Italy punches well above its weight when it comes to flavour diversity, and Il Lido’s Dine the Twenty Regions of Italy series is back to celebrate just that.

Running Tuesday to Thursday from May until September, the program takes diners on a region-by-region trip around Italy. Those who attended any of last year’s events will know the drill: each week, chef Roberto Zampogna will serve a new menu of four regional specialities, each available with a matching wine from owner and sommelier Dan Wegener. While the regional specialities are only available as a set menu ($60 per person), the matched wines are available as a pairing ($50) or by the glass (various prices).

This year, Il Lido has added a passport for guests to collect regional stamps with a reward promised to those who complete the entire trip.

The series begins in the north-east, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, a region that draws influence from nearby Austria and Slovenia. The pasta course, for instance, is cjarsons – a half-moon ravioli filled with potato, cinnamon and raisins. The main course is a hearty Friulano goulash of beef with a floral yet spicy schioppettino – one of the region’s native grapes – from Marco Sara.

Other stops on the journey include Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany and Campania. Coinciding with spring, the tour finishes in Sicily and Sardinia: perfect for celebrating the two regions’ Mediterranean flavours. Zampogna and his kitchen team will also be tackling the notoriously challenging pasta, su filindeu – “the threads of God”.

West Australian produce still underpins the cuisine. Look for Manjimup truffles and speciality ingredients from chef-turned-supplier, Peter Manifis.

“It’s about educating our customers and staff,” says Wegener. “Each week we get together, taste the food and wine, and talk about the region, it’s great for team building.”


Dine The Twenty Regions of Italy runs at Il Lido from May 16 (Friuli Venezia Giulia) to September 28 (Sardinia). Menus ($60) are available for lunch and dinner, Tuesday to Thursday.


May 16: Friuli-Venezia Giulia
May 23: Veneto
May 30: Trentino–Alto Adige
June 6: Lombardy
June 13: Piedmont
June 20: Valle d’Aosta
June 27: Liguria
July 4: Emilia-Romagna
July 11: Tuscany
July 18: Marche
July 25: Umbria
August 1: Lazio
August 8: Abruzzo
August 15: Molise
August 22: Campania
August 29: Puglia
September 5: Basilicata
September 12: Calabria
September 19: Sicily
September 26: Sardinia


illido.com.au