Mid Level Southgate, Melbourne – www.tuttobene.com.au
Southgate restaurants sure know a thing or two about setting the scene for the perfect afternoon or evening soiree. With Easter just around the corner on Sunday 16 April, we rounded up some of our entertaining maestros to give us their tips on how to host the perfect Easter feast.
Melbourne’s much-loved risotteria, Tutto Bene, is known for its quintessential riverside dining experience. Sommelier and Restaurant Manager Osvaldo Tognella is an alfresco aficionado with years of experience in fine dining from Ritz Carlton Hotels across Europe and Japan to Head Waiter and Sommelier at the Bulgari Luxury Hotel in Milan.
Osvaldo agrees that hosting a lunch or dinner can be exciting but it can become a bit stressful if you don’t know where to start.
As a Northern Italian with a rich history in global hospitality, Osvaldo feels that hosting is a great opportunity to ‘show off’ how creative and attentive to detail you are.
“As an Italian I have to say that we are a bit vain and we love to receive people’s compliments and approval as much as we love to make guests feel welcome,” says Osvaldo.
Osvaldo’s top tips for the perfect table setting:
1. Keep the table settings simple with ceramic or lightly painted plates, ensuring you create a contrast with tablecloths or wooden tabletop.
2. Candles in beautiful lanterns around the area will add to the ambience.
3. Add a touch of vintage using old style wine glasses and wicker breadbaskets.
4. On the table rather than candles try some vases of herbs: rosemary, basil, or oregano, ready to be used with the meal.
Osvaldo suggests that while you are cooking you should keep your guests entertained with light nibbles, “a fresh pinzimonio salad to dip in ‘bagna cauda’ (a warm dip made with garlic, olive oil and anchovies), with some cured meats, mozzarellas or a light and refreshing caprese salad so they don’t fill up too fast.”
Tutto Bene’s innovative Italian head chef Nathan Scarfo has the perfect recipe for your Easter entrée.
Recipe by Tutto Bene’s head chef Nathan Scarfo
1 large red beetroot peeled (sliced thin on a vegetable slicer)
2 balls Fresh Buffalo mozzarella
250g medley cherry tomatoes (blanch and peeled)
150ml good quality cold pressed EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 bunch asparagus
1 punnet raspberries
1 small bottle of raspberry vinegar
1 punnet micro basil
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and prepare a two bowls of ice water.
Place the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds or until skin starts to peel back. Then move these to into ice water. Once cooled, peel the skin trying to keep the tomatoes whole and unmarked. Place on paper towel and set aside and season with a little oil and salt.
Cut asparagus into long thin strands and put in boiling water for 15 seconds or until the colour goes vibrant then move into the other bowl of ice water. Once cooled remove from water and dry on paper towel. Set aside.
Peel then cut the cucumber into 3mm x 3mm squares and place in bowl with some olive to coat and season with freshly cracked black pepper and salt.
Make a circle on the plate with the beetroot discs, follow one direction using the most perfect side to make up your border. Season with salt and EVOO and rub it in to all parts of the beetroot discs. Splash with raspberry vinegar, being careful not to put too much.
Tear the mozzarella in half and put all 4 pieces in the middle.
Arrange tomatoes around the outside randomly.
Place a cucumber in the gaps remembering less is more.
Garnish tomatoes with some of the blanched asparagus. Garnish randomly and add height with the micro basil.
Serve to your guests and enjoy!
Information and Images Courtesy of Tutto Bene & Fuller PR