It was a quiet Thursday night in Coburg and Sim and I were tucked up on the couch watching SBS’s Food Network. Standard. The TV show was talking about the best wood-fire ovens in Australia and my ears pricked up when the host spoke about a pizza restaurant in Brunswick, Melbourne. After watching the show and drooling over the warm, toasty goodness which was being shoveled in and out of the handmade wood-fire oven, Sim and I jotted down the name of the restaurant and immediately made a booking for the following Saturday night.
It was an absolute pleasure to visit 400 Gradi on Lygon Street, Brunswick. It was a warm Saturday night and we’d just enjoyed a coffee catch up with friends down the road in Carlton. We entered the restaurant feeling relaxed and chatty, and the atmosphere was warm and welcoming as the smell of wood-fire pizzas filled the air. Heaven.
We figured a pizza each was the way to go (warning: each pizza is pretty substantial). I ordered a vegetarian, Toscana, with toppings of mushroom, goats cheese and rocket, and Sim ordered the Frutti di mare which had a tomato base topped with prawns, mussels, clams, scallops and rocket. We grabbed a glass of red wine and chatted with anticipation as we felt the heat of the wood-oven fire on our backs and took in the lively atmosphere of the restaurant. One thing I love about Italian restaurants is how buzzing the good ones are, there’s always lots of loud chatter, big families gathered around tables and the kitchen smells so delicious – and 400 Gradi nailed it all.
Once our food arrived we barely spoke because it tasted so good.
I thought the pizza was pretty fab, but then… dessert happened. Freshly-made, proper tiramisu. It rivalled the tiramisu I ate in Venice and by the time we polished that off, we were well and truly stuffed.
We rolled out of there while it was still light outside and went home nursing our full (but very satisfied) bellies. The Brunswick area of Lygon Street had such a lovely vibe; people were spilling out onto the streets with a glass of wine in hand, music was playing in the distance and I recall the air being filled with the sounds of laughing and chatter. I highly recommend all Melbournians pay 400 Gradi a visit!
Thank you SBS for your deliciously tempting Food Network.