Luce

4.4
797 Reviews
$30 and under
Italian

About

LUCE is a family-owned neighborhood restaurant offering timeless, regional Italian dishes in a cozy, comfortable dining room and bar. Our kitchen turns out an array of starters, pizzas, and handmade pastas that emphasize seasonal and local vegetables. There are always a few dishes that showcase New England meats and seafood.

Owner Rene Becker curates a list of Italian and other European wines that compliment the regional and seasonal food. All wines on the regular list are available by the half bottle and in many cases by the quartino, or quarter bottle. The wine list also includes well-aged bottles of Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello, and Burgundy. The Luce bartenders make consistently delicious, classic cocktails and manage a great list of amari and grappa.

LUCE is named for René and Cynthia Becker's daughter, Lucie, who is nicknamed Luce (pronounced loose). Luce in Italian (pronounced loo-chay) means "light". We like both pronunciations. Join us at Luce Tuesday thru Saturday.
What 797 people are sayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.4based on all time ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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KC
vipKathleenCC
New England
61 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience4

pizza was terribly soggy. heavy with cheese and sauce.

JD
JoanneD
New England
2 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing - it’s so unusual that every single item that every person at the table orders is absolutely delicious!

H
vipHawkeye55
New England
31 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was very good. Menu is inspired. Love the champagne and fries. This is one of the better places in Cambridge, underappreciated.

DJ
vipDJones
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect experience. Very low key environment w incredible food that you can get in half portions. Great European vibe.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New England
2 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Excellent food and drinks!

AM
AnnieM
New England
11 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The food and menu selection were good. They were a little heavy on the sauces for my taste. Dressing /sauce on burrata salad and artichoke appetizer overwhelmed the delicate deliciousness of the main ingredients.
Overall service and atmosphere is nice. Wish the windows onto Shepherd Street opened. Sitting at the bar was pleasant- more sense of a place/ personality than the dining room.

I
Ishanya
New England
4 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Wonderful menu! We love this Shepherd replacement. All dishes were very good to excellent with the exception of the ricotta gnocchi with lamb- too oily for me. I have to remember that lamb can be greasy. Wine is a bit pricey. Otherwise, we loved the menu, food, service- GREAT!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
8 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is imaginative and of high quality. Refreshing! I hope that there will be shifts of the menu from time to time, because it is not a long list and I would like to dine regularly there with some variety.

H
Hulk
New England
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great vibe, yummy fun food!

c
vipcj333
New England
2 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall5food4service3ambience4

Starters and drinks were excellent. I thought my pasta was only okay, but there were lots of things that sounded good so I will definitely be going back!

A
Alius
New England
3 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Fanatic food that take a new twist on Nonna’s classics.

BA
BigAl
New England
14 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Very creative menu. The chickpea fritter was extrordinary - crisp on outside, light and ethereal on the inside, with excellent accompanying aioli. The grilled artichokes and the octopus were also terrific. Cheerful atmosphere with acceptable noise level. This was the third time we've dined there and were impressed with the consistency of the preparation and attention to detail, including serving dishes appropriately hot - something that even elite restaurants don't get right.

G
vipGar79
New England
33 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have become a bit of a regular and Luce keeps hitting it out of the park for me. Everything I order is fresh and scrumptious. Service is excellent - Lauren is a wonderful server!

F
Fred
New England
8 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

I like Luce. Love the Cosmopolitans cocktail with elderflower liqueur. I wish there was espresso for after dinner. The fried artichokes are delicious. I also wish the steak was a better cut of meat. They do a great job with the sirloin, but I would definitely pay more for a rib eye, for instance. Great bread from the HiRise bakery. I will definitely return as I want to try many of the dishes.

N
Neveradullmoment
New England
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience4

I was disappointed. Risotto was way too salty, pasta was bland, and gelato was icy. The space is beautiful however with lots of natural lighting and an elegant interior. Service was very good, very attentive without being intrusive. I would love to go back to this neighborhood restaurant if they could get things worked out in the kitchen.

D
vipDavid
New England
8 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We live close. Such a great restaurant

K
vipKatie
New England
22 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We LOVE Luce - have gone twice now. The food is delicious, energy is fun but not too loud, and it's not outrageously expensive. They also have a great wine list. It's our new go-to neighborhood joint.

B
vipBeewild
New England
8 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love Luce's bright dining room and its bright food. It makes you think, serving artichokes cooked two ways, how preparation can transform a vegetable. The tagliatelle with bolognese sauce define comfort food; the risotto with scallops and mushrooms and the cioppino are perfect and light for springtime. The wines are always interesting, and the gelato for dessert is completely irresistible. A wonderful restaurant

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New England
6 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great pizza for kids! Awesome wine list!

AH
AshleyH
New England
7 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience3

They forgot our food and drink orders twice! Service was slow and disorganized.

A
Alie
New England
2 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great food and service. Attentive to needs of kids.

j
jjll
New England
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

I will definitely be back and hopefully sooner rather than later.

