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.

Try this recipe for Luna Notte’s Duck Apicious