Dallas' Most Interesting Restaurants No. 14: Lucia

The olive oil cake makes a great close at Lucia.
The olive oil cake makes a great close at Lucia.
Lori Bandi

Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul.

One of my favorite seats in Dallas is one of the four stools that line the cold station at the rear of the dining room at Lucia. The stool to the right and furthest from the wall is the best by a little, as it gives you the most elbow room, but they all make for a fine place to perch.

A reservation at Lucia is a hard thing to come by (the dining room is tiny and the wait list is long) but a seat at the bar is yours if you can show up when the hostess first opens the doors. All evening long the bar is seated first come, first served and no pleading required.

Fresh pasta and truffles at Lucia
Fresh pasta and truffles at Lucia
Lori Bandi

After you've secured your real estate, ordered some wine and perused the menu, you'd do well to ask a question or two: "Where will those finely minced herbs end up?" or "How long did that charcuterie cure before you first sliced into it?" There's a balance between peppering someone who's concentrating with too many questions, and showing a bit of genuine curiosity, but chefs on the whole generally appreciate when someone takes an interest in the finer points of their craft. When they open up, it's like becoming a part of the kitchen.

Lots of restaurants have open kitchens, but this view is the most intimate of them all. And that it's accompanied by the city's best Italian cooking means the likelihood you'll have an exceptional evening is quite high. Start with a little charcuterie and then cast your menu aside. Cooks who know each dish far better than you are within earshot. Let them guide you.

Your opinion matters! Be sure to weigh in on our Best Of Dallas Readers' Choice poll. Voting ends September 6. 

The charcuterie plate at Lucia
The charcuterie plate at Lucia
Lori Bandi

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