Navarre chef and owner John Toboada will debut a second eatery this fall. Part restaurant, part event space, part unofficial cooking school, Luce, (Pronounced “looh-chay) comprises two strorefronts on the corner of 22nd and East Burnside, directly across the street from dive bar drinking den The Standard and a forthcoming café and coffee roasting project by Finnish pro-snowboarder Will Yli-Luoma. With Screen Door just down the street, it sounds like another great Portland neighborhood is taking shape in a city where the best burgeoning hoods often start with great restaurants.
Luce will house a large commercial kitchen space with an adjacent dining area for catering and private events, and another room slated to become a dining room event space that will accommodate up to 60 guests. There’s no official opening date for the restaurant. "Soon," says Toboada.
As any chef or event planner in Portland can attest, our city has a shortage of commercial-kitchen equipped, medium-sized, well-priced events spaces, and Luce aims to fill the void. As for the food: Taboada studied with Robert Reynolds in France, stodged at kitchens in Italy and Spain, and has spent significant time working with ace Portland chefs like Cathy Whims at Genoa (Whims also worked at Navarre before opening the excellent Nostrana) before debuting Navarre in 2002. Regardless of what lands on the plate, you can bet it will be good.
Navarre was named The Oregonian’s Restaurant of the Year in June.