Eat-aliano by Pino Modern Italian High Notes in Windsor
Eat-aliano by Pino is a chic modern Italian restaurant that shines with authentic fresh cuisine with produce sourced from nearby Prahran markets and is a candidate for best pizza in Melbourne. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to sample the menu at this restaurant already popular with locals. We found this to be a refreshing visit to a restaurant that surprised us with its wine and food savvy. Also please check out our Best Soups in Melbourne.
Pino Russo is one of Melbourne's Italian cuisine and pizza champions, after a number of great years at La Svolta. There's a passion here to showcase the Italian regions in the foodie experience here. We noticed this during our visit; with certain dishes representing say, Naples style cooking, and others say from Piedmont region. Think authentic. Think fresh. Think regional. Think flexible.
Eat-aliano impressed with its stylish decor featuring modern artwork, fabulous tiles, hanging planter boxes, timber tables, elongated bar, naked light bulbs, and plants that adorn. This is a bright and cheerful restaurant with a wonderful vibe; enhanced by Italian music playlist. It's relaxed but lively.
Manager Stefano is energetic and welcoming; popular with customers. He greets us on arrival and engages with us all through the evening. We are served a first class cocktail; one of the best we've had for a long time. The bartender was awarded in top 10 bartenders in Italy; his skills in mixing our Bloody Mary (with a twist) were spectacular. We loved this version of a classic with influence of Rosemary.
This is a menu that is flexible; you can come here for a few drinks and antipasta for example. Or you can visit for a full blown meal. This is on trend with a number of casual Melbourne eateries that are multi-purpose.
The Octopus and potatoes salad with garlic, parsley and olive oil is a rustic winner. It's a combination we love - potatoes and octopus.
This Antipasta dish had us taking notice; a special with Buffalo Mozarella and calamari. As my son remarked, "I love Buffalo Mozarella but especially when it's smoked like this!" Exactly. The smokey flavours were exquisite. Perfect with Calamari, and even more perfect (ha ha) with a great Nebbiolo.
The hits kept coming with this special pasta dish - Tortelli with smoked eggplant and Gorgonzola sauce with walnut. The World Loves Melbourne has a penchant for Gorgonzola in pasta dishes. The pasta was perfect with rewarding eggplant filling; to then spoon extra Gorgonzola over the top with addition of walnut crunch and Parmesan hit, was just sensational.
Pizza is a feature here with an expensive bespoke built oven from Europe that cooks pizza in an astounding 50 secondi! This pizza is the 3 carni - 3 meats for a rustic flavoursome pizza. This is indeed fine pizza with a quality base. Pizaa excellence lives here at eat-aliano.
Another standout cocktail was this twist on a Martini.
An absolute highlight was the Fish Soup; every Friday night there is a version of Fish Soup made and this dish hits the high notes. The soup was a showcasing of quality fresh seafood; the kind of expensive seafood that others may not include in such a dish. Tonight the Fish soup featured Monk fish, large prawns, baby octopus, mussels, clams, and an amazing broth. If anything I would have liked a little more broth, made with prawn bisque and cheery tomatoes, simply because it was excellent, and I enjoyed mopping it up with the bread supplied.
Tasted as good as it looks!
The key to such extreme heat is that the oven has a smaller mouth. 50 secondi pizzas...
Dessert was also rewarding with a modern take on Tiramisu but using the traditional Savoiardi biscuits, espresso coffee and mascarpone cheese. The Pannacotta was also first class with creamy vanilla and strawberry and chocolate on top.
Eat-aliano by Pino is a compelling visit for casual dining with high quality offerings. Get on it!