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Luca in EC1 awarded first Michelin star

Luca, the modern Italian restaurant in London's Clerkenwell, has been awarded its first Michelin star in the 2023 Great Britain & Ireland Guide.

The star was announced at the Michelin Guide Ceremony Great Britain & Ireland Guide 2023 event last night, where Michelin awarded a star to Luca “for their delicious Italian dishes”.

“I am immensely proud of this achievement, it has been a life-long ambition and we’re so pleased for both the team and the restaurant,” said Luca’s Head Chef, Robert Chambers.

“This is a great achievement for the restaurant, we’re thrilled! Thank you to our guests and brilliant team, we couldn’t have done it without you,” added Co-Founder Johnny Smith.

Luca opened in Clerkenwell in November 2016, and is the second restaurant from Daniel Willis, Johnny Smith and Isaac McHale, the trio behind the multi-award winning and Michelin-starred The Clove Club, Shoreditch.

Robert Chambers, previously of The Square, Locanda Locatelli and The Ledbury, heads up the kitching, bringing to Luca his interpretation of modern Italian cuisine.

Renowned for its contemporary take on Italian cuisine, the food at Luca observes the traditions of Italian cooking, but breaks the rules a little with British twists, to deliver a menu of modern classics. Signature dishes include Parmesan fries; Rigatoni with pork sausage ragù, tomato, anchovy and mint, and Amalfi lemon and bergamot tart with rosemary ice cream.

Diners can choose to order à la carte or can instead opt for Luca’s Chef’s menu at £85pp, leaving it up to Robert and his team to curate a menu of antipasti, primi, secondi and dolci that reflects the best of Luca’s menu.

Luca also houses a standalone bar that serves the restaurant’s take on classic cocktails, such as the Gold Negroni, made with Sacred dry gin, Strega, Martini Ambrato, grappa and olive oil, and the Chinotto Manhattan, which uses Rittenhouse Rye, Chinotto Nero, lapsang and sweet vermouth.

The cocktails sit alongside an all-Italian wine list with an extensive by-the-glass offering, Italian beers, and one of London’s most comprehensive selections of grappa. The bar at Luca also offers a selection of Italian bar snacks and a more casual, seasonally-changing bar express menu for just £30 (served 12pm-2pm daily).

Since opening, Luca has received much critical acclaim and has won numerous awards, including the Monocle Restaurant of the Year Award. It has also been included in the top 100 of the National Restaurant Awards.