Twitter Facebook RSS Feed
No Sacred Cows  
Toby Young
Friday 6th May 2005


Does Fulham really need another high-end Italian restaurant? Lucio's, a new venture from the former manager of San Lorenzo, is sandwiched between Carluccio's and Carpaccio's, so if you want to be served a cappuccino by a man called Carlo to go with your Cornetto, then this particular corner of London is the place for you.

Unfortunately, not being particularly passionate about Italian food, I'm not sure I can quite see the point of Lucio's. My wife certainly couldn't. Since parking is always such a nightmare in Fulham--you're lucky if you can find anywhere within half-a-mile of your destination--I offered to drop Caroline off at the restaurant first. However, after popping her head round the door for 30 seconds, she decided she'd prefer to brave the elements. "It's full of plastic fantastics," she said, letting out an involuntary shudder.

Fifteen minutes later, when we finally sat down at our table, I could see exactly what she meant. Was there a wind tunnel somewhere in the basement linking the restaurant to the Burns Unit at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital? What else could explain the extraordinary appearance of our fellow diners? The idea that they might have actually paid a surgeon to make them look like this beggared belief. There was one woman sitting directly opposite us who could have given the Bride of Wildenstein a run for her money. She looked like Billy the Fish.

Apparently, Mara Berni, the old mother hen of San Lorenzo, is furious with Lucio for flying the coop, and, judging from our fellow diners, she's right to be annoyed. They were precisely the sort of cosmetically-enhanced ladies-who-lunch who've made up the core customer base of San Lorenzo for 40 years. At first glance they looked about 18, but the default ring tones on their cellphones--which went off approximately every 30 seconds--gave them away. You have to be at least 50 years old not to be able to figure out how to change the factory settings on your mobile. De de der der, de de der der, de de der der derrrr. It was like being in a Dom Jolly sketch.

The food was considerably better than it is at San Lorenzo, but that's not saying much. I had tuna carpaccio followed by a turkey escallop with roast potatoes while my wife started with deep-fried courgette flowers and followed up with mixed vegetable soup. The corner of my turkey escallop had become all hard and translucent, like a piece of refrigerated ham that's been poking out of its packet for too long, and my wife's courgette flowers contained more oil than Lucio uses to grease up to a table full of plastic surgery monsters. I'd rate the cuisine slightly above Carluccio's and slightly below Carpaccio's.

One slightly irritating thing was that, while the set menu was very reasonably priced (£14 for two courses, £18 for three), virtually every dish involved a £3 or £4 supplement. What's the point of advertising the set lunch at one price if you're going to end up charging approximately 50% on top? Are the customers really so dim they can't see through such a transparent ruse? Actually, judging from the fact that they've spent tens of thousands of pounds to look like the cast of the Muppets, the answer may well be yes.

The saving grace of Lucio's is the décor--chosen by the owner's wife, apparently--which is straightforward and unpretentious. In the main dining room, about a dozen tables draped with white linen tablecloths sit on a dark, parquet floor. The chairs are upholstered in soft, ice cream colours, and the walls are decorated with black and white photographs. To my untrained eye, it struck just the right balance between elegant formality and relaxed simplicity. If only our fellow customers had employed the owner's wife to work on their faces, instead of some Porsche-driving sadist, they might not have looked quite so frightening.

[ FIXED LINK ] Bookmark and Share

Twitter @AshleyWills @fatwheezybloke @WillBriggs9 Free schools get exactly the same money as academies because, legally spe… link  (1 hour ago)


The shocking truth about Jordan Peterson by Wesley Yang -
The intellectual dark web by Bari Weiss -
How identity politics is harming the sciences by Heather Mac Donald -
The fall of the German Empire by Ross Douthat -
How Tom Wolfe became Tom Wolfe by Michael Lewis - Vanity Fair
The neuro-diversity case for free speech by Geoffrey Miller -
The Age of Outrage by Jonathan Haidt -
The Warlock Hunt by Claire Berlinski -
Is classical liberalism conservative? by Yarom Hazony -
The Implosion of Western Liberalism by Patrick Lee Miller -
The Eton of the East End - Daily Mail
The reactionary temptation by Andrew Sullivan -
The book that scandalised New York intellectuals by Louis Menand -
To understand Britain today, look to the 17th Century by Adrian Wooldridge -
The crisis in France by Christopher Caldwell -
A Visit to Michaela School by Patrick Alexander -
Why parenting may not matter by Brian Boutwell -
Trump Establishment's Cultural Significance Explained by Michael Wolff -
Branching histories of the 2016 referendum by Dominic Cummings -
Putin's Real Long Game by Molly K McKew -
The Flight 93 Election by Publius Decius Mus -
How the education gap is tearing politics apart by David Runciman -
What's wrong with identity politics by Graeme Archer -
Grammars and the grain of truth by Jonathan Porter
Anti-Brexit: Britain's new class war by John O'Sullivan -
The English Revolt by Robert Tombs -
Democracies end when they are too democratic by Andrew Sullivan -
Human beings really are making progress by Steven Pinker -
What ISIS really wants by Graeme Wood -
A society ripe for Submission by Douglas Murray -
Why I'm a Conservative Teacher by Jonathan Porter -
Corbyn's Inconvenient Truth – He wanted the IRA to win -
Why I've become Tory scum by Tony Parsons -
Inside Westminster's free school -
Robert Conquest obit -
Jeremy Corbyn is not an anti-Semite – it's so much worse than that -


Andrew Lilico
Andrew Sullivan
Arts and Letters Daily
Bagehot's Notebook
BBC News
BBC Sport
Benedict Brogan
Brendan O'Neill
Bruce Anderson
Coffee House
Conservative Home
Damian McBride
Damian Thompson
Dan Hodges
Daniel Hannon
Ed West
Frank Furedi
Guido Fawkes
Harry Phibbs
Iain Dale
Iain Martin
James Delingpole
James Wolcott
Joe Murphy
John Rentoul
Labour List
Mark Steyn
Matt Drudge
Mehdi Hasan
Melanie Phillips
Michael Wolff
Nick Cohen
Nick Robinson
Nikki Finke
Paul Waugh
Peter Hitchens
Political Betting
Right Minds
Rob Long
Rod Liddle
Sophy Ridge
Stephen Pollard
The Arts Desk
The Corner
The Daily Beast
The First Post
The Omnivore
The Onion
Tim Shipman
Tim Stanley
Tom Shone


AA Gill
Aidan Hartley
Allison Pearson
Allister Heath
AO Scott
Boris Johnson
Charles Moore
Cosmo Landesman
Daniel Finkelstein
David Brooks
Fraser Nelson
George Monbiot
Giles Coren
Henry Winter
James Delingpole
Jan Moir
Janan Ganesh
Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Warner
Jim White
Jonathan Freedland
Lloyd Evans
Manohla Dargis
Martin Samuel
Mary Ann Sieghart
Matthew d'Ancona
Matthew Norman
Maureen Dowd
Michiko Kakutani
Owen Jones
Patrick O'Flynn
Paul Krugman
Peter Bradshaw
Peter Oborne
Philip Collins
Polly Toynbee
Quentin Letts
Rachel Johnson
Rod Liddle
Roy Greenslade
Tim Montgomerie
Trevor Kavanagh
UK Book Cover

  • Buy the book on

  • Buy the book on

  • UK Book Cover

  • Buy the book on

  • Buy the book on

  • Audio Book Cover

  • Buy the audio book from
    Whole Story Audio
  • DVD Cover

  • Buy the DVD from

  • Buy the DVD from

  • IMdb Page on the film