Currently, we can’t visit Naples, but we can get a taste of it thanks to Lucio De Falco and his restaurant Lucio Pizzeria. Lucio has been working with pizza since he was 14, and as you will read later on, I am giving his pizza a huge thumbs up. He has cooked in locations all over Europe, including Rome, Corsica and Isola de Elba.
The restaurant is celebrating 13 years, and they want to celebrate with others who have a 13 on an important day.
Until the end of June, anyone celebrating an anniversary or birthday that involves the number 13 – it could be a 13th birthday, 13th wedding anniversary, or an anniversary that falls on the 13th of the month – is invited to enjoy a free pasta at either Lucio’s in Darlinghurst or Zetland after showing proof of your anniversary. Please refer to the Lucio Pizzeria website for terms and conditions.
My daughter, Grace, and I had dinner at Lucio’s Darlinghurst on a Monday night. The restaurant has seating inside and out. Although it was May, the evening was still mild; we chose to sit inside only because I took photos for this story and needed some light. I’d love to go back in the summer and enjoy sitting outside.
We started with a glass each of the 2017 Gianni Masciarelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzod’Abruzzo and pairs nicely with pasta and pizza.
Lucio loves Italian wines and imports most of the wines you will find on the menu at Darlinghurst and Zetland, making the dining experience even more uniquely Italian. You are probably gathering by now why I called this article Lucio Pizzeria: Sydney’ Own Naples because of the restaurant’s authenticity.
Now on to the food
Calamari Fritti (Shallow fried salt and pepper calamari rings)
Nothing beats calamari when the Italians cook it! OK, the Greeks do a great job too. As we expected, this entree was the perfect start to our meal.
Fiori di Zucchini (Zucchini flowers filled with ricotta and parmesan cheese)
I’ve tried cooking Zucchini flowers myself and gave an “F” for my effort. Delicate Zucchini flowers need a light batter, and this tasty entree did not disappoint us.
Casarecce con ragu’ d’Agnello (Lamb shoulder ragu with homemade casarecce pasta)
Sensational is a word that comes to mind for this delicious pasta. The lamb ragu was cooked to perfection, melt in your mouth soft and tender, the sauce was not overpowering and coated the pasta perfectly. This dish is a winner!
Now for pizza
Filetto (Mozzarella, cherry tomato, rocket, prosciutto and shaved parmesan)
Again, we could not fault. The crust was puffy and had a soft centre. Making a pizza crust like this is a skill and not something I think I could replicate at home. Topped with the ingredients listed above, we struggled to finish the whole pizza.
In April 2018, Lucio competed at the Campionato Mondiale Della Pizza in Parma, Italy and was awarded best pizza in Australia and 5th globally, having competed with over 750 participants from 44 different nations; Lucio’s Margherita pizza came out first place in Australia. His pizza skills have been mentioned on many mainstream media outlets as well.
As much as Lucio tried to convince us we should try some Tiramisu, we decided against the desert because we couldn’t even finish the pizza. I must point out here; it was a lot of food for two women. However, my daughter is a fitness trainer, and she ate most of the meal!
If you are yearning for a taste of Italy, then head on down to Lucio Pizzeria in Darlinghurst or Zetland. Despite being in the heart of Darlo, the courtyard gives the image that you could be in Naples.
Thank you, Lucio, Squisito!