408 W Eighth St #101, Dallas, TX 75208, USA

With its tiny, intimate location (inside a 1920s-era former home) and all the accolades (including a James Beard semifinalist nod for Best Chef, Southwest), this Bishop Arts District spot remains one of the harder reservations to snag in town—but it’s well-worth it to keep trying. When you do make it in, you’ll be treated to chef/owner David Uygur’s seasonal Italian-inspired menus, which might include crostini topped with a Calabrian chili and bacon pâté, risotto with celery root and foie gras, or duck leg confit served with polenta, topped off with olive oil cake with prune jam and burnt-cinnamon gelato. The meats are house-cured, the pasta homemade, the ingredients local, and—with Uygur’s wife overseeing the dining room—the atmosphere full of charm, all of which has helped make this a favorite for date nights, special occasions, and foodie splurges.

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What would Italians do if they sourced their meats and vegetables in northeast Texas? Texas-born David Uygur shows us. Serving up rustic cuisine redolent of rural Italy—but composed from local ingredients—Uygur mirrors the way Italian chefs and home cooks focus intently on freshness and on the homegrown produce of the season. At Lucia, the Bishop Arts area, Lilliputian-sized restaurant he runs with his wife, Jennifer, Uygur butchers and cures his own meat, and crafts house-made pasta. Though he sometimes uses products that take some diners to the edge of their comfort levels, the James Beard nominated chef ensures his food is so delectable, his customers thank him for that journey.

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