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New York City restauranteur talks new solo venture that’s taking Nashville’s food scene by storm

_Select 10 – bolognese
A plate of bolognese served at Anthony Scotto’s new restaurant, Luogo.
Photo: Mayter Scott

A New York City restauranteur is expanding Nashville’s food scene with a new Italian restaurant.

Anthony Scotto is no stranger to New York City’s restaurant community. With over 40 years in the industry under his belt, he’s best known for Fresco by Scotto. However, after all this time, Scotto has been feeling the itch to venture into some new territory.

The result? A new restaurant in Nashville called Luogo.

“I was really looking to do a solo project for many years, and I wanted to put my own flare on food and service,” said Scotto. “Luogo is a direct reflection of me and the 40 years I’ve put into the business. I wanted to take new york and bring it here to improve the Italian food that’s here in Nashville.”

Located on Nashville’s famous 12th Avenue South, Luogo brings Scotto’s upscale, authentic Italian food down south. The menu features a variety of Mediterranean dishes, comfort foods and fan favorites from Fresco like Grilled Pizza Margherita, Veal & Chicken Bolognese and Eggplant & Zucchini Pie.

A plate of spaghetti and clams served at Anthony Scotto’s new restaurant, Luogo.Photo: Mayter Scott

“I’m bringing New York is what I’m doing. The Italian food that’s here is a dish of pasta that they boil and then turn it around and put tomato sauce on top of it. That’s not what I do,” said Scotto. “We incorporate all our foods, we try to make everything taste as properly as we can. I’m bringing my chips here, bringing my pizza here, bringing the menu of coastal fare that people have not seen in Nashville.”

But why Nashville, you may ask? Scotto’s daughter is a graduate of Nashville’s Belmont University, so the Scotto family had been familiar with the city for some time now. But Scotto saw an opportunity to really thrive as Nashville’s Italian food scene is not really all that big.

“They say the right mix of everything is here, but there’s a great need for Italian food in Nashville,” said Scotto. “We have our meatball that I bring from new york, my pizza that I bring from new york, our potato and zucchini chips with melted gorgonzola cheese — these are all things that people are absolutely loving.”

Luogo officially opened its doors in late November and despite being open for a short period of time, Luogo is already completely booked out through December with reservations.

Photo: Mayter Scott

“I’m really so grateful, it’s been incredible. We opened during the holiday season so it’ll be more special to be open during December,” said Scotto. “We’re doing it right, we’re having a great response from our customers, they’ve been so kind to us here. And really, truly, everybody wants to say hello, everyone is excited that we’re doing it — it’s really becoming very popular.”

As for the future of Luogo, Scotto says that the team is working on bringing in gluten free items that don’t change the taste or appearance of the dishes, so everyone can enjoy a meal at Luogo. Scotto hopes to be able to expand and really build a brand, but for now, the team is super excited about what they are doing in Nashville.

“We’re excited to bring concepts to the area now, we’re really growing a company here,” said Scotto. “We’re looking at luogo to start with, but we’re bringing a future here. The employees that I have working here are going to be incorporated into our future. We’re very excited to see what it brings.”

For more information about Luogo, visit luogorestaurant.com.

The interior of LuogoPhoto: Mayter Scottthony

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