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Bites Nearby: Luciano's Italian Brick Oven Opens in Adams Township

The family-owned restaurant chain featuring authentic Italian food opened Monday in the Cranberry Township area.

Each week, Cranberry Patch picks a great restaurant either in town or nearby that is worth checking out. This week, we ventured to the newly opened Luciano’s Italian Brick Oven in Adam’s Township. Mangia!

LUCIANO’S ITALIAN BRICK OVEN

Overview:When owner Dan Pasquarelli says his restaurant has authentic Italian food, he isn’t kidding. Born in the Abruzzi region of Italy, Pasquarelli came to America with his family when he was 6 months old. All of the mouthwatering pasta, lasagna and other assorted dishes featured at the 8,600 square-foot restaurant and banquet facility are recipes handed down from his ancestors. Each item on the menu is made from scratch, and Pasquarelli takes pride in using only the finest ingredients. After opening his original Luciano’s in White Oak – where it is a local favorite – more than 35 years ago, Pasquarelli and his family today operate Luciano’s restaurants in Bethel Park, Penn Township, McCandless Township, Squirrel Hill and, now, Adam’s Township.  

“This is a phenomenal area,” Pasquarelli said. “There is lots of growth out here.”

Decor:A sprawling brick building with a stone entrance, the black-and-white and sepia-toned family portraits that dot the walls give Luciano’s a homey vibe. Bronzed tin ceilings featuring decorative scrolls compliment a warm, well-lit interior, but the piece de resistance is the expansive dark-wood bar that rolls across the front of the building. With six 60-inch flat-screen televisions, there’s not a bad seat in the house. The hilltop restaurant also has outdoor seating for dining in warmer weather,  complimented by a nice view of the Adams Township’s business district. Bellisima!

The Drinks: The classic bar, with is decorative concrete countertops and mirrored backdrops, is the perfect place to enjoy Luciano’s wide selection of wines and beers.

Appetizers: The menu features classic Italian appetizers, such as stuffed hot peppers ($7.60) oozing with melted cheese and homemade marinara sauce and plates of plentiful fried zucchini ($7.85). Other small-size delights include fried asparagus ($7.85) and a bruschetta ($6.90) topped with olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, mozzarella and grated Romano. With each meal, patrons are treated to homemade bread accompanied by a side of spices coated in olive oil for your dipping pleasure.

Entrees: If you like spicy, be sure to try the Pasta Diavolo, a creamy mixture of alfredo, marinara and meatball sauces kicked up a notch with banana peppers and chunky slices of sausage. The dish also comes with chicken or shrimp. The homemade lasagna ($14.95 for the dinner portion) is divine, as is the restaurant’s signature Pasta Luciano’s ($13.95 for the dinner portion), a penne dish tossed in just the right blend of alfredo and marinara sauces. The 8-oz. jumbo lump crab cakes ($21.95) topped with a sweet pepper sauce fall apart at the touch of a fork, but the restaurant is perhaps best known for its hand-tossed pizzas. Available at the restaurant or for delivery, some of the standouts include the Buffalo Chicken Pizza, the Stuffed Spinach Pizza, and the Hawaiian Pizza. If you like your pizza unique, Luciano’s offers a variety of toppers such a shrimp, feta cheese, and Canadian bacon. Prices range from $7.90 for a small traditional pizza to $20.95 for an extra-large specialty pizza with all the fixings.   

Sides:Indulge in a side dish of spaghetti ($5.70), homemade gnocchi ($6.10) or the famous Pasta Luciano’s ($6.35). Add-ons include meatballs ($3 for two), hot sausage ($2.35) and freshly minced garlic ($0.65). 

Desserts:Take a diet break with a delizioso slice of cheesecake covered in fresh strawberries, a chocolate mouse torte or a decadent tiramisu.

Service:Be sure to stop and say hello to the welcoming Pasquarelli family members, who always are bustling around the restaurant or the kitchen. With the owners taking special care to train the serving staff, expect your meals pronto.

Signature Dish: Pasta Luciano or a specialty Lucci Pizza.

