Centonove, run by husband-and-wife duo Jesse and Kym Davidson, has been serving elevated Italian food with attentive service and exclusive Italian wines for more than 20 years. Seating 80 diners across two levels, it prides itself on a refined menu that takes inspiration from Jesse and head chef Patrick Fletcher’s frequent trips across Italy.
True to its Italian roots, almost everything here is made on-site – from the antipasto to the pasta to the decadent desserts. You might go for hero dishes like saffron tagliolini tossed through blue swimmer crab, capers and chilli; a simple yet satisfying eggplant parmigiana; or a tender 12-hour roasted lamb shoulder on a bed of saffron orzo, sofrito and goat’s curd. The Davidsons want to welcome everyone in, so there’s a tight yet considered vegan menu (which changes daily) as well as a kids’ menu.
Centonove also takes its wine seriously, evident through its award-winning list of more than 500 (mostly Italian) wines. The restaurant directly sources Italian wine from around 15 small producers, and the only places in Australia you’ll find these bottles are here and at sister venue Bar Alba. Australian wines get a look in, too, with bottles from Wine By Farr, Main Ridge Estate and Pimpernel Vineyards.
The space, set in an art deco building and former bank, has an open dining room that’s elegantly fitted out with dark walls, moody chandeliers and a marble countertop. If you’re after a more private affair, you can book the climate-controlled wine room for eight guests upstairs and enjoy your meal surrounded by a few thousand bottles of wine.
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