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What to Know About TUCCI-New York

The new Italian restaurant from the team behind Delmonico’s, including third-generation restaurateur Max Tucci, opens tomorrow in New York City’s Noho neighborhood.

By Caitlin Leffel

9:00 AM EDT on March 14, 2024

Tucci-New York plate

TUCCI-New York opens Friday, March 15, 2024.

The Tucci family has been shaping the country’s dining scene literally since the inception of the restaurant in America. Oscar Tucci took over America’s first fine dining restaurant from the Delmonico family in 1926, and for decades built an indelible brand of glamour and hospitality. In 2023, Delmonico’s was reborn under the eye of another Tucci, Mario’s son Max, to great acclaim and a dining room that is packed every night. (Max is also the author of a book on the history of Delmonico’s called The Delmonico Way.)

fritto misto
Fritto Misto at TUCCI-New York.

On Friday, March 15, Max will honor the storied restaurant family with the opening of TUCCI–New York, a fine-dining restaurant in NoHo. Located in a two-level space that was formerly a lounge, the restaurant will serve dishes inspired both by the Tucci’s family’s roots in Florence, Italy (where they still maintain a villa, now available for vacation rental) and the classic fine-dining touches that the family introduced at Delmonico’s. In advance of the opening, we spoke to Max about this very personal project. 

Congratulations on the opening of TUCCI! What was the inspiration behind this restaurant? 

The inspiration behind the restaurant is the name—my babbo Mario, my nonno Oscar, my nonna Sesta, my zia Mary, and of course, mamma Gina Tucci. It’s honoring my ancestors, who reintroduced fine dining in the United States, and bringing the Tucci name into a new chapter of hospitality and fine dining. 

Being as steeped as you are in the hospitality culture in New York and around the world, what were some things you particularly wanted to achieve (and avoid) in a restaurant with your name on it? 

The things to achieve really are the fundamentals of hospitality. What does it mean, today, to invite people to a pleasing atmosphere, as was my grandfather’s goal two generations ago? That is what I want to achieve. Honoring the guest—to me that’s the most important thing. You know there’s an old saying in hospitality that they won’t remember the taste of the food, they won’t remember the lighting, they won’t remember the music—but they will remember the way they were treated. 

The things to avoid are simple: Avoid an egoistic nature. I’m celebrating the guests that choose to dine at TUCCI. As my grandfather said: All are welcome at my table. 

focaccia
Focaccia at TUCCI-New York.

Your family has its roots in Florence, Italy. How did Florentine culture and cuisine play a role in the design and menu of this restaurant? 

I really wanted Firenze—the viva viola, the Florentine Renaissance energy—but also my love of all of Italy to be incorporated into the space. So the menu has evolved into an expression of the entire country. We have a great chef directly from Italy named Valentino, who is working with executive chef Eddy [Edward Hong, from Delmonico’s]—he looks like a young Pavarotti and has an authentic passion for bringing Italian food to our guests. We also have our own bakery, so the focaccia and bread are all made in house. 

As far as the interior—finding this space was a sign that the ancestors were with us. This building at 643 Broadway is an incredible location, with a sense of Old New York in the architectural bones, found material our in-house designers incorporated into the interiors, and graffiti by Christopher “Flore” Florentino. The upper level has floor-to-ceiling windows, red velvet drapes that are from the Gramercy Hotel, exposed brick, and vintage family photographs. All the chandeliers and light fixtures are custom designed for the space using hand-blown glass. It's got the Tucci Touch.

bar at TUCCI-New York
The main dining room of TUCCI-New York features a bar hand built with layers of imported wallpaper as well as a refurbished, 100-year-old mirror.

The lower level—I call it the cantina—has incredible stone and brick work, a 150-year-old bar that was completely refurbished by our team, and beautiful celadon green booths, like my grandfather and father designed in the Roman Room at Delmonico’s in the 1950s. My favorite table for two is #38 in the cantina—it’s by a picture of my father and grandfather at our villa in Firenze. It’s where I ate my first bowl of pasta from the kitchen with our house-made focaccia. I have to tell you, in that moment, I wept, and used the focaccia to wipe my tears. My heart is really filled with joy at this opening.

We have beautiful chargers with the TUCCI logo—which was taken from my father’s actual signature—linens, and the same lamps that we use on the table at Delmonico’s, to allude to the fact that Tucci’s is the descendent of Delmonico’s. 

Delmonico’s is known almost as much for its exquisite service and history as for having served presidents, actors, writers, and many a Wall Street titan—as well as for welcoming female diners, including the early women of Wall Street. Who do you think will be attracted to dining at TUCCI? 

If I could travel back in time to pluck some of the original Delmonico’s guests, I’d want Elizabeth Taylor, Katerina Ranieri, Rock Hudson, Cary Grant. Lena Horne and Ralph Burns orchestra in the music cantina—can you imagine? 

But the spirit of New York is more vibrant than ever. So my ideal mix is really taken from my grandfather’s credo: “All are welcome at my table.” I want people to know that when they see the Tucci name on the door, it means all are welcome. (But you have to follow the dress code!) 

TUCCI is open as of March 15; reservations are available now via Seven Rooms. The restaurant is open for dinner seven nights a week; cocktail service on Friday and Saturday midnight–2 am, and is also available for private bookings. Tucci’s is located at 643 Broadway at Bleecker Street in Manhattan. For more information, visit tuccinyc.com and on Instagram @tuccinyc.

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