Thirty Eight Chairs
4A Bond St, South Yarra VIC
(03) 9827 5553
Put away your passport and take the more affordable trip to Italy through the doors at Thirty Eight Chairs. Taste your way around the provinces, indulge in high-quality food that’s just like what your Nonna would make and be romanticised by the exotic flavours of the boot-shaped country.
Business Owners, Gino Forlano, Giuseppe Di Mauro and Graziano Biviano, will be your tour guides around Italy for the evening. Gino has a plethora of experience tucked under his belt with stints at some of Melbourne’s top restaurants, including Caterina’s. He has worked in the area for more than 10 years, mingling with locals and becoming friends with his guests, and believes his restaurant is the place to be. A er your first visit, you will too.
Whoever you bring along to dinner may have to compete for your attention, with the food, the setting and the delicious booze all deserving equal consideration. Wooden tables and chairs lit with industrial light fittings make you feel right at home amongst the imported meat slicer, an old school weighing scale and an elegant marble Italian bar where you can sip on a drink
Italy is synonymous with fresh, premium produce that speaks for itself. The menu evolves based on the season, and the team aims to purchase nearby produce wherever possible. They support local production that is fresh, pesticide-free and most importantly, delicious. The majority of the meat is purchased from Victorian producers, as are the vegetables. It’s always warm somewhere in Australia, so you can enjoy beautiful fresh seafood right from our shores all year round.
From the menu, you’ll taste a bite of Campania blended with Sicily and garnished with Emilia Romagna. Head Chef, Giuseppe Di Mauro, is the sherpa you never had, creating authentic Italian dishes from scratch. Early risers can enjoy a selection of Italian street food o the breakfast menu, such as the baked eggs San Gennaro with bacon and duck tomato ragu.
Come lunch and dinner, Italians are known for sharing, following the ethos that food brings people together. To begin, start with the eggplant parmigiana with rico a cheese, or the grilled baby calamari with a mixed witlof salad and toasted walnuts.
All the pasta is house-made each day, so it’s worth the carbohydrates. Try the linguine ai frutti di mare – a delicious combination of pasta and the day’s freshest seafood – or the curly pappardelle with slow-cooked duck ragu, porcini and shaved pecorino. For the main course, order the pan-fried pork chop – appearing on the menu as costole a di maiale – paired with side dishes such as the friarielli, known in English as Neapolitan wild broccoli.
No pasta dish is complete without a drop on the side. Choose from a selection of beer and cider, or indulge in a glass or bottle of sparkling or champagne. There’s also a choice of red, white or rose available, so no one needs to miss out.
A seating plan of just 38 chairs means that a spot at this authentic Italian eatery could be hard to come by. We suggest getting in early – it’s too good to miss.