Luciano’s Italian Brick Oven

Address: 161 Scharberry Lane, Mars

Chef: Pasquarelli family

Cost: $$

M R King February 25, 2011 at 10:47 PM
Gee, I need to eat lunch with this reporter! I was just there today (Feb 25) . Arrived at 12:55 pm, no hostess out front to greet me. Waited until 1:05 pm (10 minutes) then it was only because I stopped a waitress and asked if it was a "seat yourself". As I sat in the large bare-walled dining room area (totally devoid of those "homey" sepia-tone photos gushed over in the decor review) Heck, half the recessed lighting wasn't even turned on. I saw other patrons walk in, wait and then walk out. I was given a dinner and lunch menu (which seemed weird). When I selected an item off the dinner menu (chicken piccata) - my waitress made me wait while she went to the kitchen "to check on something". I was then informed that I could not order off the dinner menu, only the abbreviated "lunch" menu. Disappointed (and regretting my destination decision) I ordered a salad, the fried mushroom appetizer, and a soda. The salad ($3.99) looked as if it had been waiting in the back for me to order it - and the fried mushrooms ($6.70) were obviously out of a bag from the frozen food section at Giant Eagle. There is no way they were "homemade". My waitress even told me they don't make their dressings, that the italian really doesn't taste good - and to go with the balsamic instead. Glad to hear you liked the bread - as I wasn't even offered any, nor was I given the opportunity to see the dessert menu. The outside view is of Rt 228 traffic. What business district? This place was pitiful!
Deb Ramage February 26, 2011 at 02:25 PM
Have you done an article on Springfield Grill??Always our favorite for a special dinner
Jim February 26, 2011 at 06:42 PM
Wow! I am extremely excited to see Luciano's in Adams Twp. The restaurant and bar are beautiful. It's the very First week of opening. Have some patience. The food was great. The lasagna, sauce, and meatballs I had were delicious. The portions were huge and the price was generous for the amount of food. If you have never eaten at a Luciano's, you are missing out!
matt hammer February 26, 2011 at 08:53 PM
I've been eating lucianos food since I was a small child and have never had a bad experience at their restaurant. The food is always incredible and the service is out of this world. I understand that the store in Adams Township just opened this past monday, so I'm sure if you give them a week or two to settle in and train all the employee's properly you will be very happy with the product that you get out there. I will be making a trip up to Adams Townships store hopefully this week where I'm sure I will be blown away by this Luciano's as well. Best italian food I've ever had!!!!!
Dom February 27, 2011 at 01:28 AM
Tried the the chicken picatta tonight, fantastico! Freash homemade bread...enough said. Great Service! Great Prices! Can't wait to go back!
John February 27, 2011 at 07:30 PM
THUMBS DOWN: I would not recommend this place. I was there with a large group of 14 people. 90 minutes into dinner, while people were still eating and drinking, and before we had been offered desserts, let alone received our checks, the manager came over and asked us to hurry up because she wanted to seat another party. When we said we were not done, she invited us to go sit in the bar. Aside from being inappropriate to even suggest, she clearly didn’t even know that the bar was packed and no seats existed, let alone for 14 people to be reseated for drinks and/or dessert. This was the final straw in a long evening that included poor service, a long wait for food, and meals that arrived 20 minutes apart from the first to last person served.
Rich February 28, 2011 at 03:42 PM
Rich M It is the opening so have patience with service related issues. The Itialian Calazone was truely awesome, probabbly the best i've ever eaten. My wife enjoyed the Lasagna, their sauce was very tasty. The chicago style pizza was really good, nice garlic flavor to it. The building itself was very spacious, clean, and was comfortable. The prices were good. I recommend highly.
chris March 01, 2011 at 12:55 AM
was looking for phone #... 724-687-0480. and they deliver. I loved wexford, will see about cranberry's.
Joan March 22, 2011 at 02:58 PM
Ate there on Sunday. Told the waitress the following: Need to have bread plates, need to have freshly grated cheese. I am bringing my son there this Thursday for his birthday because he loves their pizza. He use to get it from the Luciano's on Peeples road. From reading the above comments about their service I am hoping it will improve. The food is good. However, first impressions are important and if this continues this resturant is doomed.
debbie April 01, 2011 at 02:12 PM
