Considerably better than Olive Garden, Luigi’s Italian Restaurant located in Historic Downtown Liberty beats the frozen-dinner chain eatery, yet still leaves the palate with a taste of mediocrity.
Serving up lunch and dinner, Luigi’s Italian Restaurant offers Liberty residents the flavor of Italy with a laid-back atmosphere.
Luigi’s does its best to immerse diners in the ambiance of Italy with upscale table linens, pictures lining the walls reminiscent of an Italian holiday, but then falls short with paper napkins and foreign pop music bumping in the background.
The effort of a fine dining experience is extended with a helpful wait staff. Engaging customers while working efficiently, the waiter much improves the dining experience.
Faced with a menu providing an extensive array of classic Italian dishes, the waiter offers his favorites—the ravioli special and an off-the-menu shrimp, chicken tortellini alfredo—which pares down the list as you decide on dinner.
Starting off the meal with a calamari appetizer heightens hopes for the proceeding entrée. The calamari is lightly breaded and served with marinara sauce and a lemon wedge. Crisp, slightly chewy and perfectly cooked, the appetizer rates highly.
The procession of dishes follows with a simple Italian dressed salad and bread with dipping oil, both of which are served along every entrée. Although the salad and bread is ordinary, the dipping oil proves to be flavorful and inventive, composed of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes and garlic.
Next comes the entrée, served on huge platters the size of my grandmother’s Thanksgiving turkey tray. Even more surprisingly, the portion size consists of only four raviolis.
The meals are small in quantity, but large in quality. House-made pasta stuffed with meat, cheese and spinach then smothered in sherry-cream sauce makes the ravioli special so very rich, which makes the measly serving quite appropriate.
The extravagance of the plates is not just an impression—the fine dining experience shows up on the bill. Entrées cost an average of $15 and the addition of drinks, appetizers and dessert can be hard on a college-kid’s wallet.
Despite the paper napkins, I believe Luigi’s Italian Restaurant would be a fabulous date destination in which the investment would be worth it. Luigi’s is located just a short walk from the William Jewell College campus. Thus, it provides the opportunity for a romantic stroll—and no on-car campus needed.
Overall, Luigi’s provides an upscale dining experience with typical food and large variety. Find a cutie on campus and invite him or her out for a night on the town!