"Italian with a hint of Miami-inspired flavors." That's how Giorgio Rapicavoli describes the food at his soon-to-open Luca Osteria in Coral Gables.
"Like with Eating House, we are letting the food speak for itself," the 35-year-old chef tells New Times.
"We will offer a fun, interesting approach to Italian cuisine that's both classic and unpredictable," Rapicavoli continues. "Luca's menu is still all about the traditional ethos of simple ingredients, but I wanted to be more representative of what I am by combining flavors and techniques I've experienced and show that there's a creative side to Italian cooking too."
The Chopped champion's new concept is slated to open in late fall under the umbrella of his Shake & Bake Hospitality Group, which also runs Eating House in Coral Gables and at Time Out Market.
Named after Rapicavoli's two-year-old son, Luca Osteria will occupy a 2,500-square-foot space on Giralda Avenue and will offer seating both indoors and out. Globe lights will illuminate the dining room, which is clad in black, white, and brass and framed by slate floors and wood ceilings. Moroccan tiles and mirrors will decorate the custom-built bar and restrooms.
Rapicavoli, a Miami native who also oversees the kitchen at Glass & Vine, will serve a medley of ingredient-driven dishes including starter options of heirloom tomatoes with strawberry, basil, and olive-oil croutons; an antipasto of local fish crudo tossed with mandarin olive oil, blood orange, and grapefruit; and mortadella on toasted Sullivan Street bread, topped with a spread of pistachio and balsamic saba.
Luca Osteria will feature its own menu of house-made pastas — dishes such as linguine alle vongole with Florida clams, wine, lemon, and pickled garlic butter; an entrée of pappardelle ragù Bolognese with beef short ribs, mortadella, and nutmeg; and another main course of orecchiette with broccoli coated with black olive, pecorino, and Calabrian chili ragù. A signature Luca burger will combine dry-aged beef, red-wine onions, Fontina cheese, and black truffle.
To end the meal, Rapicavoli will dish out desserts of panna cotta with vermouth caramel and orange; cannoli stuffed with hazelnut cookie and ricotta; and tiramisù al limone, made with limoncello and mascarpone.
Traditional and natural wines will be offered, along with a list of classic and signature handcrafted cocktails.
Luca Osteria. 116 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables; lucamiami.com. Opening fall 2020.