I have always loved the pizza and pasta at the peebles location. I live in Cranberry Twp and was very excited to see you opening in the Adams twp area. Monday 4-4 is my birthday and wanted to come to your restaurant for my 55th birthday but reading the reviews I have second thoughts! I know everyone is new but there should of been better training to avoid the problems. please reply if the service has improved..........i will check back!
Mark Restelli - Bona Fide Homes April 02, 2011 at 01:02 PM
Excellent food. Have enjoyed their other locations for years.
Jelinda Brinkmeier April 06, 2011 at 11:01 AM
When you walk into the restaurant it looks very nice. Waited along time to be seated, 45 min. It took our waitperson 15 minutes to come over to ask for our drink order, it took another 20 to get them. We received our bread and herbs on the dish, but she just threw the plate on the table, did not put the oil on the plate. It then took another 30 minutes for her to take our order. As we were waiting for our dinner we ran out of drinks and she could see this but just kept passing our table up. We then ask someone else to get us refills. We got our dinners about 30 min. later from the staff in the kitchen. We did not see our waitperson until she came over with the check. My husband talked to the manager out front about what was happening and she acted as if she didn't care. Whether they just opened or not, that is no way to run a business. Our total time in the restaurant was 2 1/2 hrs.
What's the formula for a good dinning experience?
What are the "tells" of a possible satisfactory dining experience? Well right off its the edifice in which the experience is to take place and in this measure Luciano's, although not a Cheesecake Factory wannabe, is nonetheless, a huge disappointment. Although the exterior is adequately appointed design-wise, however once inside what chaos! The huge dining room conveys the character and privacy of a cafeteria rather than a comfortable dining retreat. The bar area is sterile and is essentially located in a hall-way between the main entrance and restaurant's pick counter. One good thing about the bar's design is that it doesn't allow for the naive obligatory view of kitchen activities as elsewhere in this facility. Finally, comparing the most efficient restaurant kitchens (think cruises ships) to this establishment's kitchen the realization is that it is far TOO large and TOO well appointed for efficient supervision and coordination of culinary staff during busy (crazy) dinner sessions. Next the meal... stay tuned in.
Ray April 27, 2011 at 12:42 PM
My wife and I tried Lucciano's for the first time last night. The service was without a shadow of a doubt, the worst we have ever experienced in the Cranberry/Seven Fields area. The waitress had little interest in providing any service at all and had the warmth and personality of a wet log. The menu is very dissappointing due to the fact that there is not one creative dish on the menu. It is the same old stuff that is on the menu of every half rate italian restaurant in the area. While the food itself wasn't bad, it was just very average. Not authentic Italian as advertised, but more "Olive Garden Italian." Many of the details that you expect from any slightly overpriced dining experience are missing. The salad dressings are right out of the bottle (and terrible), there is no fresh grated cheese, the oil/herb mixture is bland and thrown together by the no personality waitress. If this is the standard that is acceptable to the owner/manager of this place, they will be out of business in six months in this area. Too much competition in the area to run an average, somewhat overpriced, run-of-the-mill restaurant and succeed.
Greg Krivacek April 28, 2011 at 11:47 AM
Greg & Carol My wife and I ate at the NEW Luciano's Italian Brick Oven on Saturday evening. We arrived around 7:30PM and there was a friendly welcome by the hostess. We were seated immediately in the busy restaurant. We were waited on immediately by a friendly and personable waiter for our drink order. We scrutinized the menu and were extremely impressed with the selections. Our waiter asked if we had any questions and our order was taken as soon as we had decided what to eat. When the meal came in a reasonable time, it appeared to look as delicious as it sounded on the menu. I ordered Gnocchi and my wife ordered Eggplant. Our meals, in FACT were delicious! We had time to consider dessert and relax after our meal and weren't rushed. We paid our bill, were genuinely thanked and told that it was a pleasure to wait on us. It was a very pleasurable evening! Best of Luck to you...2 THUMBS UP! We're looking forward to our next visit SOON!
Nate April 30, 2011 at 12:53 AM
