Husband and wife team Francesco d’Amuri and Alison De Renzi moved from Florence Italy to New Haven, Connecticut in 2002 to open L’Orcio Restaurant. After spending years eating their way through the Italian countryside the idea for L’Orcio came up one day over a particularly delicious dish of Wild Boar Ragu’ in one of their favorite spots. The idea was a simple one; it would be great to share the culinary wealth of the many regions of Italy in one restaurant on one menu. They decided to stick with classic Italian food… the kind you would expect when visiting a small local eatery, in a small charming town, where no one speaks English.
After scouting out locations with the help of their partner Lorraine Doyle the property at 806 State Street in New Haven stood out. The historical building known as the Thomas Kelly House was built in 1889 and is one of few Queen Anne Victorian style residences in the area. A house seemed like the perfect location to share their Italian food and the unique space offered a warmth and comfort that other commercial spaces simply couldn’t.
Once they found a venue the couple set their sights next on a name for their new restaruant. Chef d’Amuri chose the name L’Orcio (lorcho’) because he felt it embodied the concept of their new restaurant. An Orcio is a terracotta urn with a large opening used by Etruscans to store food, including olive oil. It is a modern day artifact that has always maintained its original form and function and is still used by Tuscans today. It is earthy, rustic and functional just like the food Chef planned on featuring on his menus using seasonal ingredients.
After extensive renovations to the building L’Orcio opened its doors on February 11th, 2003 and just as conceptualized offered a vast array of traditional seasonal dishes from the different regions of Italy. L’Orcio soon became a New Haven favorite receiving awards and recognition for its culinary delights. Alison and Francesco continue to travel and research in Italy and feel truly lucky to have such a wonderful and receptive clientele!