From the very moment that you enter Agostinis, the energy and passion of Italy are in the air. Named after the mother of East Hotel owners Dion and Dan Bisa, this is the third and final dining venue to open within the precinct.
The buzzing restaurant offers modern interpretations of the classic cuisine with a heavy sprinkling of humour and wit, and even the most casual diner will find it easy to fall in love with this warm and friendly restaurant.
Interior designer Kelly Ross, has customised or custom-made every object within the space, with a backstory that ties back to the central narrative of the life of Marisa Bisa. By creating something in between a gallery and a modern theatre experience in the restaurant, Kelly maintains a delicate balance between past and present; history coupled with modernity, celebration and surprise.
Conceptually, Agostinis aims to bring back the feeling of family cooking by serving up meals that are straight from the heart. Chef Francesco Balestrieri clearly revels in the expansive kitchen which offers a ring-side view of service via stools on the edge of the pass and, in other parts, almost merge with the dining room as a result of its open plan.
Meanwhile, throughout the extensive dining room, groups huddle over pizzas and pastas in cosy nooks that break up the long room. Peach and pink highlights add to the excitement, while rose gold and brassy metallics bring along the bling.
The feature of the kitchen is the extraordinary copper oven that delivers pizzas to ravenous diners with extraordinary speed and efficiency. Combine that with delicious salads, perfect pasta and a range of meat dishes that are destined to satisfy any appetite, and you’ve got all the warmth and generosity that you might expect form a nonna.
The wine list is fascinating… and expanding – with Bryan Martyn’s Beppo’s Blend bringing together Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Barbera varieties to produce a smooth and complex wine unlike any other you might have tasted. Using a local winemaker to present some of the best aspects of Italian wine is a clever addition. Alongside that, Agostinis offers the only 100 per cent Italian made wines available on tap in Australia, which guarantees freshness and pitch-perfect flavour.
And that’s what Agostinis consistently delivers – the comfort of the familiar in an exciting new way. What’s not to love about that?