Food & Drink

Fine Herbs

Once a star wins your heart, it seems like forever before he returns in a satisfying role. And not just in Hollywood.

Last seen in the kitchen at the popular Marcuccio’s in 2000, chef Charles (Chuck) Draghi is back on top with contemporary Italian restaurant Erbaluce, which he’s just opened with partner Joan Johnson. We’re smitten anew.

Erbaluce’s cuisine stems from Draghi’s Piedmont roots. Hitting farmers markets and sourcing local and seasonal goods, Draghi handwrites the menu daily (with a 1940s Eversharp fountain pen no less).

There are soups, salads, panini, and crudi on the cafe menu; the dining room serves rack of wild boar roasted over walnut shells with lavender-scented wild grapes and wild blueberry and purple basil flower gelato.

Natural flavors shine since Draghi doesn’t use butter or cream in his savory dishes, and an all-Italian wine list highlights small, regional varietals.

Sound the sirens.

Erbaluce, 69 Church Street, Bay Village (857-362-7358 or erbaluce-boston.com).