Secret Foodies took forty-eight lucky diners a two-night voyage through Italy at Mille Vini. The upstairs restaurant offered an intimate dinner setting; allowing guests to indulge in a four-course Italian feast with matched wines and unparalleled company, whipped up by Executive Chef John Lanzafarme.
Mille Vini, which means ‘a thousand wines’ in Italian, has spent almost ten years nestled in a heritage-listed spot on Sydney’s famous Crown St. It’s recently been taken over by new owners and bringing with them Lanzafame’s new, more diverse menu. Expect all things Italian, from the almost exclusively Italian wine list to chef Lanzafarme himself. The award-winning, Italian superstar chef is the World Pizza Champion (yes, that’s a real thing) and isn’t ashamed to say that he gets his foodspiration from his mother.
The first stop on the culinary voyage was sardines, stuffed with pork mince, on a bed of polenta matched with a glass of a Livio Felluga Sauvigon, Collio 2009. Don’t let the clashing flavours and unusual colours put you off – it was the perfect start to a delicious evening, and Lanzafarme’s passion for regional cuisine really shone through the dish.
For the entrée, Lanzafarme served pan friend gnocchi with snapper…but not just any old gnocchi. It was one large piece smooth and creamy matched with a glass of Terlana Pinot Bianco, Vorberg Riserva 2010 from Trieste in Northern Italy.
The voyage continued with the main dish of the evening: slow cooked lamb shoulder with aioli and giardenera. The lamb was served in big slabs with knives in the, and was so tender that it simply fell off the bone. It was definitely the dish that won the evening, not to mention the hearts of our diners. This was matched with a Piccini Memoro Rosso, Tuscany 2010.
All around the table, eyes glazed over when the dessert came out. The Sfingi – traditional Italian donuts with Nutella. The share-style dessert plate was cleared in an instant.
It was smiles all round as people patted their full bellies and sipped their glasses of Pasqua Moscato dessert wine from Piedmont. And by the time the voyage was over, it was hard to imagine that any trip to Italy would be as perfect as indulging in Mille Vini’s perfect Italian banquet.