Originally published on Broadsheet.
After six years in Little Bourke Street, the Italian favourite opens a second.
Unlike its petite sister restaurant in the city, +39 Pizzeria in Hawksburn Village has a little more breathing space, with room for 100 diners. But the philosophy behind the food is the same – honest, simple and strictly Italian.
“When it came to the site, we were looking for a family-orientated area and a space that would cater for large groups,” says co-owner Andrea Ceriani.
Ceriani and his team have tweaked the space. It is more casual than its previous tenant, Valentino. The walls have been painted a fresh white, and lighter furniture has been shifted in. Italian groceries – including large cans of chopped tomatoes, packets of dried pasta and Italian wine – decorate the space to give it a rustic, home-pantry feel.
“The menu is pretty much the same [as the city restaurant’s], but with the size of this kitchen, we are introducing a few new things,” says Ceriani.
The Italian staples, such as fettuccine alla marinara, capricciosa Italiana, traditional lasagna and Nonna’s Meatballs in Napoli Sauce appear alongside a few inventive dishes, such as the cuoppo d’almalfi starter (fried calamari and zucchini served in a cup).
The pizza selection is identical to the city store’s, and the same can be said for consistency. The toppings are not overdone, so you can appreciate each flavour.
“The favourites are the crudiola (buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, rocket and parmesan), The +39 (fior di latte, Berkshire sausage, mascarpone, gorgonzola and prosciutto) and the diavola (fior di latte, hot salami and chilli),” says Ceriani.
The wine list is predominantly Italian, with a bottle to represent every region in Italy. Varieties from Puglia, Sicily, Abruzzo and Tuscany are available alongside a selection of local Australian wines.
517 Malvern Road, Toorak
(03) 9825 8815
Mon to Wed 5pm–9.30pm
Thu and Fri 12pm–3pm, 5pm–9.30pm
Sat & Sun 12pm–9.30pm
Photography: Carmen Zammit