Essteele shortlists a selection of standout Italian dining experiences on the Australian restaurant scene from iconic influencers to emerging new talent.
Grossi Florentino Upstairs
Steeped in local Italian food and culture Melbournians are spoilt for choice when it comes to Cucina Italiana, however, chef Grossi Florentino sets the bar high. Patrons at his two-hatted restaurant can choose traditional dishes such as honeycomb tripe or roast partridge on buckwheat risotto or for a truly decadent experience the Gran Tour menu offers a lavish five-course set menu matched with wines from Australia, Italy and France.
Superlatives come thick and fast from restaurant reviewers when describing Brisbane's finest Italian dining experience. Located in the heritage-listed Taylor-Heaslop building (circa 1889) in the heart of the city's antique and cafe quarter, 1889 Enoteca serves traditional Roman fare. As well as a wine bar and vinaio, (Enoteca means wine library) and an underground cellar for private dining and functions the buzzy restaurant also delights in showcasing natural wines and artisan producers from Italy.
The nation's capital has stepped its dining credentials in recent years with foodies commending the spate of new bars and eateries popping up at lightning speed. The intimate fine-dining restaurant Mezzalira is somewhat of a veteran on the scene but locals still rate it as one of the best options for serving up smart, classic Italian dishes plus extra points for a spectacular wine list, including many locally produced wines.
Still, have an appetite for dessert? Have a look at our picks for the best gelato