Bellissimo – Lucio’s
A tantalising sea of flavour brings together fresh produce and Italian traditions in exciting ways, enthuses Helen Flanagan.
It’s no secret the beautiful cuisine of Italy has an enduring place in our hearts and bellies, as will Lucio’s Marina. The seafood trattoria plus all-day aperitivo bar, serving cocktails and stuzzichini, is at the Noosa Marina and seemingly floats on the Noosa River.
Stepping up to the plate as restaurateur and manager is Lucio’s next generation, Matteo and Michela Galletto, children of renowned former Sydney restaurateurs Lucio and Sally Galletto, who (lucky for us) now call Noosa home.
“We want to surprise and delight with local produce and the best seafood,” explains Matteo who admits to being in his father’s shadow to live up to high expectations.
“Embracing simplicity and using modern techniques will ensure the flavours will speak for themselves,” he says. “There’s also a nod to our grandparents, who 70 years ago in Italy opened Capannina Ciccio, a trattoria on a river at Bocca di Magra and was famous for seafood pasta dishes.”
Look out for Tagliolini alla Granseola 1983 (Blue Swimmer Crab); Ravioli Maree Monti (Moreton Bay Bug, Foie Gras and Saffron); and Spaghetti ai Ricci di Mare (Tasmanian Sea Urchin Cream and optional Caviar) to get the mouth watering at Lucio’s Marina.
The big focus for Matteo’s wife Dieuwke Albertsma, a former pastry chef, is the on-trend, dry-aged fish charcuterie using traditional Italian recipes of salting and curing seafood for dishes such as Kingfish Lonzo; Tuna Bresaola; Whipped Baccala; and Swordfish ‘Smoky Bacon’.
Leading the kitchen brigade is head chef Alejandro Soto, who was raised in Costa Rica by the sea. A celebrated career around the world followed including restaurants in Dubai, China, Latin America which was Michelin-starred, Sardinian-born Giovanni Pilu’s 2-hatted Freshwater at Pilu in Sydney. Closer to home, he has spent several years with the Tony Kelly Group in Mooloolaba.
At Lucio’s, Alejandro’s passion for seafood has been reignited! He feels honoured to cook dishes with caught-today ingredients such as Scallops with Maize and Miso; Split King Prawns roasted with Garlic and Parsley Butter; Lightly Fried Moreton Bay Bug, Red Peppers, Cucumber, Lime and Mascarpone; and of course, Fish of the Day. Don’t miss the Fritto Misto with Calamari, School Prawns, Whitebait with Bergamot Aioli; Aficionados say it is amazing and it’s all served indoors and out, all afternoon.
After working in the family restaurants of Sydney and Liguria, Lucio’s manager Michela Galletto said attending a multicultural school in Italy spiked her interest in languages, cultures, travel, exploration and discovery.
“Go where the wind takes you,” she extols. “And here we are in a beautiful space where people come together over laughter, food and wine.
“Italian wines will be our main focus and are made for food and memories: a cool, savoury Ligurian Vermentino takes you back to the Cinque Terre full of sun-soaked days and salty air; the first swirl of an earthy Barolo can trigger a memory of white truffles on housemade fettuccine.
“We also love the eclectic variety of Aussie wines; cannot forget Spain, Greece and France with the joyful fizz of champagne which reminds us of holidays and celebrations.”
“We have focused on fresh mineral whites, rosés and chilled reds,” Matteo adds. “Of course big, classic reds and chardonnays and a great selection of minimal-intervention drops. Many of our favourite Italian winemakers have been producing stunning ‘natural’ wine for years, ditto young gun Aussie winemakers giving us plenty of interesting and moreish options. Salute!”
For bookings, to peruse the menu and drinks list or for opening hours, visit www.luciosmarina.com
Lucio’s Marina, Noosa Marina, 2 Parkyn Court, Tewantin.