A FAMILY-run restaurant selling authentic Italian pizza and gelato is going strong despite opening it’s second branch in Didcot a month before lockdown.

Lusso, in the Orchard Centre, had its first food hygiene inspection by South Oxfordshire District Council on March 9.

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Within weeks, like all restaurants, it had to close but the business, which received a five-star rating, has continued with takeaway and delivery – even dedicating certain days to villages surrounding Didcot.

Oxford Mail:

Tommy Szebeni runs the business with wife Rita Lauer and her brother Peter.

It has been making Italian-style gelato since 2014, and opened its first restaurant in 2016 in Newbury, Berkshire 'an eatery based on the unique concept of merging a gelateria with a pizza restaurant'.

Its website adds: "Our artisan products are freshly prepared, using high quality local ingredients wherever possible, served with a smile in a relaxed, laid back, friendly atmosphere."

Oxford Mail:

Mr Szebeni said the business had opened in the Orchard Centre in mid-February and moved straight away to delivery as well as continuing collection when lockdown started.

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He said: "It has been a bit of a struggle, especially at first. With our Newbury restaurant we are established but there have been some days recently were the Didcot restaurant has done better.

Oxford Mail:

"I think people have appreciated us delivering to villages not many others do."

On food hygiene he said: "I think that is something the general public pay attention to. No doubt it has helped us provide reassurance to people about our standards."

Lusso has received glowing reviews during lockdown, with one recent customer commenting: "Great pizzas and most delicious ice cream. Home delivery during the lockdown is much appreciated. I hope deliveries can continue after the lockdown. Highly recommend."

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Another, rating the restaurant five stars, wrote: "Thank you Lusso Didcot for two delicious pizzas and a tub of the best gelato ever. Your delivery service during Covid has certainly brought the closest experience to a restaurant meal out as possible.

"Ordering was easy, service was friendly and efficient and the food was outstanding. You've got a new loyal returning customer and I cannot wait until you can open again to visit in person."

The business is looking to soon open a branch in Oxford.

Visit lussokitchen.co.uk/didcot.