We were hoping to see Zucco again on this trip, and I was in the process of getting their number to talk with him to see if he’d be willing to make an exception to his no reservation policy for our wedding night (pre Minetta reservation) when I saw news that he had passed away in 2010 of a heart attack. Zucco was the soft-spoken and eccentric proprietor of his namesake diner Zucco: Le French Diner. He was the mellow man who greeted you warmly, always refilled your mini glass of red wine, and always had the best mix of music jamming in the teeny tiny French diner. Whenever we listened to radio nova, an online station he turned us on to, we always thought of this charming Lower East Side spot, which became one of our favorites when we lived in New York. It was a place with the most fantastic music, great food, great energy, and charm.
Since we didn’t go to Zucco on our wedding night, we wanted to return to the diner at the end of our trip for a casual meal to sort of pay respects to Zucco. We went on a weeknight, but still ended up waiting an hour. The food I wanted to order was no longer available or “not recommended.” The night started off a bit disappointing, but we ended up getting the coveted window seat table, Grant ended up getting several free refills of good red wine, and the new manager gave my meal for free. Cannot complain about free dinner and free wine. And they were still playing fantastic music.
Zucco’s son was not there the night we went, but apparently he’s taken over the restaurant. It’s great to see the diner and Zucco’s legacy still lives on.