Luce

4.6
717 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
LUCE is a family-owned neighborhood restaurant offering timeless, regional Italian dishes in a cozy, comfortable dining room and bar. Chef Scott Jones 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 though Saturday.
What 717 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JM
New England
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Quickly becoming my favorite destination. Considering asking staff to move in with me for the days off so I dont miss the experience. Amazing food. All other restaurants should follow this blueprint. Great staff. The theme music to Cheers rings true; 'you want to go where everyone knows your name." Love Luce!

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SJ
New England
22 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

We had a great meal at Luce. The fava bean dip was a tasty start and enough to share.
We also shared delicious tagliatelle bolognese and prosciutto sausage with crisp polenta.
All dishes were delicious!
The almond- rosemary gelato was unusual and great!
Our only comment about service was that we felt rushed. Each course came too quickly and our leisurely dinner felt hurried along.

We will definitely return because the food was great!
It is a lovely and casual dining spot.

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f
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 3

Good but not amazing food, rude service, loud environment, and no dessert. Hugely overpriced and limited selection on menu. Wouldn't go back.

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TP
New England
15 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Chestnut spaghetti was simple and so flavorful, a wonderful dish!

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W
New England
8 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

This new Italian restaurant might eventually become good enough to become a destination in the neighborhood, but it is not there yet. Some of our pasta/pizza dishes were good, while others were bland and/or small given the price. The prosciutto in the antipasto was very fatty and the antipasto itself was meager. The aperol spritzes were maybe the best thing about the meal. We might go again in the future to see if Luce gets better, but, honestly, there is a far better Italian restaurant at approximately the same price point nearby. The drawback there is that it is so good it's often hard to get a reservation. There is room in the area for another good Italian restaurant, but the question is whether or not Luce will become good enough to survive in this location.

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BS
New England
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Really delicious food. The tagliatelle were absolutely silky. Friendly and charming service, although they were very busy and didn’t always check in.
Only comment—please get a an espresso machine, pronto!
I wil definitely be back.

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LL
New England
3 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Casual neighborhood restaurant where one could feel comfortable bringing kids on the early side but adult oriented a bit later. Tables nicely spaced, roomy booths, not too noisy. Nice bar area. Food was excellent but we would have liked some High Rise bread and olive oil on the tables and more dessert options.

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D
New England
6 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Liked food an feel. Much improved from Shepard. Nice to see well behaved children enjoying their pizza. Surprised no tasty HiRise cookies or cake with the gelato

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JM
New England
5 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fools who didnt give best recommendation reviews for Luce are uninformed and fools. Best gem in Cambridge/Boston. The only thing bad I can conceivably say is I eventually had to leave. Bartenders are great. Chef's know their skills. Staff is amazing.

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D
New England
28 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 1

The food and service is great but the space is like a cafeteria. Sit at the bar if you'd like to hear your date more than the party next door. Remarkably good pizza dough and the grilled artichokes are a must.

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MS
New England
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Luce is lovely! Every dish we had was delicious, the wines were terrific, and the vibe of the space was warm and relaxed. We will definitely be going back again soon!

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I
New England
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

My favorite aspect of the renewed Luce space is the cozier lighting -very happy that the interior has the same configuration. Began with a classic Manhattan - cold, sweet, refreshing. Delicious starters - pizza was a starter for us and it arrived hot, crispy, with a unique set of toppings. My main dish was gnocchi, also very flavorful, and I was glad to have the option of ordering a smaller portion. Dessert -generous portion of homemade pistachio ice cream. I will definitely be coming back - looking forward to trying the vegetable sides next time.

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B
New England
12 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

Agh. Reviews were strong, so decided to go there to celebrate my son's birthday. Totally underwhelming. Fava dip was almost tasteless. Toast with it was smothered with butter. Gnocchi with lamb was so greasy. Salad was good. They were out of lemon sorbet. For the price, it was just disappointing. I won't be going back.

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OT
New England
16 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great pasta!

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IM
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Lovely food and atmosphere. Attentive service. Delicious cocktails.

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F
New England
9 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The food is even better than Shepard's was. (Don't miss the endive salad!)

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d
New Orleans
6 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

I liked it more than my husband- I thought the food was tasty overall- though my husband was less pleased- he got the linguini with lemon and clams and it was so different than what he was expecting. I loved the ambience, server was really nice too.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Food was good, but some dishes were way too salty (Calamari and the bolognese). Mackerel was unremarkable for the price. Drinks were superb. Service was impeccable.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We recently went to this restaurant for our Anniversary. We really enjoyed the experience. We ordered a salad for an appetizer and it was delicious. It was a great size for sharing. We both ordered one of the pasta dishes. These were great as well! Really enjoyed the experience, and we will be back.

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w
New England
24 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Very nice. Lovely service. Loved Shepard but also like this new incarnation very much. Between us we tried two half-portions of pasta, a half-portion of the risotto, and the meatball. All fantastic. The risotto is amazing: grapefruit, radicchio, balsamic, and Parmesan are flavors I have had together in salads but would not have imagined in a creamy warm dish, but it worked wonderfully: bright-bitter-creamy. The meatball is another comfort food that was happily brightened up—this was due to a Sicilian approach that included raisins and pine nuts and whatever they used to brighten up the sauce—I don’t know, but it was perfect. The hi-rise bread on the side was great in and of itself as well as to soak up all the sauce. Loved the lemon linguine with chili as well. Great cocktails and lovely wine list just as Shepard had. The Shepard decor doesn’t feel very Italian, felt somehow too subdued and could be changed to fit the mood of the food at some point, but that’s okay; for now I will be back soon to try more things.

