I really am a fair critic I'd say, but after this you're going to think I'm a total push-over! I don't care! They won me over, in every way.
Luce is one of Charlotte's PREMIER restaurants for great Italian fare, wonderful service and a total intimate, european feeling experience. It's tucked away in a little corner of bustling uptown in the Hearst Tower. I would venture to say if you didn't already know it was there, it'd be hard to find... which I actually really appreciate! I can't imagine the place even seats more than 100 people at a time. The first thing I thought when I walked in the doors was "Venice." The hue of the golden room was so warm and the GORGEOUS chandeliers made it SO regal.
(no, that photo isn't blurry, you're just seeing how the sauce was still bubbling when they served him)But mother's... again.... 'peperone' it was called...(not pepperoni... I know Andrea, there's no such thing as pepperoni in Italy) :) I would say it was the greatest stuffed pepper I've ever experienced in all my life. If there's one thing I would HANDS DOWN recommend for you to order amongst everything we tried, it would be that. It was a baked red pepper, stuffed with quinoa vegetable risotto & toasted tomato garlic coulis (coulis is basically a well pureed blend of fruits or veggies for sauces and flavoring). The presentation was the fanciest, classiest I've seen in a long time, especially in Charlotte. It was like eating a piece of someone's finely crafted artwork. And the flavor... oh the flavor! The quinoa was cooked perfectly, the flavor was rich but not CLOSE to being overbearing. The pepper itself was like slicing into the sweetest red strip of candy! IT WAS DELICIOUS! And the tomato garlic coulis that was pooling on the bottom... wow. All I can say about it is, wow. What a perfect dish.
Can you tell we loved it? You need to go. If you find yourself dying for a really special culinary experience in a beautiful, warm setting, Luce is the ristorante of choice! The prices were right (if you order wine by the glass), the food... well, I won't start again. The staff, all of them, will be wonderful, kind new friends and we literally COULD NOT have left any happier or more satisfied in any way. We will DEFINITELY be frequenting this uptown gem at least once a week.
Maybe I'll see you there friends.
.......And make sure to ask for Andrea.
Happy Thursday! xo