A Mildura dining institution for decades, Stefano’s was founded in 1991 in the original cellars of the heritage-listed Grand Hotel. Originally called Stefano’s Cantina, the restaurant saw public servant turned chef Stefano di Pieri and his wife, Donata Carrazza, showcase rustic Italian dishes against a simple setting of wooden tables and a blackboard menu. That soon evolved into a five-course set menu drawing on Pieri’s upbringing in Italy’s Veneto region – an intimate (and ever-changing) approach that continues to this day.

Stefano’s wears its devotion to Mildura history on its sleeve with 1930s-era frosted mirrors detailing settlement in the area. Beyond the allure of fresh pasta and other Italian classics, the restaurant is known for its wine tastings and sales, featuring a house range of Italian-style drops from local Chalmers Vineyards and the Barossa Valley’s Dorrien Estate. And if you can’t make it to dinner, a reduced menu is available for lunch from Tuesday to Saturday.

Now a celebrity in the region, Pieri has expanded into a range of pasta sauces to enjoy at home, as well as chutney, jam, marmalade and curry paste. It’s all available at the restaurant’s more casual sibling Stefano’s Café, perched just around the corner on Deakin Avenue. You’ll also find fresh-baked bread and a bounty of regional produce to take back to your own kitchen.

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Updated: September 16th, 2021

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