Lucio's Italian Restaurant
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Feast on food and art... with a delicious aperitivo
You know what they say when it comes to art: wretched excess is never enough. The luscious, dizzying art collection on the walls at this Paddington stayer is only second to eating in gallerist and socialite Ray Hughes’ house. Get lost among Olsens, Smarts and Storriers, portraits of owner and host Lucio Galletto, oils of dinner parties showing people breaking bread over classic Italian dishes of salad Caprese, roast duck and salt baked fish. There are blooming roses, braces of game, geometric prints – colour, shape and movement on canvases huge and tiny make the walls almost move. Even the menus are works of art, the wine list itself covered with John Olsen’s ‘great noses of Australia’. Galletto has his own seat by the door, directing waiters to fill glasses, take plates and bring dessert while making his way from one table to the next, bringing each an individual flourish. He pours a glass of fresh, crisp Friulano pinot grigio to go with thin green strands of pasta interlaced with blue swimmer crab, bound with tomato. Roast duck with pickled cherries, chicory and poached fennel brings out the musk and stone fruit in a glass of Chianti. A little cup of just-set panna cotta fragrant with mandarin blossom comes with a pile of sweet, short hazelnut crisps. We use them to dip, which makes a mess. A big, happy mess that makes perfect sense. It's a big, exxy night out but well worth it for the art alone - let alone that crab pasta.
47 Windsor St
|Opening hours:||Lunch Tue-Sat 12.30-2.45pm; Dinner 6.30-10.15pm|