Headed to Keene? Get a Table at Luca’s.
Once in a great while you may be sitting in a restaurant and encounter something that causes you to claim to your dining companion: “This is the best dish I have tasted in a very long time.” And after a second or third bite, you say it again. It happened last week at Luca’s Mediterranean Cafe in Keene, New Hampshire.
Luca’s may be my favorite kind of restaurant. As the name indicates, its menu roams around the Mediterranean, which translates to an emphasis on Italian cuisine but also includes Greek salads, lamb gyro lettuce wraps (excellent), and even a classic French dish or two like escargot. Diners crowd tables inside and out. The greeting is warm, the initial cocktail arrives quickly. The staff are well-trained and professional, fussing just enough over the service without being stuffy. The prices are more than fair.
The dish that sent me into a spate of rhapsodic prose? A starter of duck confit crepes (photo, above) created by Chef Nathan Blair, crepes with creme de brie and a savory pulled duck confit, griddled until golden brown then topped with a compote of dates and apples. A final touch of green onion and candied walnuts to ensure there was a perfect balance throughout. Because this dish was the evening’s special, my next encounter with it—if there should be one—is impossible to guarantee. Sometimes once, alas, must be enough. Great good luck would be finding it on the menu again.
(Photo, top by Susan B. Apel. My thanks to General Manager Kaycie Meyerrose for promptly responding to my questions.)
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Susan B. Apel shuttered a lifelong career as a law professor to continue an interest (since kindergarten) in writing. Her freelance business, The Next Word, includes literary and feature writing; her work has appeared in a variety of lit mags and other publications including Art New England, The Woven Tale Press, The Arts Fuse, and Persimmon Tree. She connects with her neighbors through Artful, her blog about arts and culture in the Upper Valley. She’s in love with the written word.