AUGELLO’S RIS­TORANTE

AWARD-WIN­NING ITAL­IAN FOOD WITH SER­VICE TO MATCH

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | FOOD & WINE -

Im­mersed in rich tra­di­tion, a bustling at­mos­phere and de­li­cious food, Augello’s mir­rors the most-loved as­pects of Ital­ian food and cul­ture with a coastal flair that has plates pil­ing on ta­bles.

If you’re a Coast lo­cal, you’ve prob­a­bly been to the world-fa­mous restau­rant perched on the cor­ner of Mooloolaba Es­planade. It’s known for its ex­cel­lent ser­vice, great value and de­li­cious food still win­ning yearly awards.

The Ital­ian ris­torante is a com­pet­i­tive space with many vari­a­tions of the theme avail­able to Coast din­ers but the Augello’s recipe is clearly work­ing well.

Am­bi­ence and ap­peal

Augello’s is blessed with an out­look to the north, which takes in a panorama of Mooloolaba Beach and up to Mud­jimba. For vis­i­tors to the Coast, the ap­peal of the venue is ob­vi­ous, and it makes the most of the view with glass in just about ev­ery di­rec­tion and an open al­fresco din­ing area down­stairs where ev­ery­one’s favourite pas­time of “peo­ple watch­ing” is covertly prac­tised by a full deck of din­ers.

There aren’t many Ital­ian restau­rants on the Coast with an out­look like this, but the con­se­quence is that there is lit­tle re­sem­blance to a tra­di­tional Ital­ian grotto or trat­to­ria.

Clean­li­ness

Augello’s presents well as a ca­sual din­ing venue, although it is show­ing a few of the tell­tale signs of its pop­u­lar­ity with some of the fur­ni­ture be­gin­ning to look a lit­tle tired. But I guess that’s in theme. I’ve not vis­ited many venues in Tus­cany, Venice or Um­bria where the fit-out, floors and fur­ni­ture looked any less than 50 years old.

Pre­sen­ta­tion

The ser­vice staff were well-pre­sented with ca­sual, branded black polo shirts and black pants. For a venue that aims to be ca­sual and re­laxed, the ap­pear­ance of the team was en­tirely ap­pro­pri­ate. The kitchen is very open to those din­ing up­stairs so there’s no mys­tery about who’s pre­par­ing your meal and what’s go­ing into it. It’s a bit noisy at times, but noone seemed to mind.

Ser­vice

For a busy restau­rant that de­liv­ers hun­dreds of cov­ers each day, the ser­vice at Augello’s was out­stand­ing.

Ev­ery pa­tron was greeted with a cheery smile and quickly shown to their ta­ble. Drinks were of­fered and de­liv­ered quickly and needs were an­tic­i­pated and in­quired of in a non-in­tru­sive way. The ser­vice team cer­tainly knows its trade as mem­bers dis­played great pro­fes­sion­al­ism, strik­ing the per­fect bal­ance be­tween at­ten­tive­ness and cour­tesy and al­low­ing din­ers to en­gage with their ta­ble com­pan­ions with­out need­less in­ter­rup­tion.

Food

You don’t be­come a mul­ti­ple win­ner of the Global Pizza Chal­lenge and the Aus­tralia Pizza Chal­lenge with­out mak­ing out­stand­ing piz­zas and there’s good rea­son why the chefs at Augel­los have won these crowns since 2010. That year, it was their hot smoked salmon pizza - dill, parme­san-in­fused dough, salsa verde, cheese, baby spinach, hot smoked salmon fil­let, onion jam, parme­san cheese, caper le­mon juice aioli and salmon caviar which stole the show. To this day, you’ll still find it on the menu.

But on our re­cent visit, it was the chicken cac­cia­tore risotto that most ex­cited the taste­buds.

Chicken, cac­cia­tore salami, mush­rooms, olives, gar­lic, chilli served up in a de­li­cious and very tra­di­tional tomato sauce. The tex­ture was per­fect and the level of spici­ness was “Goldilocks” – just enough to lift the chicken but not so much that it had you reach­ing for your wa­ter­glass.

Wine list

For a small and ca­sual venue, the Augello’s wine list stacks up re­ally well. There’s a nice bal­ance of va­ri­etals and most of the ma­jor re­gions are rep­re­sented. It was pleas­ing to see at least a cou­ple of Ital­ian op­tions in both the red and white cat­e­gories, in­clud­ing one of my favourite Ital­ian grapes, Bar­bera. The Bar­bera D’alba DOC from Pied­monte is well-priced at only $45 a bot­tle. In fact, the en­tire list is very fairly priced with only a mod­est mark-up on a re­tail price. Ku­dos to man­age­ment.

Value

While the ser­vice is ex­cep­tional and the food, very good, it’s the value which brings the pa­trons back week af­ter week. With gourmet piz­zas cost­ing be­tween $24 and $28, and main­sized pasta dishes rang­ing from $20 to $37, Augello’s serves it loyal fol­low­ers well. No won­der the placed is packed ev­ery night of the week.

The pop­u­lar­ity of Augello’s is un­der­stand­able with a great lo­ca­tion, pol­ished ser­vice staff and a menu with some­thing for ev­ery­one. Kids are made wel­come and you won’t feel un­com­fort­able tak­ing the en­tire fam­ily.

It’s an ideal venue for a ca­sual lunch when the sea vista from the up­stairs bal­cony pro­vides an en­chant­ing back­drop. AUGELLO’S

Ad­dress: 13 Mooloolaba Es­planade, Mooloolaba Phone: 5478 3199

Web­site: augel­los.com.au

Hours: Open from 8am, seven days

Pic­tures: War­ren Ly­nam

EAT UP THE VIEW WITH THE MENU: Augel­los Mooloolaba serves great food to lo­cals and vis­i­tors. ABOVE: So­phie Stans­field serves break­fast.

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