House made Garganelli pasta

2140 East Burnside Street
Portland, OR
(503) 236-7195

I had read that this place was written up, but I never read the review. I’m one of those people that likes to listen to the hype, but I don’t always read what was written. I also like to go to a movie not knowing what it’s about. At the same time I will look over the menu to see what I want to order before we venture out, although we didn’t even do that with Luce.

We make our way to the corner where Luce sits and my husband gives me this look. If you haven’t seen Luce, you won’t understand, if you have seen it, you know the look.  This place looks like an old dinner. Uncomfortable chairs, the inside is plain. We almost walked out. Then we looked at the menu, it looked ok, and we almost walked out again.

I should back up and say we went on a Saturday afternoon and had the place to ourselves. No waits, no crowds and no complaints.

After looking over the menu we finally asked our server for some advice. I kid you not he explained things in great detail, he made every item sound like the one you HAD to have and most certainly had favorites in every category.  Finally, things were looking up. We slowly began to order food, we thought we should try a little of everything.

Arancini and Farro Parmesan pie

We started off with arancini, which are saffron Risotto balls, and the Farro and Parmesan pie. Both were great, but according to my husband when I bit into the aracini my eyes lit up, so we did what anyone else would do…we ordered more of those.

These were so good we ordered more.

We also got some of the Focaccia bread, onion and salt. I later read that the raisin had lots of reviews, but I don’t like raisins. The salad was really good, it had a the dressing with butter in it. Definitely different, not completely sure I would order that again, but I won’t rule it out.

For our entree’s we ordered to pastas. The Tagliatelle with beef and pork ragu and the Garganelli with mushrooms and speck. I was very impressed with both.  I order Tagliatelle often because I like all kinds of ragus, but this other one was different and I’m glad we tried it.  I actually liked it more. Both pastas are made in house.

Taglitelle with Pork and Beef ragu

Not to be missed is the Cabbage with garlic oil.  This is a very, very simple side I am sure I can make at home and will try and make at home.

Overall we ended up really liking the place. I went back and read the review after the fact and saw that the reviewers loved the places that weren’t white linen and didn’t have prices that were out of this world. Luce fits the bill perfectly.

My most favorite part was when we were leaving one of the servers had grabbed some lunch herself. She sat down with her own rendition what was on the menu. As she took a bite she closed her eyes and smiled. That speaks volumes. And I’m sure it looked much prettier than my bug eyes.

  • Atmosphere is nothing spectacular at all.
  • Pricing is great. We tried lots of different things and spent only $40.
  • They have tons of wine. I saw on their website that they had beer, but I didn’t see any when we were there.
  • Service was great. He shared so much info with us, and I love that.
  • Located on East Burnside.

Luce on Urbanspoon

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