Dining and disco at FRANKIE

FIFTY+SA Food Editor Mandy Hall visited FRANKIE at Mitolo Wines inspired by Italian sagra.

WORDS: Mandy Hall, Food Editor

The latest offering from Mitolo Wines in McLaren is the cheeky and rebellious sibling to Little Wolf Osteria, FRANKIE. Set in the magnificent Mitolo Arbour, FRANKIE has been inspired by the Italian Sagra, “the famous open air festivals where food and wine are celebrated in a relaxed and fun environment,” says Kirsty-Marie Mitolo, owner and co-creator of this chic, and vibrant dining space.

And with its focus on casual dining, feasting, drinking and fun, FRANKIE promises oodles of feels. Long term Mitolo friend and Head Chef, Vincenzo La Montagna has created an extraordinary menu influenced by traditional methods, authenticity, passion and remarkable flavour.

I could easily keep writing beyond this page and the next about their commitment to provenance, seasonality, farming (yes, much of what you eat in house has been farmed with care by the family) and true Italian food culture, because that is the true essence of this family-driven enterprise. And it starts with their pizzas.

Believe me when I say they’re special. The bases are made from a house-made potato-based dough, which undergoes a 72 hour ferment, resulting in a crisp, light crust. Then come the toppings. Oh, the toppings! Alluringly curated, rich in flavour and offering an experience that takes older Italy and adds some modern sophistication. I promise. You will not come here just the once.

Chef Vince speaks lovingly about the ethos of ‘cucina provera’ that has shaped every element of the dining experience. “Cucina provera is a way of life,” he says. “A kitchen born out of necessity and frugality using the best ingredients of the season or what is available with lots of love and respect to feed those whom you care for.”

Dining here in glorious McLaren Vale, you could swear you are sitting at a very swanky kitchen table in Italy. And I for one didn’t want to leave. No, I was replete. Deliriously happy. It was now up to the Mitolos to physically evict me because I’d melted into a starry eyed, elegantly full (stomach and heart) mess.

Oh, if only I had more time. I would tell you about the Gelato Cart and cocktails (go the Negroni) and the range of spirits and of course, the fabulous Mitolo wines. But as I have reached my limit, I will leave you with this: È le morte sua – the expression means “death by delicious” or “to die for”. And as one who has been given a treat in this stunning jewel in the Vale, I can wholeheartedly say it is a mantra worth putting to the test. Bravo Mitolo!

Family gatherings, celebrations, soundtracks & Sunday lunches.

Photo credit: Kosta Giannopoulos


Frankie Italo Dining & Disco Lounge

Lunch from 12pm Sundays

141 McCurtie Road, McLaren Vale

mitolowines.com.au

@frankie.italo.dining

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