Is Italian cuisine the way to your heart?
Luigi’s Italian Grill
7559 U.S. 72, Suite 112, Madison
Tue-Sat 11 am – 9 pm
Sun 11 am – 6 pm
It’s always good news when we pick up another high-quality Italian restaurant. Luigi’s Italian Grill opened recently just south of U.S. 72 off Nance Rd. in eastern Madison.
As hidden gems frequently do, Luigi’s sits behind an unassuming shopping center facade (though word-of-mouth for Luigi’s on the series of tubes is excellent and prolific, so I’m not sure how hidden it is anymore!). My family and I had an early Saturday dinner there recently.
The menu presents a wide selection of both northern and southern Italian cuisine, so there will certainly be something here to please the pasta gourmand in you. The standbys like lasagna and manicotti are here, but so are eggplant parmigiana, ravioli with black truffle sauce, and an extensive selection of seafood dishes. There is a lot to explore (and to come back for).
Our garlic bread arrived shortly after we did, and upon dispatching its fresh goodness we decided it would be prudent to await our entrees before requesting replenishment. A Caesar salad opened my dinner pleasingly, with crisp produce and dressing that clearly had not been sitting in a refrigerator for days. Other salads are available as well, in one of two sizes.
My main event was called Chicken Scarpareli, and included Italian sausage, peppers, onions, and mushrooms sauteed in wine marinara sauce. I wanted something with complex flavors, and this delivered magnificently. Lea spoke highly of her lasagna, as did Amelia of her ravioli with black truffle sauce. Aaron enjoyed his Chicken Piccata with capers. Everything was delicious, freshly prepared, and generously portioned.
Finally, I did tell everyone on the front end that we would be having dessert, so save room. (I mean, you can’t skip dessert at an Italian place, right?) I almost got to show you everything, but we had two takers on the limoncello cake, so no one was left to order the Italian creme cake. (Next time.) Lea had the cannoli, with the requisite Godfather quote from me because I’m a dad so I get to make dad jokes, and I had the tiramisu. Everything was divine. After sampling each, Aaron said “I’d have been equally happy with any of these.” Me too!
Despite a wide-open space and utilitarian ceiling, Luigi’s presents a pleasant ambience that is a tick above a typical chain restaurant. Our server was consistently polite and the right amount of attentive throughout our meal. Pricing is unambiguously attractive, with only a few entrees even above $20.
The pandemic has been hard on many retail businesses, but perhaps hardest of all on restaurants. From no staff to some staff to all hours to some hours to this day or those days to this menu or that menu, it’s been difficult indeed. Any eatery that has weathered the storm deserves our kudos, as does any eatery debuting in this still-churning chaos. Luigi’s is making an all-in go of it, and the early results are delizioso!
Bo Williams is a Christian, husband, father, writer, and human trafficking activist. He is the Director of Public Relations for the North Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force (stnow.org). He enjoys IndyCar racing, wristwatches, and spending time with his family, especially at the beach. You can keep up with Bo day to day at BoWilliams.com.