Leaving the freshly (pre) opened Norwood restaurant, my wife and I both said essentially the same thing. Actually, I should clarify there, as I was actually saying things like “Oh my god, it hurts”, “Perhaps that extra piece of pizza wasn’t the best idea” and “I am never eating again”. You know how it goes – we have all been there.
Semi regretful statements around overindulging aside, what we were both agreeing on was simple – we want a nonna. We want to be adopted into an Italian family. We want to have this kind of passion for food and flavour, and sharing so generously as an everyday part of our lives. If anyone wants to adopt us into their families then send me an email and we can chat. Well, except for the fact that I was never eating again of course.
Anyhow, cutting to the chase, as you have probably picked up we absolutely loved everything about 400 Gradi. However, leading into the evening, the pressure was certainly on. When one of your main taglines is that you are home to the worlds best pizza maker – founder Johnny Di Francesco winning this coveted award in 2014 – expectations are certainly raised.
However delving further into the story, you can see that the success of 400 Gradi comes from a place of absolute passion and dedication to bring the food of Naples to Australia. Since opening his first store in 2008, 400 Gradi has expanded to have multiple locations around Melbourne, as well as a gelateria (Zero Gradi), and even a restaurant in Bahrain and aboard the P&O Pacific Explorer cruise ship (with more international expansion to come).
Adelaide was selected to be the first Australian location outside of Melbourne, and it has landed on The Parade. First impressions of the physical venue are great too, with a stunning fit out of the old Gusto location immediately being classy and modern, yet also entirely comfortable and welcoming. It shows the level of dedication to the cause when you are informed that a number of Melbourne based 400 Gradi employees have moved over to Adelaide to live and help ensure this is a success.
For the invitational pre-opening event, we were treated to several items off the new Adelaide menu. I wont go through a blow by blow account, because that can be somewhat tedious, but the key take away is that everything was on point. Salumi boards, octopus, pastas, croquets, arancini, beef loin and so many other things I have probably forgotten were all delicious (and plentiful – hence my earlier comments).
The main event is of course the pizza and this didn’t disappoint in any way. So bloody good, this is right up there with the absolute best you can get in Adelaide, no question. It may well be the best, this would be tough to say, but I can safely say I have had none better. Incidentally, 400 Gradi is the temperature (400 degrees) at which the pizza ovens are optimised for traditional Napolise pizza. All those technical details aside however, this really has to be experienced to be appreciated – words and photos do not do it justice.
On top of this, in true Italian celebratory tradition, drinks were flowing, music was playing, and at then end of the night, the desserts we were treated to just finished things off (and very nearly finished me off, but I could hardly turn them down could I?).
So look, I love to say ‘the bottom line’ around now, but I have very much summed this up earlier. But in case you skimmed and missed it, this was brilliant in every way. Just get in there, bring plenty of appetite, and let the friendly and passionate people at 400 Gradi take care of everything else.
400 Gradi is located at 121 The Parade, Norwood. They are open 7 days a week from 12pm till late.