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Luc’s Café-Restaurant in Ridgefield

The Ridgefield Press
November 30, 2008
by Fran Sikorski

An intimate cafe featuring a classic French-Mediterranean menu, Luc’s is located in a former blacksmith shop with natural stone walls, and whether you are seated inside or outdoors, there is an atmosphere of relaxed dining. A loyal clientele has enjoyed the same menu for lunch and dinner for eight years, and owner Hervé Aussavis has added sandwiches. The only new items on the menu are the daily specials, planned according to market availability, and surprise housemade desserts. Everyone has a favorite dish.

“Outdoor dining at Luc’s Cafe Restaurant in Ridgefield continues during the last warm days of fall before winter officially arrives.”

On any given night, just about every table is occupied, and on Wednesday evening, every table is taken with diners who enjoy the Café Musette entertainment of Larry Urbon and songs by Noreen Mola. Luc’s is definitely a repeat restaurant, and you’ll make a lot of friends by becoming a “regular.”

The genial owner, originally from Fontainebleu, France, emigrated to the United States in 1992, opened two cafes in New York City where he met his wife-to-be Marissa who had family living in the Ridgefield area. When a restaurant space became available in Ridgefield, he opened Luc’s. The couple has two children, Luc, 8, and Marc, 6.

Luc’s chef de cuisine is Gregory Slemp, originally from New Canaan, who developed his culinary skills through apprenticeships on cruise ships and restaurants throughout the United States. He has been associated with Emily Shaw’s, the Roger Sherman Inn, the Ritz Carlton in Boston, and restaurants in California. Sous chef is Fernando Andrade.

Among the popular sandwiches, served with mesclun said, are croque-monsieur; saucisson-beurre, dry sausage and butter on a baguette; and Luc’s, a choice of three ingredients from ham, sausage, bacon, chicken; Swiss, goat or brie cheeses; tomato, mesclun, roasted pepper, red beets or cucumber.

In addition to the original French onion soup, classic French appetizers are spicy tuna tartare, steamed mussels, escargots au pernod, chef’s made pâté, and smoked salmon served with toasts, chopped onions and capers. More than 80 pounds of mussels are consumed every week at Luc’s.

My dinner selections, butternut squash soup, beet salad and grilled filet of salmon in a mustard sauce served with roasted root vegetables and mushroom risotto, were delicious. There is a choice of three sauces, Roquefort, beurre maître d’hotel and au poivre vert, with the hormone-free strip loin steak and for the filet of sole, sauces meunière, grenobloise and amandine. Ahead for the winter are venison, rabbit and game bird entrees.

Other entrée choices are rack of lamb with potato gratin and haricots verts; duck confit, bigarade sauce made with orange and veal stock and served with vegetables of the day; duck and beans stew made from a recipe from the southwest of France.

Housemade amaretto cheesecake made with a pralinée base was a perfect choice for dessert. Other selections are mousse au chocolat, crèpe de jour, and an assortment of cheeses and fruit.

All this and a caring staff makes dining at Luc’s a pleasure.

Luc’s Café-Restaurant
3 Big Shop Lane
Ridgefield, 203-894-8522

Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday from 11 to closing; food service until 10; desserts only until 11; closed Sunday.

Reservations weekdays for four or more; 8 on weekends; handicap-accessible entrance; major credit cards; child-friendly; full bar; classic French bistro menu; vegetarian selections; take-out Monday to Thursday; casual dress; entertainment, Café Musette with Larry Urbon, Wednesday from 7:30 to 9:30; seasonal outdoor dining; parking in adjacent municipal lot.

Side dishes

Happy Hour from 4:30 to 6:30 Tuesday to Friday at Margo’s Café & Wine Bar, 59 High Ridge Road in Stamford, 203-324-3800, features $2 off a glass of wine, and $6 for bar snacks like Korean-style chicken wings, thin crust pizza, tomato tarts and spare ribs...Happy Hour at Antipasti, 1 North Broadway in White Plains, N.Y., 914-949-3500, is from 4:30 to 7, and on Wednesday, wine and cocktails are half-price with complimentary antipasti.

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In Ridgefield – Luc’s Café & Restaurant

The Ridgefield Press
December 30, 2004
by Fran Sikorski

You may have parked your car in Ridgefield’s municipal parking lot, but once you step into Luc’s Café & Restaurant on the lower level of a multi-business complex, your imagination will whisk you off to France, perhaps to the Left Bank, or to Fontainebleu, where Luc’s owner, Hervé Aussavis, once lived.

...your imagination will whisk you off to France....

During a tableside visit, Mr. Aussavis said he came to the United States in 1992 to help launch the first Les Deux Gamins Restaurant on MacDougal Street in SoHo where he met his American-born wife, Marissa, who had family and friends living in Weston and Brookfield.

“I wanted to move out of the city and open a restaurant of my own and the timing was right,” Mr. Aussavis said, relating the story of how he heard that a French restaurant, Chez Noue, was for sale in Ridgefield. He not only purchased the restaurant, naming it Luc’s after his then-15-month-old son (now four years old), he also moved to Ridgefield with his family, which now includes another son, Marc, 2.

Since that time, the debonair owner has embellished his traditional classic French menu and acquired a wide circle of diners from area towns.

Several months ago, Hervé Aussavis, in a partnership with Chef Mario Molliere, opened La Salière, Restaurant de la Mer, on the upper level of the complex, giving diners two distinct menus and diverse atmospheres. In warm weather, the extended patio is attractively landscaped and accessorized with furniture shipped from France.

When he first opened Luc’s Café & Restaurant, said Mr. Aussavis, “This area reminded me of the forests of Fontainebleu, and everything seems right here. I want my parents to be in a place where they are assured of a consistently pleasing dining experience with a simple, invigorating menu, the same used for both lunch and dinner, and I think we have captured that feeling since we opened at Luc’s,” he added.

Luc’s executive chef is Gregory Slemp, who grew up in New Canaan, and worked at the Roger Sherman Inn in New Canaan, Emily Shaw’s Inn in Pound Ridge, the Ritz Carlton in Boston, and the Laura Tanner House and Whistling Oyster in Ogunquit, Maine.

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