Luce on Portland’s East Burnside Street has been thrust into the spotlight after being named one of Bon Appetit’s best new restaurants in the country and I’m happy to say it lives up to the hype. There’s no doubt the recent attention has rocked the small space– waits can be up to two hours and the restaurant seems understaffed, but the experience transports you to a market in Italy and it’s charming. Exquisitely prepared dishes like farfalle with squash blossoms and simple grilled hanger steak are what Italian food should be– flavorful thanks to excellent ingredients but not heavy. Don’t miss the delicious, crisp homemade focaccia bread to start and the “choose your own” antipasti platter. This restaurant is not fancy—think paper napkins and wine in glass tumblers. Unless you get there before 6– expect a massive wait, but luckily the restaurant has a wine bar next door.
2138 & 2140 E. Burnside
Portland, OR 97214