The smart signage on the facade at 88 St John Street is the first indication of what to expect from Luca, the latest venture from the trio behind the multi award-winning, Michelin starred Clove Club. Inspired by 1950s art deco Italian graphic design and typography, the visual identity created by London-based design studio EverythingInBetween underpins Isaac McHale, Daniel Willis and Johnny Smith’s ‘Britalian’ – Italian dishes made with English ingredients – concept.
Peek behind the bottle green curtains and the devilishly lit bar area, with its Alexander Waterworth sage green leather booths, dark wood floors and a calacatta porcelain bar with mottled back wall tiles will entice you in. Beyond this you’ll find an understated 124-cover dining room with semi open kitchen, where head chef Robert Chambers, formerly of Locanda Locatelli and The Ledbury, cooks up anti pasti pasta and heartier mains in the vein of turnip tops, samphire, smoked cod’s roe and sweet butter and spaghettini with Morecambe Bay shrimps and mace butter. A sampler of cured meats and small plates is available to perch with at the bar.
There are two private dining rooms, one of which doubles as a pasta preparation and demonstration area, ornamented with earthy, neutral-hued tableware, and a leafy courtyard that will provide the perfect spot in which to retire with a house-made Nocino on the rocks, come summer time.