Saturday, June 4, 2016

Eat'aliano by Pino, Windsor (by invitation) by Bilby Blue

I love Italian food. There is something truly wonderful about a culture that celebrates and shares the joy of food and its natural ingredients. So an invitation to the launch of a new Italian restaurant in Windsor was not to be missed.

Eat'aliano by Pino, lamb cutlets
Lamb cutlets, served with roasted orange and purple carrots

The eponymous Pino Russo, who is also co-owner of La Svolta in Hampton, aims to serve authentic cuisine from regional Italy – in particular from Naples. And as everyone knows, one of the specialities of Naples is pizza. At Eat’aliano you can be confident that you are eating authentic Neapolitan style pizza, as the restaurant is a member of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, the official Naples-based organisation that promotes and protects the traditional pizza. And the pizzas are ready in a flash – Pino has installed an amazing white tiled pizza oven from Europe that bakes a pizza in just 50 seconds!

Eat'aliano by Pino, Windsor
However Benny and I were about to discover that Eat’aliano is far more than just great pizza…

The d├ęcor is modern and stylish, but with a rustic twist. Planter boxes hang from the ceiling, and at the far end of the restaurant timber shelving showcases a wide range of Italian products. A glass-walled cabinet by the servery displays legs of prosciutto and various cheeses. For our invitation-only event, a single huge table dominated the room, however normally there are separate tables.

Eat'aliano by Pino, Windsor, bar, cocktails
Now unlike Bureaucrat I am not a cocktail connoisseur, but my welcoming drink was mighty fine. Served in a tall clear glass with a small strip of lemon (thus sadly scoring relatively low on the theatrical glamour scale), it was described as a white martini with homemade lavender syrup and prosecco. With one of Italy’s top ten bartenders, Eat’aliano is sure to deliver some spectacular concoctions.

Then came the food…

Eat'aliano by Pino, Windsor, stracciatella di bufala
First up was stracciatella di bufala with prosciutto crudo. The creamy stracciatella was formed into a rich and buttery burrata which was encased in mozzarella. It was divine, the richness of the cheese paired beautifully with the salt of the thinly sliced prosciutto, which we had earlier inspected, still as a whole leg, in its cabinet. This was served with Sardinian flatbread – very, very thin and crisp.

Eat'aliano by Pino, Windsor, octopus and potato salad
Next was insalata di polpo e patate (octopus and potato salad, with garlic, parsley and olive oil). This was Benny’s favourite – the octopus was beautifully tender, and was well matched with the small diced potato.

Eat'aliano by Pino, Windsor, pizza buns
Then we were served round buns made from pizza dough, topped with a full flavoured Napoli sauce, parmesan and fresh basil. I feared that the sizable bun would be quite substantial (ie I wouldn’t be able to eat anything else), but I was dead wrong. The fresh baked bun was incredibly light – I could have easily eaten several in a sitting!

Eat'aliano by Pino, Windsor, wagyu bresaola
Lean and tender wagyu bresaola – thinly sliced dried beef – with parmesan, crunchy celery and truffle oil was a great combination of flavours and textures.

Eat'aliano by Pino, Windsor, fried calamari
With a light crispy batter, the fried calamari with chili and fried basil was extremely moreish and tender.

Eat'aliano by Pino, Windsor, margherita pizza
And of course pizza was included in our special dinner. A classic margherita, topped with San Marzano tomato (the only tomato that can be used for true Neapolitan pizza), mozzarella and basil. It was a real Italian-style pizza – incredibly thin and light crust, and a thin coating of intensely flavoured topping. Gorgeous.

Eat'aliano by Pino, Windsor, vegetarian pizza
There was also a vegetarian pizza, but there wasn’t enough to go around everyone and so we didn’t get to try it (nevertheless, we weren’t going hungry). It looked just as good as the margherita.

Eat'aliano by Pino, Windsor, pumpkin gnocchi
Pumpkin gnocchi with amaretto, pistachio and ginger was just heavenly. The gnocchi were just like little fluffy pillows, and the smooth pumpkin puree was given extra interest by a subtle touch of heat from the ginger. Delicious.

Our final dish was lamb cutlets, served with roasted orange and purple carrots (see first pic). The beautifully pink lamb was sweet, juicy and tender, just like it should be.

Why no dessert? Well our session came to a close as the crowd gathered for the after party… But never fear, desserts are certainly part of the normal menu, including the classics: tiramisu, pannacotta, cannoli and…. pizza Nutella.

Eat'aliano by Pino, Windsor, pizza oven

Eat'aliano by Pino, Windsor

Verdict

We loved it
We loved it.

Overall

Fantastic authentic Italian food in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Great pizzas, but be sure to explore the rest of Eat’aliano’s menu offerings.

Find it at

Eat’aliano by Pino
122 High Street
Windsor Vic 3181
Telephone: (03) 8592 6979

Eat'aliano by Pino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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