His first job in Sydney in 1977 was at the fondly remembered Natalino’s Restaurant in Kings Cross, where he quickly became the Manager.
Lucio’s Italian Restaurant first appeared in Balmain in 1981, then transferred to Paddington in 1983.
This Paddington site originally housed the Hungry Horse Art Gallery and Restaurant, renowned for both excellent food and avante-garde contemporary art, with such early greats as John Olsen, Colin Lanceley & Robert Hughes (before he decided he was more suited to the role of the art critic) exhibiting regularly.
Lucio has co-incidentally continued and enhanced this harmonious tradition with food and art.”Food and art for me is like the air that I breathe. I grew up in the family restaurant in Italy where we had an art gallery, so it has always been in my blood. It is very important for me personally and also I think for our customers as well. The combination of great food, great service and great art on the walls is, in my view, one of the best dining experiences you can imagine.”
It is very much a family business, with son Matteo curating the extensive wine list and managing the floor, daughter Michela showing her versatility both in the office and with her front of house skills, and wife Sally manning the phones, email and website.
The Lucio’s kitchen remains true to Lucio’s motto “We follow the season, not the fashion”,