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P
Las Vegas
21 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved Sheppard and Luce takes all the best from there and makes it even better.

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JJ
New England
24 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food was good and atmosphere was nice. Expensive for the relatively small pasta portions.

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CM
New England
7 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent experience at Luce. The food - I had both an order of homemade pasta and pizza which were fantastic. Exceptional cocktail and wine list, and the waitstaff was very personable and helpful with the wine selection. Great value as well. Already planning on going back to try more of the menu. It's a must-try.

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OT
New England
12 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent meal in a lovely redesigned space! Duck bolognese and farfelle with sausage were perfect - yummy and the small dish was just the right amount. Radicchio salad was delicious as well. Great wine list and the daily pour that I tried (it was a weeknight! so no bottle) was delicious. Bravo Scott - we'll be back!

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K
New England
5 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Pasta was divine and the calamari might have been the best I've ever had.

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m
New England
3 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We love this new iteration--comfortable, delicious food, great artichokes, pizza and gelato.

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k
New England
2 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great new restaurant, outstanding food

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 1

The pasta was quite dry and not very flavorful. I had the Lemon Linguine which was with clams and chili pepper flakes- I was chewing dry pasta and dry crunchy flakes- awful. The bar exactly was the same as Shepard as well as ambiance. My husband ordered a Cape Codder and he could not drink it. Too pretentious, not kid friendly and basically is Shepard with a new name. Wish a true neighborhood friendly restaurant would come into that space.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every single thing we ordered was insanely delicious. The room is gorgeous. The waitstaff is gracious. My new favorite restaurant!

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T
New England
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had a delightful time.
The food was great and the service was just lovely.

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HH
New England
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

This is the second time we came here. The menu does change which is a good thing but it could also not be if you happened to like a dish their had on a previous menu but is not on the new menu. The wait staff is always on point and really nice. Food came out in a timely manner. I must say the ice cream sandwich du jour for dessert is absolutely srcumptious. I had put on the reservation that it was going to be our 20th anniversary and we got a nice complimentary dish which was unexpected during our meal but was really nice. I would definitely come back.

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LW
New England
6 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Been wanting to try Shepard since and a friend and I finally got my chance on Saturday, 3 nights before they are apparently due to close. Sad for me, since it was quite an enjoyable evening and I would have liked to go again and bring others. It was a perfect place to celebrate the holidays. Food, service, and ambiance were all excellent. I look forward to seeing what comes next in this space from this talented team.

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HT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

We tried Shepard because of good reviews. Our findings: Found parking easily right across from the restaurant. Beer (ale on draft) was great. Service was prompt. The food was mediocre and overpriced. We shared roasted beets appetizer with blood oranges and pistachio. The mix was innovative for the sake of innovating, as the flavors didn't go well together. I had striped bass for the main, and DH had a stake. A piece of bass was tiny and overlooked. It came with a lot of croutons and two burnt artichoke veges. Hey, Shepard, have you confused a bass entree with Caesar salad, the more croutons the merrier? The wine was so-so and overpriced as well. Suffice to say we will not be coming back.

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M
New England
21 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Shepard is a solid neighborhood restaurant. The food was very good, though at times the menu was confusing re: pasta dishes could either be app size or main course size for example. Otherwise I was surprised by the quality and flavors of the food. The service was solid though it seemed like all the employees who were visible to the public seemed quietly stressed. Maybe I was just reading into something here, but it didn't seem like a light atmosphere. I would return again for a local meal.

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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really great spot. The food, wine and particularly the service were all superb ! Bravo.

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d
New England
47 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service was excellent as always.

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GG
New England
4 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food is very good but a bit precious. For the price I would expect a little more to the entree dish.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

The starters were absolutely amazing (gorgonzola and the fried smelt) but the pastas were disappointing by comparison. Very bland we thought. Not bad, the pastas was clearly fresh, but couldn't compare to the starters. If we go back, we might just have a whole bunch of starters.

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TT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 1

Food was very good. We were disappointed in the atmosphere and the service. Behind our table was a very loud group who seemed to know the owner. They were very boisterous and swearing loudly. Also, service was just ok. Our server seemed bothered whenever we asked for something. Also, the pastas on the menu are appetizer portions. Only when you order are you told that they are not entree portions...that is an upcharge. One member of our party ordered the entree portion, but what came out was clearly the appetizer portion. When asked, there were conflicting responses from the staff. They ultimately decided that it was the entree portion, but was in the appetizer sized bowl. A good service restaurant would have apologized that the customer was not happy and either given additional food, only charged appetizer rate, offered a free drink...anything to recognize that at the least there was an error in the portion size or plate size. Also, 20% tip was automatically added for party of 6. Most restaurants only do that for parties of 8 or more and generally do it at 18% with the discretion to go higher. We mostly enjoyed the food, but will likely not be returning.

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LL
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

perfect place to celebrate with family and/ or friends.

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