The Trequattrini family has been feeding Perth for almost a decade.
First there was Threecoins – born late 2014 – the family’s homely Italian diner on Beaufort Street that served pizza, straight-shooting pastas, chilli mussels and other hits from the Italian cooking playbook. Threecoins then begat Trio, a wine bar-cafe-restaurant triple-threat a few doors down from Threecoins that Mount Lawley locals leaned on for coffee and cake during the day, and wine and book club meetings later in the day.
Then along comes Chris Caravella, a cooking livewire with an open-minded approach to la cucina vera, to yank the steering wheel in a new direction. Last year, the Trequattrinis and Caravella joined forces and rebooted Trio as Testun, an irreverent osteria asking pasta, Vegemite and cucumbers to do things no other Italian restaurant has dared. Later this year, the Trequattrini’s story goes full circle with the unveiling of Threecoins & Sons, the new name of the family’s first restaurant. But whereas Trio’s transformation was a case of reinventing the wheel, Threecoins’ makeover will be more of a nip and tuck. After all, why mess with a winning formula?
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“Testun is like a slap, this will be more like a hug,” says Frank Trequattrini, co-head chef along with Caravella of both Testun and Threecoins. “We have a lot of regulars that have supported us over the years that we don’t want to alienate, so we want to make sure there’s continuity. We just want to provide the same value and style but make things a bit more modern and fresher and bring all that Chris [Caravella] energy on board as well.”
Aesthetically, fresh and modern will translate to new concrete aggregate flooring in the dining room plus a face lift for the courtyard. As part of the kitchen renovation, management have invested in a shiny new Moretti Forni stone-based twin-deck. The plan, says Trequattrini, is to swap out the previous Naples-style pizza offering and replace it with Roman-style pinsa: pizza’s lighter, oval-shaped cousin and a flatbread whose smaller size means it slots nicely into a larger meal rather than being a standalone item. Toppings will stick to the traditional – think ham and artichoke – although Trequattrini insists Threecoins & Sons’ pinsas will only be made using top-shelf produce rather than commodity ingredients.
The kitchen’s other major purchase is a heavy-duty pasta extruder which will be used to make spaghetti, conchiglie (“seashells”), fusilloni (a frilly, sauce-gripping spiral) and other pastas, not just for Threecoins & Sons, but also Testun up the road. Consolidating baking and production of both restaurants, says Frank, spells good news for everyone, from the staff in the kitchen right to guests, no matter what their tastes.
“Opening Threecoins is going to give us more freedom at Testun,” says Caravella. “If you want to be challenged, you got Testun. If you want to be comforted, come up to Threecoins. [Italian] food hasn't changed for such a long time and is fantastic, but there’s no reason you can’t present that food in a more modernised way. That’s what we’re trying to do here.”
Antonio di Senzo, the man behind the wine list at Testun, will oversee the list at Threecoins & Sons, although the 100-bottle list here will be a little more inclusive rather than exclusively natural: expect classic Italian and Australian varieties as well as house wines sold by the half- and one-litre carafe. Vermouth, amari and classic Italian aperitivo cocktails will also be on offer. Restaurant manager Katia Taschetti will split her time between both venues: excellent news for those that appreciate the upbeat, engaged style of service that keeps Testun humming.
Threecoins & Sons (2/776 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley) is slated to open in early October.