Thierry Rautureau, better known as (and easier to pronounce) The Chef in the Hat, has been greeting Seattleites for a long time as the owner of Rover’s in Madison Park. While the menu at Rover’s is sure to put a dent in your billfold, the Menu Degustation is certainly worth it as you’ll sample dishes with wild boar, foie gras, and black cod.
The Chef’s other restaurant, Luc (named after his Dad), likely receives less attention, but it’s a more affordable option and you can justify going there for no special occasion. Shortly after Luc opened, my wife and I went. I thought I made the wiser choice, choosing the beef onglet steak, while my wife simply chose a burger. While the steak was great, the burger stole the show. I’ve had a hunger for the burger ever since and I recently satisfied this craving.
The burger is not on Luc’s happy hour menu (everyday, 430p-630p, food and drink options), but at $13, it’s still a great deal considering its size, taste, and accompanying fries. What really sets the Luc burger apart from other burgers is Rautureau’s ability to make the burger different without being weird. There are a handful of “different” burger shops in Seattle, but some of their burgers are so wild they border on obscene. Rautureau’s burger, on the other hand, is different in that it’s topped with aioli, tomato jam, and caramelized onion. No cheese, no fried egg, no bacon. Different, but not weird. Sweet and savory, without a salt-induced-coma.
Other dishes sampled included the smoked salmon tartine, steamed mussels and clams in a saffron broth (not pictured), and a pulled pork BLT, all of which are on the happy hour menu and worth trying.