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About the art

About Lucio's

Lucio’s restaurant, set in a corner terrace of leafy Paddington in Sydney, is perhaps Australia’s most renowned ‘art’ restaurant – named by London’s The Independent newspaper as one of the five top restaurants for Art in the world alongside La Colombe d’Or in Provence, Sketches and Ivy in London and the Four Seasons in NYC.

How it began  It all started back in 1984 when Sidney Nolan sketched a Ned Kelly on a table docket. Lucio was so thrilled that he spent as much as he could on having it framed (with gold leaf) and proudly hung it on the wall. So moved was Nolan that he presented Lucio with a painting. And so it began. A mutual admiration society between great art and great hospitality.

The Plate Collection  In 1998, to celebrate 15 years of being in Paddington Lucio asked 15 of his artist friends to each paint a ceramic plate with a design, style and medium of their choosing.

Each year another plate has been added and now to celebrate our 35 years in Paddington this unique collection of 35 plates is proudly displayed  in our front room. It is a veritable Who’s Who of the Australian Art world.



new plates

Archibald Finalist  In 2009 Gary Shead’s portrait of Lucio entitled “The Soffritto of Lucio” was selected as a finalist for the Archibald prize. It has been gifted to the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.

The Hungry Horse Art Gallery  was once situated in this very building where a famous 1964 calendar was created featuring twelve of their then stable of artists. You can download a pdf of the calendar here. It is a wonderful step back in time. Not only for the painting from each of the twelve names, most of whom you will recognise, but also for the advertising.

The Artists  The walls of Lucio’s are now crammed with many leading contemporary Australian artists. “Over the years we have built an extensive collection of artists through the friendships that I have with them,” There are works by such luminaries as John Olsen, John Coburn (both of whom have designed menus which have been archived in the Macquarie Library) Tim Storrier, Michael Johnson, John Beard, Fred Cress, Salvatore Zofrea, Martin Sharp, Gary Shead, Charles Blackman, Colin Lancely, Ken Johnson,  Imants Tillers, Margaret Woodward, Sandra Levinson, Robert Juniper, David Larwill, Euan Macleod … the list goes on – and younger ones such as Jason Benjamin, Andrew Taylor, and Luke Sciberras. Many have made wonderful contributions to 3 of Lucio’s books. The Art of Food at Lucio’s. The Art of Pasta (Luke Sciberras) and The Art of Traditional Italian.

Art Galleries near Lucio’s
Did you know that there are 18 fabulous commercial art galleries within a 1-15 minute walk of Lucio’s?

Why not take a leisurely stroll on a Saturday morning to view some amazing art and then take a break, or finish off with a light lunch at Lucio’s. Our Bel Pranzetto menu is just $59 for 2 generous courses and a glass of vino. Or we are happy for you to pop in just for a plate of pasta where you will be surrounded by Lucio’s fabulous personal collection of contemporary Australian art – there really is nothing else like it.

Click here to open downloadable  gallerypdf

Click on map below to open up interactive map



Side dishes

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