Good Luck – Rochester

Another one of my favorite spots in Rochester is Good Luck, an American tapas/family-style restaurant that offers an incredible dining experience.  Open only for dinner and only on Wednesday through Saturday, the Good Luck restaurant and bar provide patrons with a truly inspired menu selection with a focus on local and seasonal ingredients.  Every time I visit, the menu has changed to highlight flavors of the season, except of course for a few staples like the Good Luck Burger.

Here is a picture of their garden across the street from the restaurant.IMG_2386

I always struggle to pick a cocktail from the menu (they all look so good!!!) so I asked the waitress her suggestions and asked her to surprise me.  She brought me a “Jack and Rose” (applejack, pomegranate, and lime juice).IMG_2376

Extremely refreshing, slightly tart with a hint of sweetness – my perfect drink combination.  And even better, the name is reminiscent of one of my favorite movies.

Good Luck is family-style, so it is suggested that each table order several dishes to share.  I really enjoy this philosophy, as there are always SO many dishes that I want to try.  Also, the dishes are served as they are ready, which adds an element of curiosity and surprise whenever you see a waiter or waitress approaching your table with a plate in hand.

First, red lentils with sweet potato, kale and agave.IMG_2377

Wonderfully creamy and sweet with aromatic spices.  This is something I would really like to try making myself.

Second, the fish special, which was fishcakes made from halibut, salmon, and hake (I think).IMG_2378

The fish cakes were cooked just right, with a lovely crunchy crust on the tops and bottoms.  They were served in a tomato-pickle-like broth with a crisp slaw including scallions and cucumber.

Third, ricotta gnocchi with  braised veal, fava bean pesto, and tarragon.
IMG_2379

This was definitely one of my favorites of the night.  The soft gnocchi pillows melted in your mouth, as did the braised veal.  I felt like I could have eaten this all night.

Fourth, the Ethiopian lamb special with peas and pita bread.  IMG_2380

I honestly didn’t pay that much attention to this one when the waitress was telling us about it because generally I don’t like lamb.  However, I also used to say I don’t like tripe and then I had it at Good Luck in their oxtail dish, and either I couldn’t taste it or I liked it.  Once again, I was proved wrong by this dish.  Generally lamb has too strong of a gamey taste to it, but this lamb was surprisingly well-balanced between the flavor of the meat and the spices incorporated in the mix.  The firm peas were also a nice complement texture wise to the lamb.  Extremely surprisingly, this may have been one of my other favorite dishes of the night.

Fifth, duck breast with broccoli, mushrooms, a poached egg, and ginger broth.IMG_2383

This was an extremely well balanced dish as well, and it reminded me of something I would eat at home.  This is probably due to the soft-boiled egg (look at it, that’s not a poached egg), the broccoli and mushroom mix, the cabbage slaw, and the ginger broth.  My mom makes a fish dish at home in which she wraps the fish in an aluminum foil boat with sauces, ginger and scallions, making a very similar broth in which to cook the fish in the oven.  This duck dish was very tasty, and I enjoyed the many different components of the dish, but I would not go so far as to say this is my favorite duck ever.  While I do love duck with Asian-style influences, I think at the end of the day I am more of a traditional French duck confit kind of girl.

Sixth, the Good Luck Burger – grass-fed beef on brioche with cheddar slices on the side, vegetable slaw, and french fries.  Oh, and their special sauce in the red bottle.IMG_2384

A burger is a burger, but this is really one of THE BEST burgers I’ve ever had in my life.  The other one is at One53 in New Jersey, in case you were wondering.  First, the beef is cooked to a perfect medium pink.  The toasted brioche is soft, but slightly toasted, and it is just such a treat to have such a beautiful bread paired with a burger.  The cheese is just sharp enough and SO much more interesting than normal pre-sliced cheddar cheese.  This burger does not come with ketchup or mustard, but instead the restaurant’s own special sauce.  It is light pink in color and the taste is sort-of a tangy and sweet mix that just goes perfectly with the rest of the dish.  And of course the fries are perfect.

Seventh, and finally, for dessert the Good Luck chocolate cake with powdered sugar and vanilla ice cream.IMG_2385Almost every time I have visited Good Luck we have ordered this cake to finish off the meal.  The level of sweetness and chocolate flavor are just right in this cake, which I really appreciate as I cannot handle overly sweet desserts.  However, some of my dinner companions found the cake overcooked.  I definitely found that there were some scoops of the cake that were more cooked than others, but I attributed it to the fact that the center is supposed to be more gooey than the outside.  However, even the gooey bites for me felt a little bit more like raw batter than a gooey center.  Ah well, I still always love to end a meal with a spoonful of chocolate and cool vanilla ice cream.

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