See also: Chef Alessandro Pavoni; Chef Fulvio Lancione
SPIEDO RESTAURANT OPENS
Pavoni Gives Sydney, Australia a Real Taste of Lombardy
Forget travelling thousands of miles, converting your bank balance into Euro, and battling the crowds for a summer in Northern Italy. Celebrated Lombardian chef Alessandro Pavoni brings his home region of Lombardy direct to Sydney - for a taste of the real northern Italy as Sydney has never before feasted upon.
Open to diners and barflies from mid August seven days a week from breakfast onwards (7:30am-11pm) Spiedo is situated on Level Six of Westfield Sydney’s prestigious dining precinct, and is taking advanced bookings now.
Racy, sexy, and Italian as ‘ciao bella’ – Spiedo is a kiss on both cheeks to the emerald city – Brescian-born Pavoni’s adopted home. The hub includes a restaurant, Stuzzi Bar for speed dining or grazing, grappa trolley, and vast bar with draft beer, Northern Italian beer, wine and cocktails.
A lovely natural fig tree resettled from Byron Bay sits in the center of Spiedo’s Italian piazza of marble and wood, warmed by loads of natural light. Accents include the green of Lombardy’s flag and hexagonal terracotta tiled ceilings - a novel twist on Italy’s love of tile work.
The restaurant seats 85 people offering a host of regional starters, mains, desserts; and a comprehensive selection of cheese, with mains around $25 - $39. The Stuzzi Bar seats 70 with dishes ranging $10 - $20.
In announcing his plans for the eatery the chef behind hatted Sydney restaurant Ormeggio at The Spit says he’s looking forward to introducing Sydney to Italian food from his region at a level and price not previously available to locals.
“Spiedo is named after my favourite dish 'Spiedo Bresciano' – a traditional Brescian way of spit-roasting meats of quail, duck leg, pork scotch fillet, and pork ribs, on a rotisserie,” Pavoni says. “I slowly baste them for five hours with sage and butter so they melt in your mouth, and serve with soft polenta.
Good regional Italian food is about simplicity and flavour, so can be priced reasonably,” he says. “My mentors - my grandma who inspired me to cook from a young age and (distinguished Italian pastry chef) Iginio Massari - taught me to have respect for produce,” he says.
Spiedo is defined by a huge open kitchen at its center. Like a theater, diners can see the six foot four – surfing, motorbike riding, tattooed “mountain of a man” – so described by one MasterChef contestant, in action. Pavoni had contestants shaking in their boots earlier this year - to our guilty delight - when he appeared several times on the show.
Together with Head Chef and fellow Italian Fulvio Lancione and their brigade of ten or so passionate chefs and cooks, Italian theatre remains alive and well at Spiedo as Pavoni and his troupe hand-make Lombardian casoncelli pasta, gnocchi, risotto, and gelato for all to see.
The Stuzzi (appetizer) Bar is genius for a city living in the fast lane. In and out in half an hour is a reality with stuzzichini (appetizers), assaggini (small plates), high quality salads and Italy’s world-famous panini - done fast and coupled with an espresso or glass of Italian wine or beer.
“I’m really excited about our grappa trolley,” says Pavoni. “Grappa is the national drink of Italy. I want everyone to taste the warm and fuzzy grappa feeling we Italians love at the end of a meal,” he says.
Spiedo’s wine list has been selected by Pavoni’s chosen sommelier Nathan Thompson. “Italian wines are regional in nature,” says Pavoni, “they were created for the foods of a particular region. So we have selected an affordable collection of high quality D.O.C. wines from Northern and Central Italy that were made for Lombardian cuisine.
We’ve imported a few wine brands that have never appeared in Australia until now, which I hope people will try. And I want everyone to definitely give Italy’s Franciacorta Brut ($95) and Franciacorta Saten ($110) a go. It is definitely better than the majority of French champagnes in the same price range,” he says.
Hand-picked pieces of Italian engineering excellence add to team Pavoni’s kitchen performance.
The bar’s Faema Emblema espresso machine delivers a full bodied flavour and perhaps as much enjoyment as the man himself. You haven’t tasted coffee until you’ve tried a cup from the flagship machine of Italy’s numero uno espresso makers, designed by none other than industrial and automotive designer Giorgetto Giugiaro - also responsible for seven makes of Ferrari, Maserati, and Lamborghini. And Spiedo’s chosen Vittoria’s Cinque Stelle coffee blend was made for this machine.
Italian cured meats - prosciutto, pancetta, salami, coppa and bresaola get a similarly glamorous treatment. Not to be fooled by the Dutch name, the Berkel traditional flywheel slicer is as Italian as they come. Re-designed by Italians Mauro Amadei and Vincenzo Baldi seven years ago the machine is hand powered, fiery red, and impressive in size.
Spiedo is also the first place in Sydney to serve a true “caffé al banco” – a $2 espresso served at the bar for people on the go needing a caffeine fix. The concept is derived from the two-price structure in Italy where coffee costs less at the bar than at a waited table.
All this theatre and Italian style is housed in a space purposefully created to feel like a modern day Italian Piazza – carefully crafted by Sydney’s hottest hotel and restaurant design team. SJB interiors credits run like an A-List of the city’s hippest bars and restaurants - The Eastern, The Bourbon, Sails Restaurant, Sepia, Will & Toby’s, Soho Bar, Ravesi’s, and the rooms of Establishment Hotel.
Kirsten Stanisich, Director of SJB interiors says: “We’ve created an interactive and egalitarian design for Spiedo, where diners get in on a piece of the action. We all wanted a big open space with an outdoorsy feel, to allow everyone to see the people behind the food, and smell the dishes,” she says.
Spiedo is fronted by Alessandro Pavoni in partnership with Yorkshire expat, industry heavyweight Jeremy Milner, and Italian-born Head Chef Fulvio Lancione. A tight team, Fulvio and Alessandro met each other and worked together in their initial time in Australia. Spiedo Restaurant Manager Joshua Luff met and worked with Pavoni at the Park Hyatt when Pavoni was Executive Chef prior to opening Ormeggio.
With the doors opening widely 15th August, 2011 Spiedo promises to be a welcome and popular addition to Sydney Westfield’s and Sydney CBD’s dining and watering options. To be one of the first in, advanced bookings can be made online.
Mon – Sun, 7:30am – 11:00pm
Address: Westfield Sydney Level 6, Shops 6004-6005, 188 Pitt Street, Sydney.