By Sarah Toce

If it’s an upright decadent time you’re expecting to have when you cross fork and knife this fall, LUC (2800 East Madison Street; 206-328.6645;; in Seattle’s Madison Park neighborhood should be at the top of your priority list.

Situated at the base of the elongated hill, LUC offers customers a European-style setting to relax, enjoy and take in all of the culinary treats the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Seats are strategically placed both inside and outside of the establishment, making any type of weather pattern easy to navigate.

LUC is a French-American café named after The Chef in the Hat’s father, Luc Rautureau. The Chef in the Hat, Thierry Rautureau, is the James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of another popular Seattle restaurant located downtown – Loulay Kitchen & Bar (600 Union Street; 206-402-4588;; Thierry garnered fame originally in the Emerald City for his kitchen classic enclave Rover’s in Madison Valley. Rover’s operated from 1987 until 2013. Thierry says at the time that his cooking philosophy “starts with freshness and continues with treating all ingredients with attention.”

The Chef in the Hat, Thierry Rautureau, is the James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of LUC and Loulay Kitchen & Bar (Photo: Sarah Toce)
The Chef in the Hat, Thierry Rautureau, is the James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of LUC and Loulay Kitchen & Bar (Photo: Sarah Toce)

Raised on a farm in the Muscadet region of France, Thierry helped his mother prepare meals for the family and learned from an early age what made a memorable dish – seasonal fresh, homegrown ingredients. At the age of 14, Thierry began a cooking apprenticeship in Anjou, France and from there continued on a culinary Tour de France, training in the cities of Le Mont Saint Michel in Normandy, Chamonix in the French Alps, and Hendaye in the Pays Basque. The chef made his way to the United States next, working with Claude Poilevey at La Fontaine in Chicago, and then later in Los Angeles at The Regency Club for Joachim Splichal. Before his move to Seattle, he took a turn at The Seven Street Bistro with Laurent Quenioux.

Then it was on to Seattle for a dinner that would literally change the course of The Chef in the Hat’s career. While dining at Rover’s one evening on vacation, Thierry noticed the hideaway home-turned-restaurant was for sale. He made an offer. The rest is history.

Thierry’s abundance of flavor and talent are irreplaceable at LUC. Reservations are strongly encouraged, and for good reason. There is no shortage of masterful concoctions on the plate and the palate at LUC. From the Beef Bourguignon to the pillowed Pommes Souffles with Harissa Aioli, or the Crispy Pork Belly with Root Vegetable Slaw and Walnut Creme Fraiche, LUC is Paradise on a Plate.

LUC's Pommes Souffles with Harissa Aioli (Photo: Sarah Toce)
LUC’s Pommes Souffles with Harissa Aioli (Photo: Sarah Toce)

Vegetarians will find options to suit their desires as well. The Linguini, Mushroom, Butternut Squash, Buerre Noisette, Parmesan, House Fromage Blanc dish steals the show. Another prime choice is the Parisian Pillows with Acorn Squash, Mushrooms, Hazelnuts, and Parmesan.
An extensive wine list and dessert menu are also available.

The price range at LUC varies between $3.00 for a round of Columbia City Bakery Baguette with Moroccan Olives and Olive Oil to $23.00 for the White Bean Cassoulet, Duck Confit, Braised Lamb, Pork Sausage, Arugula Salad. Every bite is worth the price to savor the distinctive menu LUC offers to its guests.

LUC operates daily from 4:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. A “Happy Weekend Brunch” is offered every Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Originally published by The Seattle Lesbian.