When Bruce Pike was 16, he was doing chateaubriand and baked Alaska at the University Club in San Antonio. Now at 31—having migrated through some of that city’s fancier restaurants (including La Buca and Biga)—he is doing his own thing at Luna Notte (6402 N. New Braunfels).

“I’m going for a more traditional Italian taste but jazzed up with spices and texture,” he says. Two cases in point: his version of Duck Apicious, which basks in a silken honey-orange glaze with mint marigold thrown in for fun, and his capellini in a Pernod-touched butter sauce. He invented the latter for a customer who demanded, “Fix me something creative.” Pike complied and has been following the same admonition ever since.

Basting Sauce

1 cup orange juice
3 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3 teaspoons Grand Marnier

Place ingredients in saucepan, and cook over medium heat until reduced and caramelized, stirring occasionally.


1 3-pound duckling
1 orange
1 lime

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Squeeze orange and lime juices over duck. Stuff duck cavity with rinds (helps to absorb fat). Bake duck approximately 1 1/2 hours, turning every 20 minutes and basting with orange-lime sauce. Let roasted duck cool for 10 minutes, then slice breast meat into medallions 1/4 inch thick. Skim duck fat from roasting pan and discard; reserve juices.

Port Wine Sauce

2 cups port wine
2 cups dry red wine
1 teaspoon minced shallots
3 teaspoons chopped fresh mint marigold (1/2 teaspoon if dry)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (1 teaspoon if dry)

Combine ingredients in sauté pan over medium heat; cook until reduced by half. Add juices from roasting pan, and cook over medium heat until reduced by half.

Capellini in Pernod Butter Sauce

1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons Pernod
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons minced roasted bell pepper (red or yellow)

Brown garlic in oil in small sauté pan. Deglaze pan with wine; add butter, Pernod, basil, and bell pepper. Cook until reduced by half, and pour over prepared capellini. To serve, arrange duck- breast medallions and 1 leg on each plate, and pour port sauce over them. Accompany with a portion of capellini. Serves 2.