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Andrew Dimattina

Andrew Dimattina is a local restauranteur who has played a huge part in two of Broadbeachs’ most successful, longstanding restaurants and a third that’s hot on their heels.

Having been a part of the much-loved Alto’s for 13 years and family-friendly Mario’s Italian Restaurant since 1989, he’s a man who knows food. We sat down for a chat with Andrew about Beachside Pavilion and why he thinks Mario’s has stood the test of time in Broadbeach.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
On and off for 15 years.

What do you love most about our beachside city?
The weather and the beach of course.

How long have you been in the restaurant business?
Since I was born! My family have had restaurants in Melbourne for over 40 years and I’ve been working in them since I was eight years old.

Why do you think Mario’s Italian Restaurant has stood the test of time in Broadbeach?
It’s a family friendly place that people feel comfortable in because of the friendly staff, the comfort food and the overall vibe of the venue.

How did Beachside Pavilion come about?
Alto’s had been an amazing venue for 13 years but we wanted to change the bar feel of it and make it more of a beach-vibe restaurant focusing on fresh seafood, the best quality steaks and amazing breakfasts while overlooking the beautiful beaches we have here.

What’s unique about each of your venues?
Mario’s is an institution that people have been coming to for years and Beachside has great beachy décor and incredible food, perfect for long, lazy days in the sun.

Do you have a favourite dish from each?
Mario’s – Spaghetti Marinara and Beachside – the Seafood Platter has it all.

What’s the best piece of life advice you’ve ever received?
The harder you work, the luckier you become.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Beach: Mermaid
Cafe: Paddock Bakery
Restaurant: Hellenika
How does your weekend usually look? Work, work and more work with the occasional beer after work.

Click here for your chance to win a $100 voucher to either Mario’s Italian Restaurant or Beachside Pavilion.

11 tasty Gold Coast pizza joints

Francies Pizzeria
Francies Pizzeria

Pizza makes people happy, that’s a fact. Even the word pizza is a fun time. Say it out loud right now and pay attention to increased levels of happy. Now imagine yourself eating pizza and you’re on the same level as the rest of the world today.

Why? Because pizza is the delivery option of the gods, we made that up, but it’s one of the originals and that friends, is something to celebrate. Our way of celebrating is writing a list for you fine people to make life (and pizza finding) easier.

So here it is. From south to north because a change is as good as a holiday (it’s not).

Francie’s Pizzeria
A relative newbie in Cooly, Francie’s is the Italian bestie you never knew you needed. Run by a coupla legends who, quite rightly, saw a gap in the traditional pizza market down that end of the Coast. The crew have 15 flavours of pizza on offer and their own range of wine and there isn’t really anything better in the world than that combo. Except for maybe the fact that the pizzas have puns for name – Piers Brosnan anyone? Yeah, see. Text your order for takeaway 0411 415 554 Where: 102 Griffith St, Coolangatta

Earth N Sea
These guys have been in the business of pizza since 1976 so, as you might imagine, they know what’s up. With a view of the actual sea and all the good vibes Cooly has to offer. They’ve got MANY varieties of pizza including one called Prawneroni which is pure gold (and delicious). Mullumbimby Madness also sounds like a time you’d like to have. BRB. moving to Cooly. Open for takeaways during the day and deliveries/takeaways at night. Call on 5536 3477
Where: 60 Marine Pde, Coolangatta

Balboa Italian
The big, beautiful building on the highway in Palmy is home to a number of Italian delights, not least of all a moped suspended from the roof. As you would know, if you’ve been, their menu is the definition of next-level and the pizzas, in particular, are perfection. There are 16 varieties, divided into red and white sauce bases and maybe just try them all because life’s too short to care about carb counting. We’ll meet you there!
Where: 1069 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach

Justin Lane
Your mate and ours, Justin Lane in Burleigh is the king of pizza. No doubt you’ve sunk a few slices while sipping on cocktails and scoping out the scene. We’re quite partial to the prawn, calamari, garlic confit, mozzarella, chilli, parsley and lemon pizza but hey, you do you. While it’s ciao for now for dining inhouse, you can still order takeaway, delivery and now with booze, just order online. Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Stoked Wood Fire Pizza
It seems people who have been to Stoked Wood Fire Pizza want to keep it a secret and fair enough, it’s epic but too bad, because it’s epic. Tucked away at Stockland Burleigh Heads is a gem you may have heard increasing whispers about since opening last year. Quite obviously, the pizzas are wood fired and also quite obviously that equals delicious. There are plenty of flavours, all of which are worth a sample. Call 0427 473 095 to order… personal Stoked deliveries coming soon.
Where: Stockland Burleigh Heads, West Burleigh Rd, Burleigh Heads

Stoked Wood Fire Pizza
Stoked Wood Fire Pizza

That’s Amore
Alright, if you haven’t been to That’s Amore in Miami, you’ve been missing out on some fine Italian fare. These guys are kind of hidden away in Miami Shopping Village but do not live a life that doesn’t include finding them. Everything’s good but the pizzas are pure perfection and very reasonably priced. Get it. Phone 5520 0797 or find them online.
Where: 110 Mountain View Ave, Miami

Gemellini
Woodfired pizza come at us. The Italian family behind Gemellini are a gift from the Gods. They’ve created an authentic Italian experience in Nobbys and for that we are eternally grateful. They’re all ridiculous but go the Funghi Bianca if you can’t decide. It’s got mozzarella, mixed marinated mushrooms, truffle oil and parmigiano. There’s a new updated menu with cheaper prices too for both Gemellini Mermaid Beach and Gemelli in Broadbeach! Phone 5575 1418 to get your real homemade Italian food delivered for free.
Where: 2247 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Double Zero
Okay, so these guys are something else. They focus on traditional Neapolitan styles and they cannot be faulted on pizza production. Last time we sampled the Gamberetti e Zucchine because a. it sounds fancy and we can pronounce it and b. it’s got San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, zucchini, garlic and prawns. YEP. Give them a tingle on 5526 8635 or if ordering online use code DZ30 for 30% off your takeaway order.
Where: 2/2715 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach

