Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 1: Lucia

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. Find more interesting places on our all-new Best Of app for iTunes or Android.

It's impossible to walk into Lucia and suppress the excitement that's been welling up inside you. If you're not sitting at the bar on any given evening, you've likely made your reservation a month in advance. That's a lot of time to sit around marking Xs in your calendar while you fantasize about tender, delicate pastas and ribbons of lardo draped over hot toast.

So when you walk in the door of Lucia and you're greeted by the staff, there's already a smirk on your face at the very least. But it will yield to a gracious smile as your plates hit the table, and you're reminded just why a reservation at Lucia is such a pain in the ass to secure. The food here consistently lifts your spirits in a way only the most passionate cooking can -- the very best sort of eating.

By truly embracing the ideals of Italian cuisine, David Uygur draws upon some of the most soulful and emotional culinary traditions. Italian cooking is about celebration. It's about simplicity and letting high-quality ingredients shine brightly by interfering with their integrity as little as possible. Italian food is the twirl of a fork and the difficulty you'll have remaining silent while you eat. The odd noises that come from your face may not be found in the dictionary but everyone around you will understand. This is food that truly moves you.

No. 50: Joyce and Gigi's No. 49: East Hampton Sandwich Co. No. 48: 20 Feet Seafood Joint No. 47: Taj Chaat House No. 46: Mot Hai Ba No. 45: La Nueva Fresh and Hot No. 44: Pera Turkish Kitchen No. 43: Tom's Burgers and Grill No. 42: Mughlai No. 41: Russian Banya No. 40: Off-Site Kitchen No. 39: Bachman Lake Taqueria No. 38: Carbone's No. 37: Babe's No. 36: Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo No. 35: Zaguan No. 34: Royal Sichuan No. 33: Spoon No. 32: Bambu No. 31: Pecan Lodge No. 30: FT33 No. 29: Keller's Drive-In No. 28: La Pasadita No. 27: Ten Bells Tavern No. 26: El Ranchito No. 25: Cafe Urbano No. 24: Nova No. 23: Jeng Chi No. 22: Omi No. 21: Tei-An No. 20: Jonathon's Oak Cliff No. 19: Yutaka and Sharaku No. 18: Local No. 17: Ibex No. 16: Pakpao No. 15: Chennai Cafe No. 14: Smoke No. 13: Nonna No. 12: Kuby's No. 11: Sushi Sake No. 10: La Banqueta No. 9: Kalachandji's No. 8: Mesa No. 7: Teppo No. 6: Stampede 66 No. 5: Crossroads Diner No. 4: Bolsa No. 3: Lalibela No. 2: Cuquita's

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