Restaurant Review: Lucia in Oak Cliff

Risotto with sea urchin photographed by Kevin Marple.

Everyone is in love with Lucia, the darling of the Dallas dining scene. We sent our hard-to-impress dining critic, Teresa Gubbins, to the cozy spot run by Jennifer and David Uygur and she filed this report.

Dallas has a giant crush on Lucia. And why not? She is easy to love. This small, adventurous Italian restaurant has courage, a fierce independent streak, and some sultry handmade pasta, too.

Lucia is the offspring of Jennifer and David Uygur, who are fulfilling their dream of opening their own place. David built a dedicated following for his creative cooking at Lola, where his precisely rendered culinary experimentation made the restaurant’s limited-seating tasting room the top destination for foodies in the know. Jennifer is the slow-food enthusiast and former wine manager at the Dallas Central Market.

At Lucia, Uygur departs from New American cuisine, an act inspired by his wife’s love of Italian food. Her aunt was an opera singer, and a teenage Jennifer went to Verona to see her perform. That trip educated her palate. Uygur  had his own Italian connection. Right after he got out of culinary school, he worked for Basil’s in Austin, where they make fresh pasta every day.

Click here for more beautiful words and pictures.

12 comments on “Restaurant Review: Lucia in Oak Cliff

  1. Well written review, it covers all of the bases.

    TG, can you give some examples of “bogus red sauce variety [restaurants] that has afflicted Dallas for so many years.” I’m not being confrontational, I would just like to know.

  2. We’re so excited because a group of six friends (the most they’ll accept) have reservations for later this month. We’re all looking forward to it with great anticipation.

  3. I’ve been trying to get a reservation for two months and finally got one on April 15th. Very excited.

  4. Scagnetti, I spent much of the ’90s reviewing surburban restaurants for the Dallas Morning News, and I’m not trying to be dismissive when I say that it’s hard for me to remember the many small places where one was faced with a choice of manicotti or ziti or lasagna in an overly sweet tomato sauce, accompanied by a basket of airy weak rolls or bread bought at the supermarket, prepared by people whose connection to Italian food was marginal. I’d be happy to dig through the DMN archives (at a cost of $3.95 per story!) to find some names, but in general, any chain with a guy’s name such as Al’s or Joe’s that ends with “Pizza & Pasta” is a good candidate.

  5. That picture is incredible. I’ve been only once to Lucia and did not see this on the menu. Great read.

  6. Stunning image. But no uni for me, thank you very much. How about a risotto with blood sausage?

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