nights for locals, I was intrigued. Someone had recently posted on CH about enjoying the fondue there, and I haven’t had spaetzle (the homemade egg noodles I grew up eating) in years. So one Tuesday night we showed up at Lugano.
Once I got over the incongruity of Mexican waitstaff dressed in traditional Swiss costumes (nothing racist intended – it was just damned funny looking), I started reading the menu. There was no mention of locals’ night anywhere on the menus, but once we asked we were told that virtually all entrees – with the exception of the fondue – were only $12 ($15 for rack of lamb). Steve opted for the rack, I chose the duck, and Helen picked out a traditional Swiss dish made with spaetzel, bacon, swiss chard, and Swiss cheese. I also ordered the Hungarian goulash soup.
My soup with adequate, but not nearly as good as the version I had years ago at Robert’s White House. Steve liked his lamb. My duck (2 legs & thighs) was roasted until the meat pulled off easily from the bones. It was served with decent red cabbage and real, hand cut spaetzle – though not as light and fluffy as my grandmother’s. I thought Helen’s noodle dish was the most interesting and flavorful of our entrees.
Had I paid full menu price for the duck ($22 or $23), I would not have been happy, but at $12, I felt the dish was a good value. Whether the taste was worth the cholesterol is another issue altogether. A large group of folks next to us seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the fondue which came with fruit and veggies as well as bread to be dipped into the cheese. Helen’s traditional noodle dish (regularly $15) was pretty good – though certainly not health food.
So if it’s a Tuesday and you are looking for reasonably priced central European food in the Carmel area, Lugano would be a good choice – just say that you’re a local.