La Svolta, the new Italian pizzeria and rosticceria in Prahran, is a perfect embodiment of Italy. If the sound of a broad Italian accent doesn’t give it away, the sight of cured meats and robust cheeses mingling with the aroma of freshly baked dough most certainly will.
Owned by Valerio Calabro and Giuseppe 'Pino' Russo, the restaurant is the second for the pair who met some five years ago, opening the original La Svolta in Hampton a few years back.
As those lucky Hampton residents know, La Svolta isn’t about bells and whistles. This is a venue built as a family affair dedicated to traditional, honest, home-style Italian grub. In fact, when Calabro’s mother popped into town she headed straight to the kitchen to lend a hand, and it’s likely Russo’s will do the same when she visits shortly.
With the inclusion of all the equipment you would find in a true Italian kitchen, La Svolta is one of only three restaurants nationally that are AVPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana) certified. This means that it tastes like Naples because it’s made exactly the same way.
The pizza comes in a variety of guises and pasta, risotto and mains are revamped daily. The front bar is bookended by a glass display case. By day you can pick from sumptuous sandwiches made fresh for a takeaway lunch (as well as takeaway everything else), while in the evening you can gorge yourself silly on Antipasto.
3-5 Cecil Place, Prahran 3181
(03) 9510 3001
450 Hampton St, Hampton
(03) 03 9521 8990
Tues to Sun noon–3pm, 5.30pm–late