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Sunday Suppers at Lucques have become an L.A. dining institution, a guaranteed splendid evening at any time of the year. This past Sunday, to kill some time while waiting for another Comme Ca Block Party to begin, I stopped by Lucques, not knowing it happened to be the 9th Annual All-American Rib Fest. (Lucques staff wearing cowboy outfits and country music standards on the stereo were big hints, but I digress.)

As I sat at the bar, endless platters of BBQ and all the fixin’s were sent out from the kitchen. Had I not been stuffed from an earlier dim sum session, I would’ve gladly participated in the $45 protein extravaganza. Here’s a rundown of the menu:

  • St. Louis style pork ribs
  • Braised beef back ribs
  • Spicy lamb spare ribs
  • “Too-hot-to-handle” chicken wings

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  • Cole slaw & baked beans
  • Long-cooked collard greens
  • Buttered corn-on-the-cob
  • Watermelon and lime salad
  • Grilled cornbread & wonder bread

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  • Warm peach and blackberry crisp with vanilla ice cream

To wash all of this glorious food down, Lucques offered two special lemonades, one with brandy and the other with Jack Daniel’s. Both seemed to be very popular on Sunday. The only thing missing was a “wafer-thin mint” at the end of the meal.

A Lucques Standard: the Maker's Ruby.

A Lucques Standard: the Maker's Ruby.

While everyone indulged their inner carnivore, I quickly scanned the cocktail list and decided on one of the Lucques Standards, a Maker’s Ruby:

  • Maker’s Mark bourbon
  • fresh Fitzgerald Ruby Diamond nectarines
  • a splash of Bundaberg ginger beer

The Maker’s Ruby was excellent, tangy and perfectly refreshing for a late Sunday afternoon. I’m sure it would’ve made an excellent compliment to all of the smoke and spice.

Other Standards include the Lucques Gimlet (Hangar One vodka with fresh lime juice and mint) and the Green Hound (Chopin vodka, cucumber and grapefruit juice, garnished with mint).

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Owner/chef Suzanne Goin is renowned for her seasonal menus, so it’s no surprise that the drinks at Lucques reflect that same commitment to freshness and quality. With that in mind I next ordered from the Seasonal Cocktail list, the Fragola Balsamico:

  • Miller’s gin
  • strawberries
  • Cointreau
  • balsamic reduction
Summer in a glass: the Fragola Balsamico.

Summer in a glass: the Fragola Balsamico.

If you’ve ever wanted to sip summer in a chilled glass, the Fragola is the cocktail for you. The Miller’s botanical notes are dominated by the upfront, fresh strawberry aroma and flavor, anchored by the bitter orange of the Cointreau and enhanced by the balsamic reduction. The Fragola’s brilliant red hue makes for an easy conversation starter.

The other Seasonal option was the Black on Black: Leblon cachaça with blackberry compote, thyme, black salt rim.

With summer winding down, now is the time to savor the best of the season. At Lucques, that means more than just what’s on your plate; you’ll taste it in your cocktails as well.

Lucques
8474 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 655-6277
www.lucques.com

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