“After 10 years we decided to not renew our lease,” owner Andre Ursini told Broadsheet at the time. “It’s a logical progression for us … And to finish on top is testimony to what a great little business it was.”
The cosy Italian restaurant was perhaps best known for its seemingly endless Menu Fisso. The shared, family-style feast – involving snacks, pasta, protein (with polenta and sides) and dessert – was one of the city’s quintessential dining experiences.
And it’s just been resurrected in at-home form.
“Andre’s Cucina at Home was always going to happen after the closure,” says Ursini, who now splits his time between Orso and Willmott’s Gastronomia in Rose Park, the dreamy Villetta Porcini (and surrounding property) in the Hills, and Andre’s Cucina & Catering Co.
The Menu Fisso will be slightly different each month, but the just-announced first instalment is an absolute corker. Get ready for an all-star line-up of dishes made, Ursini promises, exactly how you remember them.
Melt-in-your-mouth beef carpaccio – arguably Adelaide’s best – dressed with truffle pecorino, walnut crumb and aged balsamic. Crisp polenta chips, a crowd-pleasing menu mainstay, with spiced tomato sugo. An oozy ball of burrata with romesco sauce, zucchini pickles and pangrattato (breadcrumbs).
“The carpaccio had to be on the menu, and there’s this unwavering demand for polenta chips,” says Ursini.
And then there’s the pillowy gnocchi with ragu – a highly coveted off-menu item at the restaurant. “We’d prepare it fresh before service, cook it to order, and there’d only be like 15 serves a night,” Ursini says. Missing out was often inevitable and always soul-destroying, but now you can secure a serve at the click of a button.
Also on the menu: SA porchetta with confit fennel, braised winter greens and apple-cider reduction; roasted potatoes with grated pecorino and chilli; and white-chocolate panna cotta with raspberry-and-oat crumb.
In true Andre’s fashion, expect a shit ton of food. When news of the Menu Fisso at Home hit social media, “people were tagging their friends in the comments saying: ‘I can’t wait to roll out of your house’,” Ursini says. “So of course we’ll be mimicking the restaurant’s generosity.”
The dishes will be (almost) ready to eat. “70 per cent is done for you,” says Ursini. “The other 30 per cent is zhooshing it up with garnishes and condiments and a bit of heating.” In other words: they do the hard work, you get the glory.
It’s an extension of the new heat-and-eat range, which includes oven-ready meals such as mushroom arancini, meatballs with cheesy polenta, and lasagne – all available for pick-up or delivery.
To celebrate Andre’s Cucina at Home getting off the ground, the team is giving away a $500 voucher that can be spent on the Menu Fisso or heat-and-eat dishes. Enter here by June 7.