If you’re like me, raised on bastardised Aussie takes on Italian staples like spag bol and chicken parmies, you’ve probably always been a little jealous of how Italian families eat at home. The things I craved – doughy focaccias crammed with cured meats, espresso always on hand, fridges jammed with spaghetti sauce – were commonplace for siblings Anna-Lisa and Nick Barone.

At Tonino, which opened in Goodwood last week, the pair are sharing their family traditions. “The core of our family has been creating and eating great food,” Nick tells Broadsheet.

The new cafe was inspired by the village alimentari their grandmother ran back in Italy and, like in most Italian kitchens, sandwiches are assembled using homemade ingredients under the watchful eye of a Jesus painting. “Our sandwiches are not overcomplicated, so there’s nowhere to hide. Quality has to be at the top,” Nick says.

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And clearly it is, with Tonino selling out of sandwiches by lunchtime over its opening weekend, even as they ramp up production. “So far the most popular choice has been our tricolore sandwich [made with prosciutto, fior di latte, basil, tomato, olive oil and balsamic],” says Anna-Lisa. Coming in at second place is Anna-Lisa’s personal favourite, the capocollo, with dry-cured pork, sweet gorgonzola, hazelnut-infused agliata, chilli honey and fresh rocket. The cotoletta (which boasts crispy chicken, tomato, homemade basil sugo and blowtorched provolone) and a stacked calabrese made with three different types of salami, tomato, spicy mayo, provolone, giardiniera and fior di latte, are both close behind.

If any of those ingredients seem unfamiliar, that’s because Anna and Nick wanted to avoid being branded as just another sandwich shop. “We’re using cuts and cheeses that are lesser known, or not as popular – things we actually eat at home and make with our grandfather,” Anna-Lisa says.

Most of what Tonino offers is made in-house, using recipes passed down through generations. Nick and his father Claud bake bread and pastries each morning. Sauces, pestos, chilli oil, gelati and tiramisu are whipped up as needed.

Like any good alimentari, pantry staples are also available.

From the black and white floor tiles to the chillies drying overhead, Tonino is a true family endeavour. It’s earnest and authentic in a way few businesses manage, drawing heavily on Nick and Anna-Lisa’s experience running pizza joint Side Hustle out of their parents’ Carrickalinga garden. “The customer experience, for us, is the most important thing,” Nick says.

“It does feel funny that strangers are coming and eating my nonna’s tiramisu,” Anna-Lisa adds.

Tonino
3/114 King William Road, Goodwood 5034
No Phone

Hours:
Tue to Sat 8am–4pm

www.tonino.com.au/
@tonino_deli