Italy is known for its excellent wines, and a well-chosen wine list is the mainstay of any New York Italian eatery – but at Lusso, an Italian restaurant in SoHo, diners can experience a new flavor of Italian drinking: Italian craft beers. Lusso diners can choose from among 22 Italian-brewed craft beers and microbrews – the largest selection in New York.
At Lusso, which opened in January 2009, Italian craft beers are typically served in 750mL bottles and range in price from $13 to $34 – comparable to a typical bottle of wine.
“Many U.S. diners are more familiar with Italian wines, but Italy also offers a fast-growing beer movement,” said Mike Carpiniello, Lusso’s owner. “Italian craft beers are a unique offering for our customers, and it’s a growing trend in New York dining. Beer is the new wine, so to speak.”
Lusso is also at the vanguard of the new trend toward “beer dinners” featuring pairings of menu items and select beers. And while other well known beer-brewing countries, such as Germany and England, have strict brewing guidelines, Italian brewers have no such restriction. Brewers may use any ingredients growing on their estate, so the flavors and ingredients in Italian beer are often more inventive and unique to their region, making them ideal for pairing with different dinner menus.
Head Chef Louis Santos is a trained expert in pairing beers with food. Two of the beer pairings include:
— Rex Grue, which is brewed by Birrificio Montegioco and has notes of
sweet tobacco, peppers and sage, paired with Lusso’s sage-infused veal
stuffed with pistachios smoked mozzarella and lardo.
— Genziana saison, brewed by Birra del Borgo with notes of coriander and
gentian root, paired with the Branzino whole-grilled sea bass with
cerignola olives, capers, grilled lemon and pine nuts and drizzled
with olive oil.
“Many New Yorkers are not familiar with the quality and varieties of Italian beers that are out there, but you can have the same kind of diversity of flavors and aromas and food pairings with Italian beers as you would traditionally experience with wine,” said Carpiniello.
Lusso ( www.lussonyc.com ) is located at 331 W. Broadway at the corner of Grand.
Lusso is a contemporary Italian restaurant in SoHo, New York City, specializing in classic Italian flavors with modern flourishes, and offering New York’s most extensive selection of Italian craft beers. Founded in January 2009, Lusso strives to serve as an extension of its guests’ homes – with a warm, comfortable atmosphere, the ambiance of a Tuscan wine bar, and a talented, inventive kitchen staff. Lusso is located at 331 W. Broadway at the corner of Grand. Visit Lusso online at http://www.lussonyc.com /.