Michele Baldacci - Executive Chef
As a child growing up in Florence, Michele was constantly in the kitchen. His entire family would have lunch and dinner together every day, and Michele was always there, helping his mom cook and plan the menu for the next day. He started his professional career at La Tenda Rossa, a two-star Michelin restaurant in the heart of the Florentine countryside. However, wanting to focus more on the traditional rustic food of his childhood rather than formal fine-dining, Michele soon started working at Buca Lapi, the oldest and most well regarded restaurant in Florence.
After opening Locanda and working here for 5 years, Michele returned to Buca Lapi in 2006 to re-immerse himself in the culture and cuisine of his native Tuscany. Now back in New York City, Michele is focused on bringing his love of rustic Florentine cooking to the heart of his menu. From tripe to chicken livers, seasonal produce to simply grilled and braised meats, Michele's re-inspired menu proudly displays the food and culture he knows and loves.
Rocco Spagnardi - Sommelier
Born and raised in Sperlonga, a coastal town just outside of Rome, Rocco has over 15 years of experience working in the restaurant industry. After receiving his official diploma from Associazione Italiana Sommelier in 2002, Rocco worked as a Sommelier in Rome, Switzerland, England, Australia and New York City. He joined the team at Locanda in 2009, and was an immediate fit.
Rocco's encyclopedic knowledge and true love of Italian wine, as well as his ability to bring out this excitement in others, have made him a favorite among regulars. Rocco's wine list focuses on the many rare and indigenous grapes of Italy. While there are always good Brunellos and Barolos out there, his list is full of surprising wines that are off the beaten path. Believing in a low mark-up policy, Rocco puts these great wines at some of the lowest prices in the city.
Michael Schall - General Manager
Michael has always had a love of food. It wasn't until he started working in the restaurant industry at 18, that he realized he loved connecting other people to food as well. While he has worked basically every job there is inside of a restaurant, Michael's comfort and passions lie at the front of the house.
After eating at Locanda with friends in 2004, he knew
that the food, atmosphere, and ethos of the restaurant
matched his own culinary values. He joined Locanda as a
waiter a few weeks later, and has been working there for
the past 8 years, gradually progressing to management,
and now to owner. In that time, he has combined his talent
for front of the house service with the obsessive attention
to detail needed to run a restaurant smoothly from behind