Darlinghurst’s resident pizza master Lucio De Falco has opened a second restaurant in Zetland serving Neapolitan pizza, fresh buffalo cheese plates and homemade pasta. Although the mozzarella bar and fresh pasta are both new additions to the Lucio menu, De Falco is still making the pizzas himself, so expect the same religiously traditional style he became famous for in Darlinghurst.
“I always wanted to open another restaurant and I always wanted to do something different. Not pizza-wise, because the pizza is what it is, but a different concept, design and menu.” Black, metallic, edgy and encased in glass, the design is typical to the business-y, semi-formal style of many of Sydney’s mid-range Italian restaurants. The space, including the kitchen, is much larger than its Darlinghurst equivalent. The non-pizza half of the kitchen is run by Naples native Ciro Cortese. He’s been toying with De Falco’s family recipes and Italian classics to create a menu of simple pastas. There’s also a do-it-yourself antipasto plate centred on fresh buffalo cheeses De Falco has imported from Campania. There’s buffalo ricotta, smoked mozzarella with a bronze sheen and burratta, a cheese with a cream-like consistency. Order an Italian cocktail to accompany it, some chargrilled vegetables and any of the crimson cured meats you spied hanging near the entrance.
“There’s nothing fancy here, the food is simple. We’re trying to keep all the recipes from generation to generation.” De Falco says if his 85-year-old nonna came in – the woman who taught him how to cook at age 14 along with his aunt and uncle – he’d serve her pasta. “My grandma would love the orecchiette, she loves broccoli and she loves sausage.” Also worth mentioning is the incredible béchamel-less handmade lasagne with pulled beef.
De Falco gained his knowledge of and passion for pizza growing up in the family restaurant. His training eventually resulted in him receiving the highest honour a pizziolo can: accreditation from the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana for Lucio’s. “To do Neapolitan-style pizza you have to follow certain rules and certain ingredients. It’s not Neapolitan unless you follow these rules.” De Falco is planning to apply for the same accreditation for the new Zetland site.
2–4 Defries Avenue, Zetland
(02) 9697 3028
Mon to Sun 10am–11pm