A great north south divide exists in Melbourne. My boyfriend (and plus one for this event) proudly claims ‘Brunswick till I die’ and feigns feeling physically sick any time we have to cross the river. I’m definitely not quite so dramatic, especially since one of my closest friends lives in South Yarra, and was eagerly anticipating the launch night of new Windsor Italian restaurant Eat’aliano by Pino, regardless of its location.
Clearly I wasn’t the only one and the party was already in full swing when we arrived promptly at 7.30pm. First stop was the bar, where we indulged in the traditional Italian drink of celebration: Prosecco. I’ve always been a sparkling girl and Prosecco has a delicate freshness and crisp acidity that I particularly enjoy. Glasses in hand, we joined the growing crowd gathering around the long dining table in the centre that spanned almost the entire length of the restaurant. We were ready to feast.
As a stream of platters appeared from the open kitchen, there was barely time to grab an Instagram-worthy shot before each dish was quickly devoured by hungry foodies. Bowls of glistening buffalo mozzarella were placed next to slices of spicy salami and sweet prosciutto, cheese, and meat — the staples of any decent antipasto. We were treated to a selection of wood-fired pizzas for the main course.
Italian cuisine is often characterised by its simplicity, where the focus is on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation. All of Eat’aliano’s pizzas consist of between three and six ingredients, ensuring a balance of individual flavours without any loss of taste. My only criticism would be that the dough was a little soggy, although this could have been the result of the chefs frantically trying to keep up with the ravenous appetites of their guests.
Decor-wise the restaurant feels modern yet cosy, with the two walls overlooking the street comprised entirely of ceiling to floor windows- perfect for people watching. Ferns spill out of hanging wooden crates and the far end of the restaurant showcases shelves of fine Italian wine, cookbooks, and pantry products, paying homage to every corner of ‘the boot’.
A relaxed setting for any occasion, Eat’aliano by Pino is a charming addition to the Chapel Street precinct. I recommend the Pizza Diavola — fiery fresh chilli and salame with a tangy burst of capers on S. Marzano tomato and fresh mozarella. Buonissimo!
Charlotte Pordage is a writer/editor from the UK. When she’s not attending events, she can be found riding her horse Oscar and exploring Melbourne’s eclectic nightlife. @charpordage
Eat’aliano by Pino
122 High Street
Windsor VIC 3181