CHEEKY ITALIAN

Whether it’s a slice of pizza straight out of the wood­fired oven or a bowl of per­fect pasta, this eatery is serv­ing it up just like Nonna used to make

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Delicious. On Sunday - EAT’ALIANO BY PINO: RE­VIEWED BY MEGAN MILLER

MEL­BOURNE has had a deep and abid­ing love of pizza ever since Toto’s hit Ly­gon St in the ’60s.

These days you can get your fix along most sub­ur­ban strips or at the touch of a phone, but ev­ery now and then emerges a stand-out player like Wind­sor new­bie Eat’aliano by Pino.

In a sea of pan-asian joints, this 70-seat, Italian-in­fused restau­rant an­nounces it­self with a cheery “ciao”. At the wood­fired oven is head chef Pino Russo of La Svolta fame.

Serves are gen­er­ous, ser­vice is cheeky and, de­spite the cheesy name and trendy in­dus­trial fitout, the food is unashamedly home-style – just how Nonna makes it.

Pasta is a good bet here, but pizza is an even bet­ter one – mis­shapen beau­ties with a chewy crust, blis­tered edges and in­ter­est­ing top­pings.

The tart­u­fata fea­tures hunks of pork sausage with truf­fle oil and a mush­room cream for a deca­dent com­bi­na­tion, but the hum­ble margherita also shines with a less-is­more sim­plic­ity.

A warm oc­to­pus and po­tato salad dressed spar­ingly with olive oil and pars­ley is another ex­am­ple of re­straint al­low­ing in­gre­di­ents to be the star.

Veal osso buco comes the Mi­lanese way with a creamy saf­fron risotto and an or­ange sauce burst­ing through, while a gen­er­ous serve of fior di latte moz­zarella crowns the Cap­rese salad.

To fin­ish, tiramisu is no cliche when it’s this cof­fee-sharp and smooth. Nor is the ex­cel­lent can­nolo – crispy-shelled and filled with ri­cotta and roasted pis­ta­chio. Circi cof­fee and a Euro­cen­tric wine list add to the ap­peal.

Pizza and pasta are a big deal in this Italian-hearted town and Eat’aliano should win over even the most jaded pie lover.

3.5/5 $$$ 122 High St, Wind­sor eatal­ianobypino .com.au

Clock­wise from above: tart­u­fata pizza, Eat’aliano’s in­te­rior, and head chef Pino Russo.

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