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Food, Recently Opened

400 Gradi Essendon Loves Melbourne

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Johnny Di Francesco is continuing to grow his food empire in Melbourne and has just opened his brand new restaurant: 400 Gradi Essendon. Similar to his other two, 400 Gradi and Gradi at Crown, Essendon promises authentic Napoletana pizza but this restaurant comes with quite a difference!

400 Gradi Essendon boasts a menu that focuses on slow cooked meals, with head chef Harry Lilai putting his years of experience to good use. There's also a gelati bar featuring simple, but delicious gelato featuring authentic flavours with some ingredients even sourced from Sicily. The most intriguing flavour? Margherita! 

400 Gradi lays claim to being among the best pizza restaurants in Melbourne; famous for Naples style pizza.  This is authentic Italian of the highest order. Quality ingredients, pizza cooked perfectly at 400 degrees for around 90 seconds, and even a pizza dance by the staff several times during the night. Now Essendon has great pizza available.

400 Gradi is the brainchild of chef and V.P.N. Principal Johnny Di Francesco, who’s family hail from Naples in Southern coastal Italy – the home of ‘world’s best’ pizza. Johnny has a series of Pizza and Calzone outlets with the 400 Gradi restaurant being the flagship of the group.

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400 Gradi serves up World Championship winning Margherita pizza. So delicate with the strength in the simplicity, quality of the base, perfectly cooked and quality ingredients.

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The pizza is seriously good; the Caserta from Caserta province features san marzano tomato, mozzarella di bufala (air freighted fresh from caserta), levoni prosciutto di parma, rocket - and is a sensation. I love prosciutto on a pizza as my favourite ingredient, and this pizza was lavished with quality prosciutto, not cooked, but di parma. Soft alluring prosciutto on perfectly cooked base, slightly risen, in the Naples style.

Quality prosciutto is one of the joys of life. Levoni Parma Prosciutto is known as the most famous Italian cured ham, made from Italian pigs according and subject to the "Consorzio di Parma" regulations. Levoni Parma ham has been traditionally linked to the area of Parma since the 3rd century B.C., the time when the first salting and drying techniques were experimented on pork legs. Levoni Parma ham is is characterised by a particularly mild and delicate taste.

Don't think its just about pizza. The menu also offers quality pasta dishes and brilliant secondi dishes such as the Antipasti (high quality), Spaghettini with Spanner Crab (a highlight), and the Black Angas Eye Fillet so tender.

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Johnny Di Francesco is the first Australian ever trained in Naples to the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana VPN rules and he’s the association’s Australasian Principal, travelling  the region ensuring pizzeria’s are of the highest standard before officially inducting them into the Association.  
Appearing regularly on the ‘Regional Italian Cuisine’ program and having appeared at the famous Caesars Palace during the Las Vegas International Pizza Expo Johnny also regularly holds seasonal Masterclasses at both The Electrolux Kitchen at The Queen Victoria Market Cooking School, and also at 400 Gradi - fast becoming recognised as Melbourne’s Mr. Pizza!

400 degrees... Don't forget the beers, notably the Peroni on tap.

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400 Gradi makes great desserts such as the legendary Tiramisu (a generous portion and simply outstanding).

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And that gelati...

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400 Gradi is a romantic setting which delivers at every level.