The final puzzle piece of the Noho Hospitality Group’s Williamsburg puzzle — and the biggest, most highly anticipated one — will slide into place on Thursday night. Leuca, located on the ground floor of The William Vale Hotel at 111 North 12th Street near Wythe Avenue, is a restaurant with food influenced by Southern Italy. Chef Andrew Carmellini, the culinary mastermind behind hits like Locanda Verde and Bar Primi, says his first full-service restaurant in Brooklyn isn’t quite like his other Italian projects in Manhattan.
Here, Carmellini and executive chef Anthony Ricco are making use of an Acuto oven from Naples. One section of the menu is dedicated to flame-grilled dishes, such as a chicken for two with blistered peppers and a bass with beans and preserved tomatoes. Another section features three kinds of pizzas, with a classic margherita, a pepperoni and ‘nduja, and a ricotta and broccoli rabe pie. They are also cooked in the wood-fired oven. And he’s also serving Southern Italian dips with a Sicilian sesame seed bread, including a dip with sheep’s milk ricotta, an ingredient that also appears at places like Locanda and Bar Primi. This version comes with hot honey and garlic.
Although Leuca’s been described as a Southern Italian restaurant, Carmellini says it’s definitely more of an influence than a straight interpretation. "It’s not traditional in any way," he says. He’s sourced many ingredients from coastal regions of Italy like Sicily and Calabria. "It’s really elemental in a way, I feel," he says. "We’re having a lot of fun with it." Check out the full menu and photos of the space below, and stay tuned for more info when Leuca opens for breakfast, lunch, and brunch as well.