Just weeks after opening a huge Italian restaurant and beer garden Ainslie in Williamsburg, chef-restaurateur John DeLucie is at it again. Today, he unveils new Italian restaurant Lumaca in the hip luxury hotel HGU New York in Midtown.
Lumaca, opening at 34 East 32nd Street, between Madison and Park Avenue South, serves coastal Italian fare with updated versions of classics like vitello tonnato, ravioli, paccheri with ricotta cheese and wild boar, calamari stewed in tomato sauce, fried mussels with spicy aioli, and branzino in parchment paper, served with farro, seasonal vegetables, and herbs. See full menus below.
“My family is from Puglia, and I’m really excited to do food I ate growing up,’’ says DeLucie, who also runs Midtown restaurant Bedford & Co. and is a partner in the revamped Empire Diner in Chelsea.
The restaurant will have three separate spaces within the iconic Beaux Arts building — a 60-seat dining room, the Lumaca Lounge, and the HGU Roof Bar have all been renovated and the interior adorned with DeLucie’s signature black and white photos, including works by New York City filmmaker Anton Perich.
After DeLucie’s dramatic split with his former partner in 2015 that ended in the demise of his Crown Hospitality Group, the chef has no partners in this venture, other than the hotel’s owner, Michael Namer, who he says he’s known for a long time.
DeLucie has been busy over the past couple of months. In September he opened Ainslie, a 10,000-square-foot restaurant, wine bar, and beer garden in a renovated Brooklyn warehouse. That restaurant also leans Italian, with dishes like burrata, wood-fired pizzas, and housemade pasta on the menu. There, he partnered with fellow restaurateur AJ Bontempo and brothers Sergio and Mario Riva, who also run Carroll Place and Osteria Cotta and own the building Ainslie is housed in.
He’s now pivoted focus to Lumaca, which opens at 4 p.m. this afternoon. Hours are from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 4 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.