Peppina is inspired by the meals that owner-chef Massimo Mele ate at his Nonna’s house while growing up. Except, at this 190-seat restaurant, he wanted to fuse trattoria-style dining with fresh Tasmanian produce.

The Tasmanian-born, Naples-raised chef has been known to collaborate with local producers to grow specific ingredients. For example, Mele’s Nonna used to grow cime di rapa (broccoli rabe) in her own garden, so he enlisted local producer Rocky Top Collective to grow it here. When it’s in strong supply, it might appear in the smoked buffalo mozzarella with prosciutto, olives and lemons – a dish on high rotation both here and in Mele’s kitchen at home.

For Mele, making pasta has been a lifelong passion. That shows in the house-made dishes of plump gnocchi or delicately twisted cavatelli. His favourite is the paccheri: big silky tubes of pasta served Genovese-style with a ragu of fall-apart Wagyu shin, pork belly and onion. A hug on the plate if ever there was one.

Elsewhere on the menu, the fried pizza – superbly paired with chilli, lemon, garlic and a light zucchini dip – packs complex flavours into a relaxed share plate. Many of the dishes are finished with herbs from the on-site garden, or pickled vegetables that are also prepared here.

Finally, Mele makes no apologies for his tiramisu, which contains more booze and coffee than the norm. And nor should he – it’s a delightful way to finish a meal. Pair it with something from the 200-strong wine list – which is anchored by mostly Italian, French and Australian producers – or an Italian or Australian digestif.

The light and airy dining space brings in Italian influence where it can. Mature olive trees tower above diners while exposed brickwork, high ceilings and skylights offer an al fresco feel.

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Updated: June 22nd, 2023

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