The Luce restaurant at the InterContinental hotel reopens with a new chef and a tasting menu
Luce is a starred restaurant that has remained dark throughout the pandemic, but the dining destination is finally reopening this Friday, October 8, with an ambitious new chef. Located within the InterContinental Hotel, Luce is known for a neat tasting menu, first designed by opening chef Dominique Crenn at the end of the years, and while Crenn has made way for other chefs. in a few years, Luce has always held a Michelin star for a decade. But the restaurant underwent a major renovation in the spring of 2019, the last chef left in the fall of that year, and the dining room remained closed to the public throughout the pandemic. In total, Luce has not had a chef in charge for two years. And when the Michelin guide for California was announced last week, the cuts reflected this: Luce had lost her star.
But now Luce is finally reopening on Friday, October 8 – and with a new chef and a new menu, he looks set for a polite comeback. Rogelio Garcia, an experienced chef who has cooked at Michelin-starred restaurants in San Francisco and Napa Valley, from Spruce and the Commissary to Cyrus and the French Laundry, takes charge of the kitchen. It launches new tasting menus featuring local farms and muscular European techniques for the fine dining Luce, as well as a more casual menu for the lounge Bar 888, taking advantage of its Mexican heritage with fresh tortillas and ceviche and mezcal and tequila cocktails.
Before the pandemic, Luce had a nine-course tasting menu, as well as a la carte options. But now it’s upgrading to an eight-course tasting menu for $ 145, or a four-course tasting menu for $ 95, which is pretty affordable by gourmet standards. The courses use the studded house sourdough of Castelvetrano with cultured butter; Norwegian king crab with heirloom tomato gazpacho; dry-aged country duck with plump figs and sweet port reduction; and Australian wagyu and oxtail, both pan-fried and braised, which gives a lot of fat and flavor. For dessert, late-season stone fruit is featured in a honey panna cotta, while a warm chocolate pie is drizzled with caramel and topped with almonds. Check out the full menu below.
Garcia was born in Mexico City and raised in Los Angeles and Napa. His family moved to the wine country when he was 15, so he went to high school in Napa. His first part-time job as a teenager was washing dishes at the Vellagio Hotel in Yountville. “Throughout my career, I have worked under the direction of a leader and under the direction of a mentor…”, says Garcia. But now, with his own team, which he hopes to be treated as an equal, “We’re super excited to do it all and bring this long experience to SF and Napa.”
Luce reopens on Friday October 8. Hours of operation are Tuesday to Sunday, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.