JM
JMarquis
New England
6 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another fantastic night at Luce. My friend had her one year old and the staff was amazing to the little one. Everyone made my friend and baby feel welcome and at home. Food? Killer as usual. Pretty much you can order anything, including things you would try, and you will want more, and tonight was no different. Except chef was truly on and everything was even more superior than the norm OMG what did I just eat. My compliments. Then there are those cool bartenders and staff. Even when you dont see them for a few weeks the conversation picks up where it left off. One forgets I am paying as these guys almost seem like they would do it for free - that;s how genuine they are night after night. Thank you

B
Bcc4
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Here for a reunion with friends. Wonderful spot for good food, wine and conversation. Staff were welcoming and gracious.

JH
JuliaH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We’ve been to Luce before, and we’re already planning a return visit with s larger group. Every dish we’ve ordered has been delicious, the atmosphere is relaxed, and the waitstaff are efficient and friendly, but not in your face.

TD
vipTuesdayDiner
New England
12 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

I had high expectations for Luce given the owner and his other food ventures. I had the soft shell crab on a roll with pancetta which was delicious. The grilled baby octopus was dry with little taste. The charred artichokes and the meatballs did not live up expectations. And the Gave was sharp. Service was good and the room is comfortable. I will give it a second chance as I would like this restaurant to succeed.

RH
RalphH
New England
7 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience4

Wonderful, inventive cuisine. Luce's method of offering either half bottle or full bottle options at the same per-ounce price is an outstanding innovation.

KC
vipKathleenCC
New England
61 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious pizza, nice glass of wine and great service. Perfect for a neighborhood spot.

S
vipSarah
New England
9 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

The dining room at Luce is absolutely stunning, especially in evening light.

The cocktail I had (the Luce Spritz) was delightful, and the grilled artichoke, though a bit prickly, with its delicious sauce, was a great way to start the meal.

I was disappointed, though, by my dandelion green farfalle. It tasted like a dish from an Indian restaurant (maybe chana masala?), which was an unpleasant surprise given that I was expecting a more conventional Italian dish. Nothing on the menu alluded to that flavor other than the "spiced" pine nuts - but the flavor was not confined just to the pine nuts. Perhaps my dish was just an anomaly, and of course I'm just one person. My friend really enjoyed his tagliatelle.

DG
DonnaG
New England
5 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a wonderful evening having dinner and catching up with an old friend!

m
vipmainelyfood
New England
28 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

A nice replacement for the space... too loud, of course. On Saturday, the service was, distracted and felt quite impersonal, but the server was quite busy. The pizza was nice, but not quite as delicious as what I expected since having smelled and seen one previously. The appetizers were delicious as was the pasta.
I'll go back again, hoping for a better experience! Not every night is perfect...

KZ
KateZ
New England
1 review
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food. Great cocktails. Great ambiance - unpretentious. Restaurant staff are wonderful. Noise level is perfect. Kudos - thank you Luce!

s
vipstuarto
London
56 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

First visit. Pleased with high quality and freshness of food. Friendly atmosphere. Owner Rene at next table graciously gave us a taste of rare delicious wine. Will return when convenient as we live in Brookline.

JH
JamesH
New England
3 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great service with a smile and very good food...little pricey on the appetizers ...but a few were outstanding...

GG
GeralynG
New England
5 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent food and service, what an upgrade from The Shepard in terms of being a nice neighborhood restaurant that can be for casual dinner or special occasion too - fits both venues

L
Luath
New England
15 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place for a family dinner: very approachable menu, and excellent service, bar, food, and wine quality. We had a great time!

V
Vegetarian
New England
21 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Luce was a cute, vibrant neighborhood restaurant with decent seasonal Italian fare. I found it a bit expensive for the quality (decent but not incredible).

R
vipRich
New England
6 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome dinner and service. Every dish was wonderful.

AP
vipAnonPlease
New England
16 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Finally a great menu in this location! Super tasty appetizers, great main (swordfish). Friendly, efficient, knowledgeable service. A neighborhood gem!

C
vipCantabrigian
New England
65 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Italian has always been a choice, and now there seem to be more and more of them, even ones claiming a 'fusion' italian menu. Luce (loo-cheh or loose, take your pick) avoids the italianesque 1/2/3 of the standard dogma, but still offers a pasta list and an entree list and a pizza list and a starter list. Our party avoided the pizza, mostly because only I am the pizza fan, and I've got a very narrow pizza boundary- has to have pepperoni and mushroom, has to have a red sauce, and has to have mozzarella. They didn't have that. So you'll have to let us know how the pizza is. There is no wood stove here anymore (a la Shephard, RIP)- the NIMBY neighbors won that battle. Not particularly impressed with the decor change from that establishment, and don't we all still miss Chez Henri? (Amusingly enough, our dessert came to us on an old Chez Henri plate. Homage vraiment.) Good wine list, although nothing easily affordable. We went with a $52 2017 Barbera D'Asti which was quite decent. As the italian venues are starting to crowd into each other in Cambridge, we'll see what Luce can do to move outside the mob.

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Luce is rated 4.4 stars by 797 OpenTable diners.

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