Went to Lucques on Saturday night with a friend (in spite of the torrential downpour!) and had a wonderful evening. For the appetizer, we split the beef carpaccio, which was a beautiful red color and ultra fresh. Not sliced paper thin, which was nice - more bite for your buck. Sprinkled on top were crispy fried onions and there were a few crunchy potato pieces surrounding the plate. The garnish consisted of a handful of capers and some olive oil. Wonderfully rich and delicious.
For dinner, I ordered the braised short ribs (per your suggestions!) and my friend had the duck breast. The short ribs were divine, served atop of a small mound of super smooth pureed potatoes covered in horseradish cream - melt in your mouth! The only downside was that I had a couple of small bits of bone in the meat pieces, but it wasn't all that bad. My friend's duck breast was perfectly cooked, not too oily, and served with a filo pastry filled with some sort of apple/quince mixture. Not too sweet and a great accompaniment to the duck. Garnish was pomegranate seeds.
For dessert, we split two: The hazelnut finacier (cake) with cinnamon ice cream and cabaranet-infused quince, and the brown-butter pear crepes with pear sorbet and vanilla ice cream. The hazelnut cake was a tad dry, which would have been fine if the ice cream served with it was more than a few tablespoons. However, the flavor was still very good. The pear crepes were excellent: warm, sweet, buttery and slighly chewy.
We each had two glasses of red wine (Syrah for me, Cab for my friend). Total for 1 app, 2 dinners, 2 desserts and 4 glasses of wine came to $139.45. Not bad at all considering the service was helpful but not overly present and our table was ready on time. Oh, and the bread basket with accompanying ultra-rich butter would have been enough with a bottle of wine...well, enough for me, anyway. The butter was unsalted and served with a little dish of sea salt. YUM!