Madison Valley gets another French restaurant this week with the much-heralded opening on May 6 of Luc, owned and operated by the famous Thierry Rautureau, aka “The Chef in the Hat!!!”tm, whose principal claim to fame for many years has been Rover’s, just down the block. Where Rover’s is a very high-end sort of place, the concept for Luc is—well, let’s just say not the same. And by now, I should certainly know the difference.
It’s a difference that was pointed out to me several years ago when my wife and I dined at Rover’s for the first time. While there, it seems I made a bit of a mistake. When Rautureau came over to our table to ask if we were enjoying our meal, I let drop the fact that we were new both to Madison Park and to his restaurant. I told him that we were at Rover’s because we were looking for a really good neighborhood eatery. Bad move. “This is NOT a neighborhood restaurant” he told me in no uncertain terms. “This is a destination restaurant!” He asked where we had lived before. View Ridge, I told him. “Well, you could have driven here from there!”
And that was pretty much the end of the discussion.
So don’t call Rover’s a neighborhood joint. But I think Rautureau might not mind it if you applied the term to his new venture. This is what he had to say to SeattleDining.com about Luc: “My goal is to have it be a neighborhood anchor, the kind of place where you walk in and find just what you want, whether that’s solid or liquid. I want it to be fun, accessible and warm; a nice, fun place to be. It will be a casual, inexpensive American and French café with a bar. Food will be good, clean and simple. We’ll feature items like boeuf bourguignon, hamburgers and both French and American classic and contemporary food. I won’t be reinventing the wheel; everything will be recognizable."
A neighborhood joint!
It’s even got takeout. Well, after several months of renovation of the old Fast Frame shop location (2800 E. Madison Street.), it looks like things are ready to go (there was a private party there tonight to get things started). Those interested in knowing more about the concept of Luc can check out the details here. The restaurant’s new website isn’t precisely up and running yet, but Luc’s phone number is 325-7442.