From an early age, Jesse Davidson was convinced that he would, one day, become a restaurateur. For, what other occupation encourages and enables one to travel extensively while drinking the finest wine and partaking in the world’s finest cuisines and then to share these sensory-expanding experiences with customers whose primary aims are to unwind, relax and enjoy themselves? As a result of his travels, Davidson discovered that his passion lay in Italy. What young Jesse could not have predicted, however, was that he would not only become a restaurateur, but a restaurateur responsible for the success of an iconic Melbourne institution aptly named Centonove, the Italian word for “109”. Located at 109 Cotham Road, Kew, the sophisticated and relaxed Centonove is the vehicle through which Davidson shares his passion for all things Italian – food, wine and hospitality – with his regular guests and new guests, alike. Impressively, this passion has translated into Centonove having received 10 ‘The Age Good Food Guide’ awards between 2010 and 2020. Yes, you read that correctly – 10. What makes this particular Italian restaurant so special? The answer is, everything.

One of the cornerstones of Centonove’s success is its consistently excellent food, not surprisingly, and Executive Chef Patrick Fletcher is the culinary magician to whom this excellence may be attributed. Like Davidson, Fletcher has travelled extensively throughout Italy, resulting in a thorough understanding of the country’s numerous and diverse regional cuisines. Additionally, the skillful Fletcher specialises in sourcing the finest local seasonal produce. He accomplishes this via the building of respectful relationships with a variety of local suppliers, individual farmers and producers, thereby ensuring the freshest and most flavoursome ingredients that reflect the diversity and finesse of Italian cuisine. This passionate attention to detail saw Fletcher awarded ‘The Age Good Food Guide” Chef’s Hat at a mere 26 years of age.

Centonove, Kew

VISIT CENTONOVE

Centonove, Kew

VISIT CENTONOVE

Centonove’s menu is à la carte in nature and includes both 2-course and 3-course fixed-price options. The primi course might include crudo, kingfish, cured ocean trout, daikon and sumac; carpaccio of beef, rocket, horseradish and pecorino – a genuine classic; or ricotta ravioli, poppy seed butter and aged balsamic. The salivary glands will kick into overdrive upon the arrival of the secondi course. Linguine, spanner crab, chilli, capers, garlic and pangrattato; pan-fried John Dory, charred sweet corn, seaweed butter, celeriac; and ox cheek, porcini, cauliflower purée, topped with roast chicken jus will have guests rifling through their weekly planners in an attempt to secure a return booking. Finally, in a gesture to conclude the Centonove experience the way in which it is meant to be concluded, bring forth the dolci! Be it vanilla panna cotta, rhubarb, macadamia, blood orange caramel; chocolate fondant with honeycomb gelato; Vin Santo crème caramel or the ever-popular tiramisu that raises your blood-sugar level, you can revel in the confidence that no stone has been unturned. What more could you want? Wine? Oh, of course, the wine…

Regarding Centonove’s wine list and onsite cellar, simply stated, they are unmatched in the local area. Davidson and his team have sourced outstanding wines from across Australia, including individual artisan producers co-existing alongside well known benchmarks, securing the best from any given vintage. It is a 500-strong varietal list which showcases verticals from some of Australia’s best shiraz vineyards, as well as boasting one of the most comprehensive selections of Italian wine anywhere in the country. For its efforts, Centonove has been awarded a 3-Wine Glass rating from ‘Gourmet Traveller’, the highest possible rating in the Wine List of the Year awards, for 7 consecutive years. Couple this award-winning list with a staff trained in all aspects of food-wine matching, vintage selection and wine handling – not to mention one that is friendly, professional and ready and willing to cater to guests’ every need – and the question still begs: What more could you possibly want? Centonove is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Bookings are recommended.

Lifestyle & Design

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