Italian restaurant in Powell recast in different light
After a month of renovation and menu redevelopment, the recast Luce Nuovo made its debut May 30.
Under new ownership, Luce Nuovo (pronounced loo-chay new-ovo) replaced Luce at the same location, 3499 Market St. in Powell.
Billed as a French and Italian bistro, the restaurant interior flaunts a brighter, modern appearance, general manager Deborah Quinci said.
The wine list has been updated to include a variety of harder-to-find choices from around the globe. Bottles are stored in a walk-in, climate-controlled wine cellar that was built in the banquet room.
The menu is a collaboration between the Sicilian-born Quinci, who is a local, private chef, and executive chef Derek Michael, a veteran of local Italian restaurants and graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Arizona.
"I just gave a direction," Quinci said. "He's just made it so absolutely beautiful."
Quinci said their mission was to create a rustic bill of fare while adding upscale flourishes.
Seared Tuscan-style scallops are served over pureed cannellini beans infused with truffles. Prosciutto-wrapped salmon is sided with creamy polenta and a charred tomato reduction.
Among the touted dishes is the classic slow-cooked porchetta -- herb-laden pork loin wrapped in pork belly and garnished with a rosemary demi glace.
Pastas remain a specialty at the restaurant. House-made ravioloni, for example, are stuffed with fresh ricotta and served with smoked duck ragout.
Pizzas, a hallmark of the previous Luce menu, have been given an upgrade. The Neapolitan-style pies come in four choices: Margherita, sausage, prosciutto and the Americana, topped with wild mushrooms, truffle oil and goat cheese.
Even the ordinary burger, served at lunch and at the bar during dinner hours, gets an uncommon treatment.
Made of short rib meat, brisket and sirloin, it gets a topping of applewood smoked bacon and gorgonzola, and is served on a homemade brioche roll.
Most dinner entrees are $14 to $28. Lunches are $7 to $15.
Desserts are not neglected, Quinci said. There are two house-made gelati -- an olive oil version seasoned with balsamic vinegar and another with pistachios.
The panna cotta gets a layer of seasonal gelee.
The 6,000-square-foot Luce was opened eight years ago by siblings Michael and Johnny Ciotola, Johnny's wife Annie, and Randy and Amy Turturice.
The business was purchased a month ago by a private investment firm that includes Hilliard businessman Yoshi Sasaki, CEO of a consumer-electronics company and a former restaurateur in his native Japan.
Luce Nuovo, meaning "new light" in Italian, is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and dinner only Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 740-881-4600.
Bibibop Asian Grill, a fast-casual, inexpensive Asian concept, is opening in the Grandview Heights area this summer.
Bibibop, a slight variation of the spelling of bibimbap, a popular Korean dish, will specialize in build-your-own rice bowls, wraps and salads, a la Chipotle.
A summer opening is planned for the store, which will replace Great Steak & Potato at 1270 W. Fifth Ave.
Bibibop is being launched by Gosh Enterprises, the locally-based company that operates Charley's Grilled Subs.
Ellie Robinson, concept administrator for Bibibop, said the focus of the restaurant is on fresh, healthy fare. The plan is to be open for lunch and dinner.
Some details weren't available, such as price point and an opening date.