Last week, we shared Bon Appetit Restaurant Editor Andrew Knowlton’s list of the year’s top 50 new restaurants of 2012. The final ten was released this morning, and Portland’s own Luce has nabbed the #4 spot.
According to Knowlton, the second restaurant from Navarre’s chef John Taboada and his wife, Giovanna Parolari, charmed him with a simple menu of paired-down authentic Italian cuisine, "almost monastic in its affinity for stripping dishes down to their essential ingredients. This is Italian home cooking to its core. Just look at the 20 or so antipasti available: farro pie, roasted beets and carrots, arancine, chicken liver crostini, meatballs—each plate only $2…Here, as in Italy, less is truly more."
In addition to doling out the honor, Bon Appetit has also shared a selection of recipes from Taboada’s repertoire, including sizzling Garlic-Rosemary Steak, the Farro and Parmesan Pie from Luce’s antipasti menu, unctuous Beef and Pork Ragù, simple and delicious Spaghettini with Garlic and Dried Chile, comforting Braised Chicken with Capers and Parsley, and an elegant Eggplant, Mozzarella, and Saffron Rice Bake.
Don’t feel like cooking them yourself? Head in to Luce to sample the lauded flavors for lunch or dinner, Wednesday through Sunday. Luce’s lunch special—available Wed-Sun from 11 am to 3:30 pm—is an ideal escape from the workday. Dig into a bowl of soup, half herb salad, and focaccia or your choice of three antipasti alongside a half portion of pasta or half an herb salad, steak, and focaccia for just $12 (add a glass of house wine for just $3 more).
2138-2140 E Burnside St