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Gino D’Acampo opens new London hotel restaurant today

Gino D’Acampo has provided a first look at his new London restaurant, Luciano, ahead of its opening at the five-star ME London hotel today.

Named after his first born, 19-year-old son Luciano, the open-plan 100-cover restaurant harnesses the five-star world operating standards for which ME by Meli, bringing upmarket Italian dining to the heart of the West End and Covent Garden area.

It’s a significant move for the leading Italian chef, with plans for further premium national and international restaurant openings in the pipeline.

In-keeping with the contemporary and cutting-edge design of the ME London hotel, Luciano is impressive, combining polished white marble surfaces and rich warm woods with bold wall coverings and brushed gold accent features to create a space that is both stylish and sophisticated, and yet relaxed.

Located at the ME London hotel on The Strand (336-337), and with its own private entrance, guests arrive to a refined and alluring reception area, where a glass wine wall proudly display the extensive selection of famous and lesser-known premium Italian wines available at Luciano. All are sourced direct through D'Acampo’s hand- picked Italian suppliers, of which many are exclusive to the restaurant.

A range of tables, from intimate tables of two through to the restaurant’s generous window booths with seating for up to ten, cater for a wide range of dining requirements.

At the rear of the restaurant an impressive open kitchen commands attention, headed by Executive Head Chef Lorenzo Minini, who returns from Italy to join Gino’s esteemed team. The acclaimed chef has, throughout his 12-year career, worked at some of the capital’s most-celebrated restaurants including StreetXO, C-London Cipriani and Osteria San Lorenzo.

The a-la-carte menu, designed by D’Acampo and Minini, is fitting for its location, incorporating a generous selection of Italian classic dishes with a focus on quality and ingredient provenance. The menu sees ten key sections – cicchetti; antipasti; carpaccio and tartare; insalata; pasta, risotto and gnocchi; pizza Napoletana; dal mare; bistecca; and dalla terra; with a wide selection of accompaniments, contorni, to complement.

An authentic Italian service adds to the premium and yet informal dining experience, available to guests all day, every day with a brunch, lunch and dinner service until late.

An in-room dining service is also available for guests of the ME London hotel with Luciano working with the luxury hotel to host both corporate and lifestyle gatherings in the hotel’s incredible event spaces such as the Radio Rooftop and Marconi Lounge.

The upmarket Italian restaurant and bar sees a great emphasis on drinks, with one of London’s most highly regarded mixologists, Chris Edwards from Salt of the Earth, working closely alongside D’Acamp and the senior development team to create an impressive cocktail menu, including signature Luciano cocktail, Maker’s Mark, Ancho Reyes red, thyme sugar, fresh lemon, miraculous foamer, redwinefloat, mozzarella, basil and pepperoni.

An extensive wine list, including iconic Italian brands and exciting new names, also features. All are available to be enjoyed at the restaurant’s striking 30ft underlit marble bar, with high seating for 12, or on the restaurant’s generous terrace, with seating for a further 100 guests providing views across to London’s iconic theatres.

D’Acampo said, “I’m super excited to open my new restaurant, Luciano at the ME London hotel. Every opening is an important occasion but this launch in particular has a personal and special place, it being named after my first born, Luciano, and it being my first with the world-renowned ME by Melia´.

“The last 18 months have been a difficult time for everyone. It makes the opening of Luciano all the more significant; to be looking forward and celebrating the start of something new is a real privilege and something of which I am incredibly proud.

“I have to say a huge thank you to my fantastic team and that of ME by Melia´ who have been nothing short of amazing this last year and made the opening of Luciano possible. I cannot wait to join them in raising a glass and inviting guests to experience everything my beautiful new restaurant and bar at the ME London hotel has to offer.”

General Manager at the ME London hotel, Samantha Kandou-Fulton, added, 'We are excited and delighted with our partnership. Luciano by Gino D’Acampo relates to our heritage with its focus on the Mediterranean lifestyle and kitchen.

'Our guests find choice very important and in recent times, having this freedom and variety of gastronomy under one roof is an expectation. Our three unique dining experiences will create an amazing social epicentre within ME London hotel.'

Luciano is the first restaurant opening from Gino D’Acampo Hotels and Leisure with ME by Melia.

The launch follows the announcement of a partnership between Gino D’Acampo Hotels & Leisure and Melia Hotels International. The opening is Gino’s second new restaurant to launch this year, with a third new opening in Liverpool this August providing welcome positive news for the sector.