LUCCA M58 By Quick Mill, Reviews And Owners Thread

This Pennsylvania counterpart to the South Jersey original feels more polished than Cherry Hill from the get-go, with refined recipes and ingredient sourcing, informed service, a wide-ranging drink program built on local craft beer and produce-forward cocktails (arugula gimlet anyone?), and a diverse American menu that delivers quality at every level, from garlicky roast pork sandwiches to seafood specials and homemade desserts - and with a greater sense of value than ever.

Lawler says their local produce costs about 30 percent more than what he could get from a Sysco truck, with a lack of standardization that often requires more skilled prep. But the multihued tomatoes burst with the juicy payoff of a nearby farm's summer ripeness, scattered atop creamy burrata streaked with balsamic.

And the value is still here: You can get out of happy hour with an outstanding burger and local beer for less than $10, a gorgeous crab cake full of sweet-lump crustacean for $15, or linger over a hearty plate of juicy Berkshire pork chops with creamed local sweet corn flecked with shishito peppers for $23.

The fritters might change daily on the must-order "Breads & Spreads" starter platter (ours were filled with quinoa bound with moist eggplant), but there's always a fresh-baked pita ringed by smoked paprika hummus, tangy red pepper romesco dip, chickpea fries, and pickles. Juicy hay-baked chicken, tender ribs glazed in birch beer barbecue sauce, and 24-hour onion fresh-made chips are other hits.

One can also serve a family of four for $40 with the nightly comfort-food takeout "bundles." The Monday fried chicken special, which pairs a whole bird with biscuits, two sides, and a dessert (doughnut holes with caramel!) was one of the most satisfying quality food values I've devoured all year.

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