There’s little chance that Edouardo Jordan’s name hasn’t come up in your conversation over the past year. His duo of acclaimed Ravenna restaurants—Salare and JuneBaby—has earned him rave reviews (including a three-star review in The New York Times for JuneBaby) and two James Beard awards, the food world’s version of the Oscars.
With his momentum showing no signs of slowing, Jordan opened his first bar, Lucinda Grain Bar, in December. The 20-seat spot—named for his great-grandmother and sister, and featuring a menu largely based around the chef’s love of heritage grains, such as einkorn and millet—is located next to JuneBaby. That proximity means that it serves primarily as a space where folks can enjoy a barley old fashioned ($13) or rye Negroni ($14) cocktail while waiting for a coveted seat at the Southern restaurant next door. Ballard bar Essex started the same way, as a preamble to dinner at famed pizzeria Delancey, but settled in as a neighborhood favorite in its own right. Lucinda has the ability to do the same, thanks to a short menu of casual dishes that range from snackable shared plates (don’t miss the multigrain crackers and trio of dips, $12) to pressed whole wheat sandwiches and grain bowls. The latter are particularly successful: Try the satisfying freekeh and Le Puy lentils with tender lamb, delicata squash and beans ($17).
Though you may see Jordan in the kitchen (he says he’ll never expand beyond Ravenna because he needs to be close to maintain quality control), you may be disappointed if you expect the same high caliber of dinner experience that you’d find at JuneBaby or Salare. But Lucinda shines for what it is: a neighborhood place to grab a well-crafted cocktail and simple bite, whether as part of a longer evening or a destination in itself.
Ravenna, 2120 NE 65th St.; 206.457.8180