Dining With Denise Neil

Luciano’s news: New deli, arboretum partnership, citizenship party

Luciano Mottola is adding a deli that will sell fresh Italian meats, homemade cheeses and produce from the nearby Bartlett Arboretum.
Luciano Mottola is adding a deli that will sell fresh Italian meats, homemade cheeses and produce from the nearby Bartlett Arboretum. Luciano’s Italian Restaurant

Luciano Mottola will take his naturalization oath on Friday, and he’s inviting everyone to celebrate his recent American citizenship at a party at his restaurant on that evening.

Those who go to the party will see the bones of a new project at Mottola’s restaurant, Luciano’s Italian Restaurant at 216 W. Main in Mulvane.

Mottola and his wife, Nancy, are nearing completion on an Italian deli that will operate inside the restaurant. They hope to have the project done before Valentine’s Day and begin selling Mottola’s own bacon, homemade sausage, fresh pasta and homemade Mozzarella cheese. They also plans to sell a wide array of Italian pork products, ranging from salami to pancetta.

Come summer, deli customers also will be able to take advantage of Mottola’s new partnership with the Bartlett Arboretum in nearby Belle Plaine. The arboretum’s Robin Macy has agreed to use part of her Veterans’ Victory Garden to begin growing fresh herbs and produce for Luciano’s, which Mottola will use in his dishes and also will sell at the deli. He envisions tomato, garlic, potatoes, onions and rosemary.

The deli counter will be in the front of the restaurant, where the kitchen used to be. In late 2013, Mottola moved the kitchen to the back of the restaurant.

The construction he’s doing now also will result in a new chef’s table, where customers can reserve a spot to watch him cook and dine on a special menu he creates.

Last month, I reported that Mottola, a native of Tuscany, had become an American citizen. Mottola, who met his wife when she was teaching English in Italy, has lived in her hometown of Mulvane since 2003.

Last month he said he was just waiting to find out when he’d take his naturalization oath and promised to throw a party on that day.

The oath happens on Friday and will be followed by a party featuring cocktails and appetizers at the restaurant. Mottola is not charging for the party, which starts at 7:30 p.m., but asks that customers call the restaurant at 316-777-0045 and let him know they’ll be there.

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