Luke’s doesn’t have a website, yelp page, or a feature on a Food Network show. Connecticut deer don’t even know about it. It’s an afterthought compared to other popular joints.
There’s a strict no cell phone policy. Instagram pic a dish and you’re thrown out. The rules are not to be mean; they’re there to make sure patrons focus on the experience. The Japanese Kaiseki meal but with a blue plate special instead of a 15-course tasting menu.
The diner is chef driven. Cuisine revolves around the phases of the mood the chef is in. When the chef’s social life perks up, so does the food. French Toast is made with a shokupan loaf instead of Texas Toast, a soon-to-be food trend at every hipster brunch place around America. Accompanied syrup is maple. Meatloaf consists of a multi-flavor profile. Elk steaks appear on the menu. The grilled single-sliced Kraft American cheese morphs to an artisanal five-cheese blend. The diner concocts a mean seafood boil and lobster roll too. Fried clams are the coup de grâce, but only appear once a season. The good chow comes in waves. All of these items are good. There’s not a lot of skill or art involved, but each bite reflects pure happiness.
A chef in a bad mood results in a mean knuckle sandwich. It’s a crispy pork knuckle in between two slices of white bread and whole grain mustard. Cooked low and slow for eight hours and given a slight sear seconds before it hits the plate. It’s a much better alternative than a punch in the face. Desert is a frozen ice box cake.
Gossip is an epidemic when the chef has his tantrums. Despite how good the knuckle sandwich is, it won’t be made with as much love as when life in the chef’s world is all sunshine, rainbows, and lollipops. And you can always tell when a chef is in a good mood by the food.
ATMOSPHERE: 20-40 year olds pick-a-little, talk-a-little about everyone and anything. Some bring their families. Some bring in their drama
SERVICE: All depends on the mood of the chef.
SOUND LEVEL: The chatter is the sound track. One gets used to its upbeat syncopated rhythm.
RECOMMENDED: The knuckle sandwich is the most consistant thing. Because you’re not going to get the good mood stuff often, stick with the normal diner fare.
DRINKS AND WINE: Non alcoholic beverages.
OPEN: Mon-Sat 7am-8pm
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes
Restrooms: One stall for both men and women