Lucrezia Café and Restaurant of Northwest Indiana has two locations. One in Chesterton and the other in Crown Point. Lucrezia serves Northern Italian specialties that they state are value priced. Both locations are relaxed and eclectic.
The namesake for the cafes is Lucrezia, the illegitimate daughter of Vanozza and Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, who later became Pope Alexander VI. Her father used the beautiful Lucrezia to further his political ambitions by arranging three marriages for her. The restaurants are named after Lucrezia who was an enlightened ruler, kind and decisive in time of war; the wife of a nobleman, and a patron of the arts, showing great generosity to poets and artists. Yes, Lucrezia would be the kind of restaurant that poets and artists would enjoy.
We arrived at the Chesterton location on an early Saturday night; we had two children in tow. The entrance to the restaurant located in a renovated house, was in the back, opening up to a patio seating area. Because the weather was mild for summer, we never made it past the patio and were seated. The patio was crowded and at time full of patrons.
Our servers were attentive and well trained. At times overly so. Our drinks were served in a small carafe, and the servers kept refilling our drinks from the carafe at our table. I felt we were capable of doing this ourselves – why provide us a carafe if they were going to use it. In my mind, it just added to the clutter on the table. I know this is a knit-picky issue.
Dinners here are to be savored – once you get them. While the servers were attentive replacing small slices of bread on our table and refilling our drinks, the kitchen was remarkably slow at getting food out. Having children at the table made this timing even more noticeable. Sadly, the table next to us had to send a meal back to the kitchen making the delay even longer.
Our meals were what I would classify OK. Nothing spectacular, nothing worth a return trip. My daughter ordered a steak, costing thirty dollars; while cooked nicely, it tasted of burnt grill. I had Penne en Casserole with meat sauce. This was the the favored dish of the table as the meat was a variety of beef and sausage in decent-sized pieces. Dinner portions were of a decent size; we had some leftovers. There are no accompaniments with a meal; no salad or side dishes – unless listed in the description. And for this reason, I felt the prices were pricey for what you got on your plate.
We ordered and shared a variety of desserts. These were worth a visit. For this alone, I would recommend a trip for dessert. Prices for dessert were reasonable, ranging from $3-$8 an item.
Ratings out of five stars:
atmosphere (outside) 4
overall experience 3
worth a repeat visit? – only for dessert, and I wouldn’t go out of my way