Images: Thomas Lane, Twin Social
There’s something to be said about really good food, but there’s even more to be said about a dining experience that breaks beyond the dish.
Luigi Di Costanzo is the namesake and mastermind behind famed Italian restaurant, Luigi’s.
Di Costanzo’s larger than life personality compliments his passion for ‘the theatre of food’.
“I was born in Naples, Italy, so food, wine, people and family were an everyday affair”, Di Costanzo says.
“Each and every meal was made with love, and everyone would come together to eat, talk, laugh and share the giving’s of the day – so, it’s in my blood, and I’m so glad that it is”
Upon entering the Franklin Street restaurant, patrons are immediately greeted with a fast-paced vibe, welcoming ambience and the smell of freshly ground coffee and firing hot plates.
Whilst the open kitchen is alight with passionate chefs and whole-hearted cooks, behind the bar beams welcoming smiles and upbeat personalities – like Luigi himself.
“Luigi’s to me is an extension of my home, and my customers are an extension of my family – I am honoured every time somebody walks through our doors”
“We have never had a menu as such, we cook whatever is in season and what’s good at the time with our focus on home-made pasta, the freshest seafood, classic meat dishes and always catering for vegetarians and vegans”
Lavish serving boards have become a signature of the menu, encouraging diners to share as they would in conversation.
First opening in 2014, Di Costanzo’s Mamma would join him in the 5am starts, helping curate traditional meatballs, lasagna, parmigiana, sauces and soups.
“Mamma was excited to get to work and cook her little heart out – Mamma loved our customers, and they loved her”
Three years from opening, Di Costanzo’s beloved Mamma passed away, but her presence continues to resonate within the restaurant’s walls.
“I will always ensure that we carry on her legacy and keep making my beautiful little Mamma proud”
To bring life to this legacy beyond the food, Di Costanzo has gone above and beyond to ensure patrons are treated to a full-fetched dining experience.
Whilst breakfast and lunch are a six-day offering (closed Sundays), Thursday, Friday and Saturday night’s sees the venue morph from breakfast through to eclectic evenings of live music, signature cocktails and a wholesome dinner menu.
Bass players, vocalists and pianists under dimmed blue-lighting bring about a late-night European ambience, complimenting generous dishes and an extensive drinks list.
Thoughtful in every aspect of his presentation of flavoursome fare, from the venue’s surrounds, to the details in the dish, Di Costanzo’s vision of bringing friends and loved ones together has flourished to become what it is today.
“Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together – no matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people get together to eat”