La Luce | West Loop/Fulton Market | Italian | Restaurant
Neighborhood Italian restaurant with a classic Chicago setting just five blocks from United Center but uneven food at best.

Our Review

I thought I'd found a hidden gem. And first appearances were promising: the setting for this neighborhood Italian place, underneath the el tracks and across from a roof-perched water tower, is classic Chicago. There are just 13 tables or so in the handsome Schlitz-style corner tap with an Italian staff, and they're almost always packed--more good portents, you'd think. But grit--and we're talking do-not-risk-without-dental-insurance grit--in seven out of nine baked clams quickly dampened my hopes. The best part of my pallid green salad was the anchovy I cadged from my friend's Caesar, and he'd had to specifically request them (they were served in a bowl on the side). None of the other dishes we sampled from the very standard menu was anything beyond edible: though I liked the red sauce, flank steak in bracciole with linguine was gristly, the sausage tough and oversalted, and the pasta overcooked; a halibut special was likewise overdone. Given the praise others have for this place, part of me feels I should give it a second chance. Trouble is, you couldn't pay me to.

Kate Schmidt

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Price: $$
Payment Type: American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa


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