Rare is the Saturday happy hour, but Luce is bucking the trend. "These tables would otherwise be empty at this hour," says owner Joe Buonincontri. To add further incentive to the 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Monday to Saturday program, he puts all his regular appetizers on sale for half off. It's a huge and tempting list in which a hand-tossed personal pizza maxes out at $6 (I enjoyed the funghi and took half of it home), a seafood salad (pictured below) can be had for $5.50 (the good medley only needed a little lemon), and fried rice balls with house-made mozzarella and a Bolognese sauce are a mere $3.50.
The house gin martini, carefully shaken with Seagram's by a charming bartender who confessed to two weeks of bartending school (exams both Fridays), will set you back $5. It's filled to the brim but may be the one argument for going for better booze — or opting for the vodka variety where it matters less. She stirred the good stuff, Rémy VSOP, Cointreau, and fresh lemon juice, in a rocks glass to make the classic Sidecar. Good Job: it was $9 but worth it. Italian and Belgian beers are only $3, and two Italian wines run $4 for a generous glass, making for a very good way to far l'ora (kill some time) happily before dinner here or elsewhere.
Luce Ristorante & Enoteca
11255 Huebner Road