Where's the Beef in Rochester Hills? At the New Luca's Chophouse

Here's your first look at the newest fine dining experience in town.

Luca's Chophouse opened in its new location at the corner of Tienken and Rochester roads earlier this summer, and Patch readers have been fast and generous with their rave reviews.

After I read Rochester Patch Facebook fan Amy Beth say "the beef tip appetizer was uncomfortably delicious: heavy cream, lots of salt, buttery tender beef," I knew it was abundantly clear that I needed to get there fast.

Let's call it a date night

On Saturday night we got a sitter, dressed up (thank you ) and met friends at the Rochester area's newest chophouse. Our reservations secured us a table near the waterfall and temptingly close to the wall of wine. 

The restaurant's interior looks nothing like its prececessor, the Mexican eatery that was . Luca's is warm and inviting, done in shades of rich brown and soft green—even down to the waitstaff uniforms. My favorite touch, though, was the large artwork, including one over the entryway, depicting owner Luca Gjonaj's childhood home in Albania.

In with the Gjonaj family, son Nik told me that hospitality is the backbone of the Albania culture. With an attentive staff, including outstanding service from our knowlegable waiter, Derek, and both the manager and owner making their rounds, our party felt well cared for. (One nicety rarely seen but much appreciated: our flatware was cleared and replaced after the appetizers.)

Bread and apps

Patch reader Amy Beth commented that Luca's bread can rival that of  I'm not sure I'd go that far — I do have a thing for poppy seeds — but the warm bread was lovely, and the sundried tomato and black olive butter it was served with was unique and savory.

For appetizers we tried the stuffed portabello mushroom with jumbo lump crab and topped with a pesto cream sauce. The menu description is accurate — you only get one for $10.99 — but it was meaty and rich and our party of six was satisfied with the portions.

Our server recommended the calamari, flash fried and served in a citrus buerre blanc for $8.99. The calamari was perhaps the thickest I've ever been served, but it was the banana peppers that took this common dish to a whole new level.

This is one of those dishes I won't be able to stop thinking about until I get more.

Bring on the beef!

Soup, a side salad or Luca's Lanka can be added to any entree for an additional $2.50. Both the classic Caesar salad and the lanka—shredded cabbage tossed in a wonderful Mediterranean vinaigrette—got high marks from our party.

And then came the beef.

I did dabble with the idea of ordering the Sea Bass Santiago that Nik had raved about in our original conversation, but I know myself: if I were to be surrounded by a table of filets, rib eye and porterhouse, one sweet little fish, no matter how good, just wouldn't cut it.

I ordered the petite filet (6 ounces) for $24.99 and topped with stilton bleu cheese for an additional $2.99. All steaks are served with zip sauce, parmesan mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. My filet was delightfully seasoned and melt-in-the-mouth good. The mashed potatoes made a perfect pairing and the vegetables were pleasantly crisp.

If there is one caution I would give, at least the night we were there, the steaks were all prepared more on the rare side, meaning my medium-rare order came to me as a rare. (This was consistent in all the orders at our table).

In the end, our table ordered nearly four and a half pounds of beef and only one doggy bag came home (that's my dinner tonight, thank you very much!) 

Although we were members of the Clean Plate Club, sadly, that left no room for dessert. Patch reader Renee Delsignore had given the homemade sweet endings high marks, but they will have to wait for another visit ... along with the sea bass, lanka, calamari, Oscar filet, and, well, the list goes on!

Welcome to Rochester Hills, Luca!

Luca's Chophouse is located at 6870 Rochester Road. Hours are 11 a.m. -11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. Make a reservation at 248-266-6370.

Theresa Meegan September 04, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Four of us dined at Luca's and very much enjoyed our meals. The filets with zip sauce were tender and delicious. The parmesan mashed potatoes that accompanied the meal made a very tasty side dish. The staff is very friendly and helpful, and the decor is lovely. We'll definitely be back.
Daryl Patrishkoff September 04, 2012 at 09:33 PM
I have been there twice so far and am very impressed with the petite filet with blue cheese and mushrooms on it. The wine list is great and so is the service, glad to have another great restaurant to visit in Rochester!
Erin September 04, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Definitely want to try it out. Thanks for the reviews -
gmg September 09, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Tried it last night. Started with the beef tips appetizer, and it was all that. Wife had the ahi tuna, and i had the ribeye.The ribeye was excellent, and the tuna was good too. The ambience was like Kruse and Muer, very comfortable and not as "stuffy" as the Rochester chop house. I heard some people complaining before the restaurant opened about parking...Well folks they laid that to rest too. Complimentary Valet at Luca's. I'm happy to say Rochester has another great restaurant! We will be going again!
E Rve December 30, 2012 at 10:31 PM
I'm looking forward to trying it. I wonder how good they are with allergies. That's always our number one concern when eating out. I just wrote to The Hills about how they handle allergies and Jason replied with a friendly and heartwarming email. I can't wait to visit there too. This little plaza really does have it all, a hidden gem in Rochester :-)


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