Down and across the street from St. Vincent’s South (formerly St. Luke’s) there’s a tiny little strip mall, the easternmost shop of which never seems to stay in business very long. One restaurant after another opens there and one restaurant after another closes there. The current tenant is an Italian place called Leci’s; here’s hoping it lasts.
Maybe the location’s the problem. It’s easy to drive right down Belfort without thinking about or even noticing it because, again, it’s in that easternmost spot on the back corner of the parking lot. Seems like you’ve got to plan to eat there in the first place because checking it out won’t occur to you simply by driving down the street. Perhaps a big gaudy neon sign would help.
Even if the location isn’t the problem, it’s probably doomed to fail because they pile far too much food on your plate for the money they charge you. This financial sin is especially egregious at lunchtime; I first ate there at noon whilst on vacation and I almost felt guilty getting such a good deal.
So I strolled into Leci’s around eight this evening and ordered some calimari and chicken scarparella. Maybe my hunger was making me see things, because I’d only had cereal and a sandwich and peaches and a peanut butter cup and yogurt and a lollipop to eat today, but it looked like they piled the food on the plates. And this was no optical illusion– the appetizer and entrée plates were a foot in diameter. I managed to get through half the calimari and a good chunk of the salad before they brought out the main dish.
The scarparella was glorious. Linguini doused in a wine lemon butter sauce lined the big-ol’ plate, four sautéed chicken breasts perched atop the pasta, slices of Italian sausage surrounded the chicken, and roasted peppers and olives and artichokes adorned the whole lot of it. It was delicious. There was plenty left over– I’m not ashamed– and between that and the rest of the calimari, my next two lunches are covered.
It didn’t look much like an Italian restaurant, by which I mean there were no red checkerboard tablecloths or rolling-pin-bearing moms wearing black aprons. But near the end of my meal, a man shaped like my long-dead Uncle George rolled in and ordered something to-go in an obnoxious accent, and the place felt a little more right.
Anyhow, I hope Leci’s is still around the next time I think about stopping in, but despite the heaping helpings of pretty darn good food, I’m not optimistic. Someone must’ve given that location the malocchio a ways back.
I’ll have something about our next war tomorrow.