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Upscale dining returns to Bellevue with Luckey Hospitality's Fortuna Italian Steakhouse

Finding a good place to eat in Bellevue has always been easy, especially in the midscale, ethnic or dive categories. It’s the upper tier that’s been elusive.

That’s until last year when co-owners Tabor Luckey and Cory Coleman introduced Fortuna Italian Steakhouse.

Fortuna – the Italian word for luck - opened on Highway 100 in a building, once occupied by Applebee’s, that had stood vacant for years. The quality of the location and facility aligned nicely with the owners’ vision for a fine dining experience in Bellevue.

“Downtown rents and parking make operating, in general, more expensive in those areas,” says Luckey, who also owns Luckey Hospitality and Corner Pub Bellevue. “So, what’s trending across the country is that higher-end and smaller restaurants are operating on the outskirts of major cities. They’re finding success because there’s a demand for that type of experience in those areas. Bellevue is in that class.”

Coleman says the space is ideally suited for a fine dining establishment.

“We didn’t have to transform the existing floorplan,” he says. “It was designed originally by a team that knows how to create an efficient kitchen and restaurant service. We left that part alone but updated the lighting, finishes and aesthetic so that it doesn’t present as an Applebee’s.”

Having the operational aspects in good order from the outset provided Luckey and Coleman with more time to create Fortuna’s menu.

“Cory and I are trained chefs so getting back to fine dining is fun for us,” says Luckey. “We probably went back-and-forth one thousand times on the first menu. We’ve been in the kitchen with each other many times and, while we have different ideas, our relationship is such that, at the end, we come out with what we want.”

The menu includes classic Italian specialties like pastas and flatbreads along with an impressive wine and spirits collection. All sauces and baked goods are made by scratch, either on site or at Luckey Hospitality’s Nashville commissary. Whenever possible, ingredients are sourced from local farmers.

But at Fortuna, Braveheart Black Angus Beef is the star.

“We serve nothing but top quality here and Braveheart is top notch,” says Coleman. “All you have to do is sprinkle salt and pepper on it and put it on the grill. You don’t have to resort to smoke and mirrors with quality this good.”

Says Luckey: “You’ll pay a premium downtown for the same steak that’s served at Fortuna.”

Of course, you can’t dine in a high-end Italian restaurant without dessert. The only problem you’ll have at Fortuna is deciding which one to try. Those who can’t make up their mind might want to opt for Coleman’s version of panna cotta which was created with inspiration from his father.

“My dad turned me onto malted milkshakes and I have memories in particular of a banana split malted milkshake,” says Coleman. “So I created Malted Milk Panna Cotta with bananas, luxardo cherries soaked in bourbon and 80 percent cacao dark chocolate over the dish. It’s a great ending to a meal and to honor a memory.”

To date, Fortuna Italian Steakhouse has been well-received by the Bellevue community. Coleman says it’s not unusual for people to stop by for a drink at 5 p.m. and stay through dinner all the way to closing time. And Luckey notes that many patrons from when he owned Bria Bistro have reconnected at Fortuna, underscoring the point that Bellevue is receptive to more fine dining experiences.

Fortuna Italian Steakhouse is located at 8100 Highway 100 in Shoppes On The Harpeth. The restaurant is open daily from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Additional information, including menus and reservations, is available online at

“We’ve been in the kitchen with each other many times and, while we have different ideas, our relationship is such that, at the end, we come out with what we want.”

Tabor Luckey

  • Photo by Ed Atlas
  • Tabor Luckey
  • Braveheart Bone-in Ribeye.
  • Braveheart Filet
  • Malted Milk Panna Cotta with bananas

Businesses featured in this article