The city of Dana Point and Chamber of Commerce named Luciana’s Ristorante as the July 2013 business of the month. Pictured (L to R) Heather Johnston, Jorge Luhan II and Mayor Steven Weinberg. Photo by Andrea Papagianis
The city of Dana Point and Chamber of Commerce named Luciana’s Ristorante as the July 2013 business of the month. Pictured (L to R) Heather Johnston, Jorge Luhan II and Mayor Steven Weinberg. Photo by Andrea Papagianis

Compiled by Robert Sedita, Management Analyst, Dana Point Community Development

Luciana’s Ristorante has been serving delicious Italian food to the Dana Point community for 30 years. Located in a historic 1930s house, Luciana’s is owned by Jorge Luhan II, a third generation Italian-American and second generation restaurateur.

As in many traditional Italian households, cooking is taught at a young age with recipes passed down from generation to generation. Jorge’s grandmother, Mary, started by teaching his mother Lucia how to make fresh pasta, a variety of sauces and other traditional family recipes. After mastering the art of customary Italian cooking, Lucia took her knowledge and opened the family’s first restaurant in Newport Beach in 1976.

Jorge, his brother and sister would help bus tables, wash dishes and observe the behind-the-scenes activities of the restaurant. Following the opening of their first restaurant the family opened two additional restaurants including Luciana’s Ristorante in 1983.

Observing his mother and grandmother, Jorge quickly learned the family recipes and how to effectively operate a restaurant. In 1985 his parents purchased a 500 year old farm in Tuscany and moved back to Italy in 1994 to manufacture the family’s unique brand of olive oil and operate a bed and breakfast. After the move, Jorge took over operations of Luciana’s. Taking what he had learned from his mother and grandma, Jorge worked hard to develop Luciana’s into what it is today.

As soon as customers walk into the restaurant they experience mouth-watering aromas coming from the kitchen. Customers can choose to sit outside, in one of their dining rooms or can reserve the wine room and be seated at a large table for 30 with views of the wine cellar.

Once seated, customers may choose from one of 400 wine labels, select a delicious appetizer and pick a tasty main course ranging from homemade veal ravioli and pasta, to seafood and steaks. Whether out for a romantic dinner, enjoying dinner with friends or celebrating a special occasion, Luciana’s takes pride in making sure customers have a memorable experience.

Jorge and his staff are like a family, and this translates into how they treat their customers. Jorge empowers his employees to build relationships with their customers and make sure every one feels like part of the family. Upon entering, customers are made to feel at home in a Tuscan Villa and employees often know exactly what each customers would like as soon as they walk through the front door.

This quality of service and inviting atmosphere has resulted in Luciana’s being listed among “America’s 1,000 Top Italian Restaurants” by Zagat in 2008, Opentable.com “Diners Choice Winner” in 2009, “Most Romantic Restaurant” by the Dana Point Times in 2012 and “Business of the Year” by the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce in 2012.

When Jorge is not at Luciana’s and his wife isn’t at her medical practice, they spend their time outdoors. As avid cyclists, Jorge and Anne have competed in a number of races. They also volunteer their time working with many local charitable organizations.

For more information about Luciana’s Ristorante, located at 24312 Del Prado Ave., visit www.lucianas.com or call 949.661.6500.

About The Author Dana Point Times

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