Cafe Luce

What I Got: Pasta Alla Caprese, Limoncello Pasta, Pistachio Cake

Price: $$$

Location: NYC


All the pasta at Cafe Luce is homemade pasta. It is all cooked perfectly and has wonderful flavor.  You can choose any of their pasta varieties for any dish.  They make fettuccine, fusilli, gnocchi, linguini, orecchiette, penne, ravioli, rigatoni, and spaghetti.  The portions are a great size, so you truly get what you pay for.

Alla Caprese – The Alla Caprese comes with fresh mozzarella, basil, fresh tomato, garlic, and white wine sauce.  The picture Cafe Luce displays for this dish shows linguini. I chose to get fettuccine alla Caprese.  The next time I order this dish, I would want linguini because the thicker fettuccine did not hold or stick to the sauce and ingredients as well as thin linguini would.  Fettuccine tends to be better with thicker sauces, and the white wine sauce is light.  Regardless, fettuccine was still delicious and did not take away from my enjoyment.  The mozzarella was melty, gooey, and slightly chewy.  Its more mild flavor balances out the other ingredients.  The tomato is juicy and bright.  The large slices of garlic are scattered throughout so that the delicious umami flavor really shines through.  The savory basil brings it all together.  The white wine sauce is light and flavorful. It gives a perfect amount of saltiness that the pasta needs and serves as the perfect base that brings everything together but does not overpower the fresh ingredients.  I am a huge fan of anything Caprese.  The Alla Caprese is a deliciously light pasta that shows off the wonderful combination of mozzarella, tomato, and basil.

Limoncello Pasta – The limoncello pasta includes lemon zest, cream, shallots, and a lemon oil drizzle.  The picture Cafe Luce displays shows orecchiette.  I got the orecchiette, and it was perfect because the hollow, shell-shaped pasta held the sauce like tiny bowls. I love orecchiette, and Cafe Luce did not disappoint.  It was chewy, delicious, and quite large.  The sauce was everything I hoped for.  It was creamy and citrusy but not overly decadent.  The lemon oil brought even more citrus flavor and balances out the cream.  The amount of lemon flavor is perfectly bright and not at all sour.  This is one of my favorite pasta dishes I have ever had.  My only regret is not ordering focaccia to dip in the leftover oil.

Pistachio Cake – The pistachio cake is made of a layer of ricotta cream and a layer of pistachio cream between thin layers of sponge cake on the top and bottom with pistachio pieces on the edge.  It is topped with powdered sugar.  The pistachio and ricotta cream is airy, smooth, and creamy. The sponge cake is fluffy and light.  The pistachio flavor comes through wonderfully and compliments the ricotta cream.  Overall, the cake is beautifully light and not too sweet.  It was truly delicious.  If you are a pistachio lover, you must try it.

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