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La Svolta - Superb Italian in Prahran


La Svolta Pizzeria e Trattoria is a standout Italian restaurant in Prahran (as well as one in Hampton). I dined here with my mate Mark who is of Italian heritage and knows his Italian cuisine. We both remarked that the food here is top notch and were glad it's not just award winning Naples style pizza but also the rest of the menu is first class.

My friend said to me we may as well be dining in Rome. It has that Italian feel with modern fit out, personable Italian staff and menus on large black boards written in Italian. The food is traditional Italian but also with a modern twist. (We were guests of La Svolta).

La Svolta has a cool if not chic ambience with exposed brick wall, artwork, timber tables, concrete floor, large windows at the front, sleek bar, open kitchen and mood lighting...

My friend Mark is a legendary Melbourne businessman, has a penchant for the Alfa Romeo, and is a lover of all things Italian...

We started with aperitivo. Check out the bright orange Aperol with prosecco above.

La Svolta produces an excellent antipasta with sublime marinated octopus, large fresh lighly crumbed prawns and a cod croquette. The croquette was outstanding with super creamy filling and hit of salty cod. Then there was also excellent bruschetta with anchovies. This is my kind of food.

We were impressed by the quality of the menu including a 300g steak for around $30. Most of the mains were low to mid $20 so wouldn't break the bank. The above main was delectable featuring squid black ink gnocci with barramundi - for mine an excellent modern twist on a favourite. And the ravioli with cod (again) - and sage sauce - was a highlight. Large pieces of delicious hand made ravioli were satisfying not to mention the cod filling.

La Svolta also pleases with its wine options including Pinot Noir of various strengths...

So far we were highly impressed. These are the flavours of Italy. And this is without the pizza. Bring on the Naples style pizza and we are doubly impressed.

La Svolta was the winner of the Melbourne Pizza Festival 2012.... No mean feat given the competition.

You know its good when a simple Margherita is to be raved about (as in Italy). The waiter is a character and tells us everything comes from Naples - the sauce, the mozzerella (fior di latte mozzarella)...The pizza dough is wonderful (great crust, with chewy texture) and it all comes together nicely with the fresh basil. These guys are part of the Naples pizza federation (the Associazione Versace Pizza Napoletana like a few others in Melbourne). La Svolta offers 20 types of pizza including many traditional flavours. Is this Melbourne's best pizza? A definite contender!

La Svolta also offers pleasing desserts such as this limoncello sorbet.

La Svolta provided us with after dinner treats... Love the bitterness.

La Svolta describes itself on it website - 

La Svolta or 'turning point' as it is translated, is an authentic and energetic Italian pizzeria/trattoria with a big heart and exciting menu. At La Svolta we believe mangiare e felicita; eating is happiness. Our authentic Italian menu and friendly hospitality welcomes patrons into our family kitchen, bringing a little bit of Italy to Prahran and Hampton Street.
Owners Valerio Calabro and Giuessepe 'Pino' Russo, both arrived from their native Italy (Valerio from Tuscany and Pino from Salerno) with a vision to bring the fresh flavours of their homeland to the other side of the world. Valerio and Pino share a passion for all things cucina Italiana, creating a homage to the food they love. The result is La Svolta.
We keep it simple at La Svolta. An alluring array of Italian pizzas - which upon first bite it is easy to be transported to a cobbled Naples laneway where the pizzas are truly authentic - perfectly thin and slightly chewy bases are adorned with the finest and freshest ingredients from both Italy and Australia, whether it be the simple combination of deep red sugo, the finest fior di latte mozzarella, anchovies and oregano or the popular Bufala pizza with prosciutto di Parma every pizza takes you on an Italian adventure. Move past the pizzas to our classic Italian menu offering an evolving selection of antipasti, primi, pasta, secondi and dolce. This is all complimented by a list of daily specials that are inspired by fresh seasonal produce.
Our menu honours all corners of 'The Boot' as our team at La Svolta come from regions as diverse as Tuscany, Campania, Venice, Sicily and Emilia Romagna. Practically every meal on the menu has been passed down from Mamma and Nonna, Papa and Nonno and it is this that sets us apart at La Svolta - the love with which we prepare our food.

The service at La Svolta is top notch with Italian staff with loads of personality...

La Svolta is highly recommended as one of the best Italian and pizza restaurants in Melbourne.