Osteria LuCa, a new casual, full-service Italian restaurant from the team behind TRUE Crafted Pizza, is now open. It’s in the space formerly occupied by Charlotte Cafe in Park Road Shopping Center.
“We are really excited to turn people onto high quality simple Italian food in a casual inviting space,” co-owner Ken Martino says. “Tricia (wife) and I have been in the full-service arena at some of the best restaurants in New York and San Francisco for most of our careers. We are very excited to further our brand of hospitality.”
Tricia said she’s spent the last several years “moming” but now that the Martino kids are older, she’s ready to get back to the day-to-day of the restaurant.
“I’m excited about being back in the business,” she says. “We’ll have regulars and make new friendships. And I’m excited about all of that.”
The full-service Italian restaurant occupies a 3,100-square-foot space with floor-to-ceiling windows and a bustling bar and dining room up front. The back dining room is quieter and features an eight-seat pizza bar with a view of the open fireplace and approximately 35 banquette seats lining both walls.
The name LuCa is an abbreviation of their children’s names: Lucas and Caroline.
Menu: Osteria LuCa’s menu features wood-fired pizzas ($12-$16), assorted fresh homemade pastas ($16-$19), a wide selection of hot and cold antipasti ($10-$18), salads ($9-$12), and wood-fired entrees ($19-$38).
Some highlights include:
- Shrimp salad crostini with celery, scallion, and Old Bay ($12)
- Whipped ricotta with roasted apples, rosemary, balsamic, and grilled bread ($12)
- TRUE meatballs with marinara sauce ($14)
- Mussels with tomato, white wine, garlic, chili, and garlic bread ($13)
- Anson Mills farro salad with arugula, roasted beats, benne seed, and goat cheese ($12)
- Meat lovers pizza with bacon, soppressata, fennel sausage, and mozzarella cheese ($16)
- Garden pizza with red and yellow peppers, red onions, spinach, and mushrooms ($14)
- Bacon and egg pizza with sliced potatoes and parmesan cheese ($15)
- Cavatelli with lamb sausage and rabe ($16)
- Ricotta ravioli with brown butter and sage ($16)
- Chicken parmigiana ($19)
Culinary team: Chef Chris McDade, who owns Popina in Brooklyn and worked for Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group at Miaolino and Marta worked with Brendan Treyball, the executive chef at TRUE Crafted Pizza to execute the menu.
Design: The interior features an exposed brick wall behind the bar, modern lighting, black and white color scheme with pops of burnt orange, chevron flooring, and custom art from Anne Neilson. Tricia’s mom, also part owner of the venture, helped lead the design.
Hours: Osteria LuCa is open 5-9 p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and 5-10 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday (closed Monday).
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