Bar none, La Luce has the best lasagna in the city. Oh, but there's more. La Luce harkens one back to a time when chefs knew that going out for dinner was something special and took the time to make sure that patrons felt they were being taken care of. Everything at this breezy West Loop haunt smacks of time-honored perfection: soft, downy chairs; simple, unpretentious artwork (lots of maps); al dente egg noodles; and a tomato sauce that is simply unbeatable. Servers are able and attentive and have an acute knack for guessing what people will order before they actually do so. How else do they manage to pair the right soup to the right customer without writing down a thing? There's something very reassuring about a waiter's intuition.
Exuding romance, dimly lit booths stifle all outside conversation as couples share saucy, tomatoy confections brought out by servers who know when to keep their distance. Even if you happen to be sitting at one of the restaurant's cramped tables, acoustics are such that even the most conspicuous seat has much in the way of privacy and ignoring other chowhounds is simply a matter of gazing into your partner's eye. And, if that wasn't lovely enough, nothing at La Luce costs much more than $20, truly the sine qua non d'amore.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Adam White