If you and the fam are in the mood for Italian that goes beyond red sauce and grated parm, Luce in Cambridge is here to help. The family-owned neighborhood joint features cozy digs perfect for digging into homemade classics made with local, seasonal ingredients that toe the line between traditional and trying something new.
Handmade pasta is ubiquitous in Italian restaurants, but rarely does it take you on such a thorough tour of the garden. Luce’s menu isn’t big, but it is huge on whatever is growing close to home, meaning your stone oven-cooked pizza and homemade pasta are likely to be heavy on the seasonal veggies. The menu opens with a selection of hearty snacks and salads before moving on to the carbs, and there’s a selection of specialties From the Grill where you’ll find hearty, charred locally-raised meat and veggies. Don’t feel like deciding? Get the Cena Per Tutti, a multi-course meal served to the whole table family-style offering whatever the chef is feeling that night.
Luce manages to be both comfy and minimalist. The big copper hood over the kitchen window emanates warmth (and great smells) into a room full of fun and little fuss. A simple, open floor-plan makes every seat feel like a window seat, and the clean-lined marble bar lets the drinks and the guests do the talking.
And there’s plenty to drink in the small, spunky spot. Luce boasts a thoughtfully-curated, mostly-Italian wine list, with everything from big Barolos to an adorable selection of half- and quarter-bottles perfect for any party size. The cocktails keep the Italian influence in mind when remixing classics, utilizing an extensive array of amari and vermouths for a perfect aperitif. And the restaurant’s champagne game is strong, with bubbles to help you celebrate any occasion (note: the end of the workday is an occasion).
1 Shepard Street
Cambridge, MA 02138