Meet Al­berto

The next project by the Hu­bert gang has an Ital­ian ac­cent.

Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - News -

Were you a fan of Dan Pep­perell’s dis­tinc­tive take on Ital­ian food when he was the chef at 10 Wil­liam St? Us too. What if we told you that he was get­ting back into the spaghetti busi­ness? An­ton and Ste­fan Forte, own­ers of two-star Restau­rant Hu­bert, have teamed up with their Swill­house group col­league Toby Hil­ton to take over the Syd­ney ris­torante for­merly known as Berta and open a mod­ern-day enoteca. Why the Ital­ian di­rec­tion af­ter Hu­bert? “We’ve al­ways known Dan cooks su­per sick Ital­ian food,” says An­ton Forte.

In his time as head chef at 10 Wil­liam

St, Pep­perell gained many fans for his imag­i­na­tive ap­proach to Ital­ian cui­sine

(his bot­targa dip served with a hot pret­zel re­mains a sig­na­ture to this day), and he ap­plied a sim­i­lar model to the French menu at Hu­bert, so in a way this is a re­turn to fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory for him. He has been toy­ing with the likes of oys­ters ac­qua pazza, tonnarelli Ama­tri­ciana, cele­riac lasagne with a dose of In­dian spice, bis­tecca grilled over ap­ple­wood, and a play on pani ca meusa, the famed spleen sand­wich of Palermo. And, just for good mea­sure, a Yakult ge­lato.

What about the drinks? “We’re go­ing for

250 bins, lots of back-vin­tage Barolo,” Forte says. The cock­tails won’t be rigidly Ital­ian, ei­ther. “There’ll be Ne­gro­nis, Amer­i­canos, ver­mouth-based drinks. But who doesn’t like a Margarita or a Man­hat­tan?”

And the look? Ex­pect a 1960s “Fellini vibe” with a trib­ute to Ital­ian cin­ema and wine bot­tles in every cor­ner. Artist Al­lie

Webb is re­spon­si­ble for the “sur­re­al­ist, trippy” streetscape that din­ers will see as they en­ter. Will the Forte brothers’ Ital­ian her­itage play a part? “My Nonna on my Mum’s side was an awe­some cook,” says Forte. “She came from a town on the Aus­trian bor­der, so she made po­lenta, lots of long-cooked dishes, tortellini in brodo. But it’s more our style to say ‘hey, my Nonna used to do this re­ally mad dish – Dan, can you do some­thing with it?’ and just see what hap­pens.” Al­berto opens late Novem­ber, 17-19 Al­berta St, Syd­ney.

Ready for ad­ven­ture? Back­packs in Vic­tori­nox’s Alt­mont Clas­sic col­lec­tion are de­signed for heavy loads and quick ac­cess, and are equipped with a screw­driver and bot­tle opener. From $169. vic­tori­

From left: Al­berto’s Dan Pep­perell, Al­lie Webb, An­ton and Ste­fan Forte andToby Hil­ton.

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