Georgia Beard follows the voyage of traditional cuisine from the Italian Riviera to Noosa River, inspiring the menus of abundant winter feasts at Lucio’s Marina.
Where the Magra River meets the Mediterranean off the north-west coast of Liguria, culinary master Lucio Galletto OAM grew up immersed in homegrown Italian cuisine.
From fresh catches delivered to the harbour to vegetables, olive oil and game reared in undulating farmland, Liguria boasts a palate unique to the region – one which birthed pesto and testaroli and perfected the preparation of seafood.
These flavours were as familiar to Lucio as his family, who operated their seafood trattoria, Capannina Ciccio, on the river mouth in the 1950s.
Following decades of history – including a love-inspired move to Australia and nearly 40 years running an illustrious art-adorned restaurant in Paddington, Sydney – Lucio passed the hat to a new generation of Italian chefs.
It’s fair to say that hospitality was a genetic gift to his son Matteo, who opened Lucio’s Marina 18 months ago.
This contemporary reiteration of the original Lucio’s has already cultivated deep roots in the local community and Matteo, together with wife Dieuwke, have merged the spirit and traditions of Ligurian food culture with seafood sourced from local waterways.
Now, when we sit on the breezy deck with a premium glass of wine and a plate of fresh crustaceans, it’s easy to mistake the Noosa River for the Italian Riviera.
This transportive dining experience has earned seasons of sell-out events, from this summer’s sumptuous Lucio’s Ligurian Lunch and vibrant End of Summer Party to our own Taste of Italy IN Noosa wine lunch and culinary contributions during last year’s Italian Food & Vino Festival and Noosa Jazz Festival.
Alongside these local celebrations, the wider Australian restaurant industry continues to honour the Galletto legacy.
Lucio himself recently showcased his traditional Ligurian cuisine at The Italian Maestros Event Series, served in collaboration with Chef Alessandro Pavoni at a’Mare in Sydney.
The five-course feast offered a combination of Ligurian classics, such as the earthy Trenette al Pesto, and favourites from Lucio’s in Paddington, such as the briny Pesceal Sale – paired with lavish Italian wines.
Retired but restless, the industry patriarch will return to Noosa in August for another cultural celebration at his namesake restaurant with son Matteo.
Travelling south to the historical territory of Lunigiana, Lucio’s Lunigiana Dinner will feature Lucio as guest maitre’d in a multi-course tour of the region’s flavours.
Steeped in Roman history, this mountainous, castle-scattered region falls between northern Tuscany, western Emilia Romagna and eastern Liguria.
Lucio and Head Chef Alberto Vitassovich have drawn on Lunigiana’s cuisine culture to deliver a menu featuring the famous Testaroli al Pesto, sensational local seafood and rich game such as wild boar.
Dishes will also be matched with bubbles on arrival and curated wines from the region.
Throughout August, Lucio’s Marina will continue to activate our senses during the Ayala Champagne Lunch and two exclusive events as part of the Noosa Jazz Festival!
With a menu changing every few weeks, indulge in a two-course or three-course lunch paired with a glass of premium wine or local beer.
More casual appetisers come in the form of the River Lounge Focaccia Special, Half-Price Oysters from 3pm to 4pm and Happy Hour from 4pm to 5.15pm.
For early access and priority booking when Lucio’s upcoming events go live, Noosa locals are invited to join the Locals Club and become Friends of Lucio’s!
Membership is free and offers exclusive birthday discounts and Locals BYO to lunch and dinner on Thursdays.
Visit www.luciosmarina.com/friends to find out more and sign up!
WINTER AT LUCIO’S
Thursday 24 August
Taste your way through Lunigiana, the historical region dating back to the Roman Empire, encompassing northern Tuscany, western Emilia Romagna and eastern Liguria; where the Galletto family hails from.
Lucio Galletto will be making a special appearance as guest maitre’d as you indulge in famous Testaroli al Pesto, sensational local seafood and rich game such as wild boar, matched with bubbles on arrival and curated wines from the region.
Saturday 26 August
Treat yourself to a decadent Lucio’s Seafood & Caviar Lunch paired with Ayala Champagne and hear from the ambassador of Ayala Champagne Global.
Wednesday 30 August and Thursday 31 August
Enchant your senses with a three-course lunch combined with a performance of world-class jazz. Different menu each day.
Tickets: $70pp restaurant seating; $50pp bar seating
Friday 1 September
A night of French jazz accompanied by a menu comprised of Italian dishes that inspired French haute cuisine. When Caterina Medici, from the famous family of Florence, married Henry II and became the queen of France she brought her private chefs and tastes from Italy. She literally introduced the fork to the French!
Tickets: $180pp includes matching wines