Lucio's: why did I wait so long to eat there?

I'M NOT SURE why it took me 19 years to visit Lucio's restaurant on London's Fulham Road in Chelsea? Maybe it was because I used to think it was out of reach when occasionally seeing Chelsea FC managers and players alike arriving and leaving.

Lucio's is a family-run business created by Lucio Altana. He was the manager of San Lorenzo in the heady days when it was one of the favourite London restaurants often visited by a plethora of celebrities. Iconic photographs taken by the British photographer Terry O'Neill adorn the walls of the horseshoe-shaped dining room.

The menu is centred around classic Italian staples using the best fresh local produce and Italian suppliers for authentic flavours. The wine list was reasonable and varied with a wide price band and choice. I'm always impressed when you ask for a wine recommendation, and not only is it delicious, it was at a reasonable price point, so you don't feel they are taking advantage of you. And yes, a light red wine goes very well with fish.

The service provided by Lucio and his two sons is knowledgeable and polite, which provides a personal touch. I arrived early and had a choice of tables, choosing to sit in the inside room with a view of fellow diners, many of whom gave the impression of being regulars with their usual table. Surely a sign of a great restaurant to be able to retain guests and keep them coming back again and again. Excellent food and an ever-changing menu. I will certainly be returning.

Copyright © Wayne Lèal
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