Lucio’s, Paddington

There’s something that grips you within minutes of arriving at Lucio’s in Paddington. It’s in the way your host, Lucio Galletto greets you like an old family friend, his smile and welcome as sunny as his restaurant’s bright yellow walls adorned with artwork and painted ceramic plates. Once inside, you’ll be reminded of that quaint restaurant you discovered in your travels to regional Italy, where the food and the service were impeccable, where the experience made you want to shout it from the rooftops, long before social media was at your fingertips.

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Lucio’s was established in 1983, and in today’s climate where many restaurants close within six months of opening, it is quite an achievement. Located in a tranquil, almost village-like area of Paddington, the restaurant is set across a split level. You’ll find crisp white tablecloths, perfectly set tables and attentive service.

The occasion is a private Club Lunch, an eclectic assembly of individuals from the food and beverage industry including media and publicists. This is no occasion to talk shop, but to simply intermingle over a glass of 2011 Prosecco Extra Dry Valpiana from Treviso and enjoy our host’s hospitality.

In over 30 years, Lucio’s has employed only three head chefs, with Nicole Bampton currently at the helm. Promoted from within, her youthful looks don’t allude to her two year stint as Chef de Partie at Tetsuya’s and later at Sepia before joining Lucio’s.

Today’s set menu begins with Antipasto della Casa accompanied with a structured 2012 Pinot Grigio Romato Marco Polo from Friuli. The selection includes prosciutto-wrapped grissini, marinated red peppers, a zucchini salad with anchovies and a fragrant and tender octopus dish that begs for an encore.

For the mains, the Pesce del Giorno is a grilled Fillet of Snapper, moist and flavoursome sitting on a bed of green beans, tomatoes, capers and pine nuts. Vitello Con Cavolo Nero is served on a bed of celeriac puree with cavolo nero and baby turnips. Cut in thick pieces, the veal is perfectly cooked, pink on the inside, melting like butter in the mouth. The dish is served with 2012 Henley Farm Caretaker Shiraz from the Barossa Valley. A crisp mixed leaf salad and fried hand cut potato chunks with whole garlic cloves accompany the meal.

With Frutta Fresca, or a fresh fruit platter followed by coffee, tea and biscottini, it is well into the afternoon, and just like in Italy, the thought of a siesta after a fine meal isn’t too far away.

Lucio’s is a reminder of what hospitality and dining out were like before we began queuing for food, dined in a coverted garage and sat on high bar stools sharing odd numbered pieces of food. It’s classic, it’s timeless and it’s a part of Sydney’s culinary heritage that deserves to be celebrated.

Lucio’s
47 Windsor St
Paddington NSW
www.lucios.com.au

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Lucio’s, Paddington was last modified: January 21st, 2016 by Corinne Mossati

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Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.