If you love fresh, made from scratch seasonal foods, you’ll want to be sure to visit Luce´ Enoteca in Powell where Alex Rodriguez is the chef/owner.
Originally from Puerto Rico, he moved to and worked in New York City where he met his wife Kelly who is from the Columbus area. Kelly is co-owner and handles the Wine Cellar, events and many other areas of their business.
Alex, how would you describe the food at Luce´ Enoteca?
We have everything from appetizers to 5 course meals.
I’d describe our food as modern Italian/Mediterranean. We have things you would find in New York City and Chicago as well as classics like lasagna, stromboli, eggplant and pizza. We also have dishes such as salmon with sides that change with the seasons . Other choices include small plates, antipasto and cheese samplers.
Everything we serve is made here from scratch using fresh ingredients. And that includes our sauces, dressings and desserts.
How did you become the chef/owner of Luce?
My passion has been to have my own restaurant. Kelly and I came here 5 years ago to check out the restaurant scene and I worked at various restaurants in town. We traveled to Florida and picked up some more interesting food ideas and then 2 years ago we had the opportunity to buy Luce´.
What makes Luce´ such a great place to eat?
We want people to feel like they are part of the family here.
The atmosphere is casual and comfortable. Some have told us they feel like they are in California or Tuscany. Depending on their mood they can request seating at the bar, by the fireplace, or out on the patio.
We cook with the seasons and often have available locally grown items. Farmers and growers will stop by the restaurant and let me know what they have that’s fresh. Then I can plan each dish with just the right combination of ingredients for the best flavor. There are no standard starch and vegetable sides. Each dish is unique.
We also have vegetarian, gluten free and kid menus available so that everyone can enjoy their experience with us.
We have a full bar, an extensive wine list and also offer wine flights. There is a separate Wine Cellar with over 260 wines. In the Cellar is where we host weekly Thursday evening wine tastings. We’ve also had wine dinners featuring South American, Spanish, Italian, and French wines.
Why is it important to you to use local in-season foods?
Fresh just picked food tastes incredible. For example we’ll have local rhubarb in April, and watermelon, tomatoes and corn in the summer. Having the food not travel far to reach us means healthier, tastier food for our customers.
It also brings our community together. People support us by eating here and we get to support the local farmers, growers and business owners. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
How are you using seasonal ingredients in your menu now?
I’m planning the spring menu now that we’ll start serving this week. The dishes will be lighter, the darker sauces will be replaced and we’ll feature more vegetables including micro greens and watercress. There will be wonderful combinations of flavors.
On a personal note, do you and Kelly cook at home and if so what do you make?
Kelly and I do cook at home. Now that the weather is nice, we might grill a steak outside, add some salsa verde, asparagus and enjoy it with a great glass of wine. We love simple, fresh, quick and delicious food.
Thanks so much Alex for taking the time to let us know why we should visit Luce´ Enoteca!
Luce´ Enoteca (740 881-4600) is located at 3499 Market St in Powell and their website includes downloadable menus, directions and information on upcoming events. Be sure to check it out.