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Essentials magazine visited Melbourne restaurant Treviso for a Yileena Park wine flight paired with classic dishes from northern Italy’s Veneto.


n his open kitchen, head chef Tony Zappieno is expediting orders in Italian. His two young sous chefs, Massimiliano Pugnali from Venice and Emanuele Milano from Cortina d’Ampezzo, respond in Venetian dialect. Floor staff are bustling the kind of dishes familiar to trattoria across the Veneto region of northern Italy: handsome plates of Risotto Nero and Salsicce Alpini, a combination of Italian pork, chilli and fennel sausages, served with grilled polenta and a Slavic touch of red cabbage sauerkraut. Welcome to Treviso, a restaurant and bar that has the look of a third-generation business whose owners understood the advantage in retaining older decor elements of sombre dark wood and baroque tiled floors. There’s a steady stream of diners being greeted at the door, many by name.

Given the scene, it would be too easy to mistake walking into Treviso the restaurant for having walked into a restaurant in Treviso, Italy, but this is Bank Place, inner-city Melbourne. Even more surprising is that owners James and Julie Valentini opened the doors of this popular lunch venue in Melbourne’s legal and financial precinct only eight years ago. Perhaps it’s the weight of family experience that lends Treviso its sense of permanence. As James explains, ‘Dad came from Treviso, and my mum’s family ran pubs in North East Victoria for three generations.’ These included the Bull’s Head Hotel in Wangaratta, where Cafe Martini was one of the region’s favourite eateries in the 90s. Treviso’s connections with the Yarra Valley’s Yileena Park Winery also go back to North East Victoria. As a local lad,

winery owner Bob Curtis once tended bar at the Albion Hotel, then run by James’ grandfather Jim Kerwin. ‘When someone brought Bob into the restaurant for lunch one day,’ explains James, ‘we had a few laughs, and he undertook to bring me some bottles the next time he came in. After tasting, I ordered a few dozen on sight!’ Now Yileena Park is a feature of Treviso’s wine list. The food at Treviso shows that chef Tony Zappieno isn’t one for tinkering with classic Italian cuisine. To begin, his Sardoni in Saor – crumbed sardines served with a sweet-sour agrodolce sauce based on white onions, wine vinegar and a dash of sugar – is a particularly sharp version of this traditional dish. Black peppercorns add extra heat, with sultanas and almonds contributing more sweetness. Yileena Park’s Pinot Grigio 2010 proves a good match, particularly in that it is not overly acidic. [continued over page]

magazine autumn 2011 page 14

Essentials Magazine Autumn 2011  

Discover Essentials Magazine - Australia's fastest growing eclectic-informative food, wine, arts and culture magazine.Proudly showcasing exc...

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