Just Open: Gradi at Crown
Originally published by Hilary Mcnevin on Goodfood.com.au, on October 14, 2014
World’s best pizza made in Melbourne!
After 12 months of planning, Gradi, the collaboration between Crown and Johnny di Francesco of Brunswick’s 400 Gradi pizzeria, throws open its doors on Tuesday after a soft opening last week.
The space that once housed Giuseppe, Arnaldo & Sons has been dressed in lots of chocolate brown leather, dark wood tables and marble finishes. There’s a private dining room, a chef’s table by the kitchen and a bar with seating for 50, where a smart cicchetti menu includes a salumi selection, including a rarely seen prosciutto aged for 30 months, cheeses and small plates such as polenta fritta and beef carpaccio.
The menu in the 200-seat dining room has pizza, of course, fired in two Stefano Ferrara wood ovens imported from Naples, pasta made in a temperature-controlled room in the back of the kitchen, and mains such as veal cotoletta, grilled seafood and slow-cooked duck. The wine list is all-Italian and cocktails and aperitivi are long on Aperol and Campari.
The scale of the venture is a big step for di Francesco but one he is happy about. “I am seeing Melbourne from a different perspective,” he says. “A move like this has given me more energy.”
View the original article here.