Worst restaurant ever! Our server was great. We payed the bill and niceley told the server when she asked that we would not be back. We had ordered two small pizzas one being the BLT which wasn't terrible but not great, the spinach pie which the crust was burnt and the bottom very soggy and we also got a kids meal of spaghetti and meatballs. The pizzas were very over priced and our child hated his meal. When we talked to a manager she argued with us and asked if we wanted to talk to the owner. When we talked to the owner he said his cousin(the manager) came to him crying. We were just trying to voice our opinion and he had to argue saying he had never had a complaint about the spinach pizza in 25 years. He offered a discount but we had already paid the bill and didn't care about a discount we just wanted to tell him what we thought. 57 dollars for 2 pizzas, a beer and a kids meal is a little outrageous. As we were leaving he offered the table next to us their spinach pizza for free because they had to hear us complain. Needless to say we will never be back.
John April 30, 2011 at 01:31 PM
I guess Luciano's faulters are a gain for Supremo's Pizzeria on Brickyard Road. Better Pizza, Better Service, and ALWAYS fair prices. Plus, how can you not love the dining area and the service from Don!
Pam May 03, 2011 at 11:22 PM
I have visited other Luciano's in the area and was just as impressed with this one as I was the others. We were seated promply, the waitress was wonderful, and the food was amazing as always. I would highly recommend having dinner or even lunch here! Cannot wait to go back for Mother's Day!
Jim Huck May 18, 2011 at 07:13 PM
Visited Luciano's Tuesday night (May 17th), great experience overall. Our party of 6 was greeted immediately and offered a table in the dining room or bar area. We were seated in the main dining room I think....there was another one I noticed when coming in but it looked closed. Our server was pleasant, well informed and made several suggestions for dinner and wine. Our food arrived hot, and in a reasonable amount of time. Our table shared appetizers and a large pizza, which were both great. I had the chicken piccata and it was by far the best I have yet to come across. The only complaint I have is the bread at the table ran out and we had to ask twice to have it refilled. A manager names Melissa stopped by our table several times and asked about our dining experience as well as how we found the place. We are locals to Mars and are very pleased to have a family owned rest. instead of another chain of corporate food. The manager thanked us for coming in and offered a flyer with coupons and information at the end of our meal. She seemed to help out all the other waitresses and keep things flowing. My wife suggested that they put in a partition in the middle of the dining room, to break up the space and Melissa said she would carry the request to the owners. Overall a great night, great food, great service! Thanks Luciano's!!!
Scharberry Resident May 27, 2011 at 03:39 AM
Go ahead and flag it, it will be reposted....immediately. Better for everyone to have it fresh in mind.
Jessica Sinichak May 27, 2011 at 04:09 AM
Folks: While we welcome your views and comments on Patch and we encourage lively debate, we ask that you refrain from personal attacks. We also ask that you use language that you wouldn't be ashamed to use in your own living room … or in front of children. Please be respectful of this on the site.
Scharberry Resident May 27, 2011 at 04:13 AM
No management in sight, rude waitress and the food came out wrong. Salads came before the appetizers and the food came right after the salads. The bartender was mad at something and it showed. I have been there several times and he is not nice to deal with.... One of the other bartenders is an older lady and wears the most inappropriate clothing - very low cut shirts showing way too much old saggy cleavage. The food was ok, but with all the other strikes against them, I'll find somewhere else to eat.
Incranberry May 27, 2011 at 03:11 PM
We were there this past Wednesday for the second time. Our opinion is still the same as the first time we went there. This place is utter chaos. It was so noisy (mostly to do with the crushing volume of ill-behaved and loud children-if you are looking for a quiet dining experience this isn't it) and unorganized, we hesitated to even be seated. Our table was still dirty and the floor and seats had crumbs and debris all over them. The waitress had zero personality and we almost felt like we were imposing on her by ordering our food. We had to ask for refills on our drinks twice. The menu is nothing special, it is missing a lot of variety. Their pasta's are the same old tired thing. NO ANGEL HAIR??? NO CALAMARI??? COLD CUTS ON THE ANTIPASTA??? The appetizers are dull and almost all are deep fried. My house salad was very small and appeared old and frozen. At $4.75 for a salad, I felt ripped off. I asked for bread and was charged for it! The italian dressing was right out of the bottle - we asked if they made any of thier dressing, they do not. My food was lukewarm when it arrived. We will not be back. Too bland, too expensive, too unorganised.

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