Alfresco
Without a doubt one of the most iconic Italian restaurants on the Coast. For 34 years, Alfresco has seen it all. But while it’s usually a delight to dine in, we’re just happy we can still enjoy the menu at home. Our fav, the mighty Vesuvius layered with pepperoni, capsicum and a touch of chilli. Of course leave room for their traditional lasagne. Pick up or delivered right to your door phone 5538 9333, text 0402 026 083.
Where: 2/3018 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise

Salt Meats Cheese
Let us begin by saying there is a pizza with FOUR CHEESES on it and that should be enough quite frankly. Found in Surfers Paradise, Salt Meats Cheese boasts all the delicious Italian things (as referenced in their name) and although off topic, they also make pasta in a wheel or Parmesan cheese. It’s Italian gourmet at its cheesy best. Bye. Order online or call 5661 1517 to place a contactless pick-up order.
Where: The 4217, 10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise

Pizza Paradise Gourmet Kitchen
We were once told this place had ‘the best pizza by a country mile’ and that’ll about do us. There’s a pizza called The Catch and it is indeed that. Topped with capsicum, calamari, prawns, mussels, barramundi, shallots, garlic, rocket, lemon and aioli it’s an actual taste sensation. If you’re a northerner, they’ll deliver it right to your door. Best.
Where: SHOP 3, 20 Grice Avenue, Paradise Point 

Words by Kirra Smith.

Gemelli
Gemelli

Stoked Wood Fire Pizza

Stoked Wood Fire Pizza
Stoked Wood Fire Pizza

First of all, if there’s a feeling that eating pizza evokes, it is stoked and second of all, Burleigh Heads has a new pizza joint and you will indeed be stoked upon sampling every single slice

It’s called Stoked Wood Fire Pizza, as if you didn’t know and it can, as of a short time ago, be found at Stockland Burleigh Heads in the new fancy food area that is also home to coffee legends Nook.

Who also, as it turns out, are the owners of Stoked (so you know it’s the goods).

It’s a corner spot, all glossy white tiles and a pink neon sign (our fave) but the pièce de résistance is the pizza oven itself, all the way from Tuscany and tiled (by the team) in an array of pink, gold and copper hues that we would like for our house thank you very much. Might also need a pizza chef to go with it though.

Speaking of pizza chefs, Stoked’s are two of the best around – Ollie who once owned a pizza caravan (surely the best kind of caravan) and Gervin, who has whipped up tasty eats from Europe to Melbourne and now, right here on the Gold Coast. Good news for us.

Also, remember Slurping Panda, the epic little venue in the Burleigh Arcade that is no long with us (RIP)? Well, the man behind that venue is also one of the owners of this venue. So double good news for us.

On the menu are a Romano style of pizza with crispy bases and well-proportioned amounts of toppings for each slice (which isn’t considered enough in the world of pizza making).

Let us discuss a few faves, which we, of course sampled, so we could bring you the very best story. Somebody gotta do it.

The Margherita though it may seem simple is in fact, not. Made with cherry tomatoes, Bocconcini and sweet basil and is a delightful little flavour-packed pizza. The Prosciutto is also the goods with, yep, prosciutto di parma, roquette and soft mozzarella.

Our favourite though is the Seafood pizza with Aussie prawns (fresh off the trawler), calamari, green mussels, roast garlic, chilli, parsley and cheese and it is the perfect balance of flavours, not too oceany and it looks pretty too.

The dessert pizza is of course, a must-try, it’s got all of the Nutella, plus bananas, strawberries and marshmallows and not one person will judge you if that’s your actual dinner.

One of the very best aspects of the new foodie space at Stockands’ is that the entire area is BYO and there is a bottle shop a mere ten steps away so you may pop in there while your pizza is cooking in the sparkly oven.

What a time to be alive.

Yes, you may also take the pizzas away and indulge in the privacy of your own home should you so wish.

Either way, do yourself a favour and go get Stoked.

LOCATION: Stockland Burleigh Heads, West Burleigh Rd, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: 11.30am until 8pm daily

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Bellissimo! An authentic Italian deli opens in Palm Beach

There are very few things in life better than a traditional pizza straight out of a woodfired oven and made with a whole lot of Italian love. Except maybe a smorgasbord of cheeses and also handcrafted pasta topped with all of the Parmesan. Actually, we love them all equally.

Which is why it absolutely warms our hearts to bring you news of a brand new Italian deli that recently opened in Palm Beach by people whose work you already know and love.

It’s Pepé Italia Deli by yes, the team who gifted us Burleigh’s Pepé Italia in early 2017, so you know it’s going to live up to your highest expectations.

The newbie can be found in Palmy’s brand new refurbished shopping precinct Pavilions, on the highway and it’s the first restaurant to open its doors there. With street frontage, plenty of natural light and happy Italians scattered throughout, it’s a place you’re going to want to spend a bit of time.

Inside you’ll find cabinets filled with a variety of cheeses and dried meats (both local and imported form Italy) and fridges packed with homemade pasta and pre-prepared meals like lasagna and meatballs (oh my) you can take home and pretend you made. Which is exactly what we’re going to do.

The deli is a more casual, pared back version of the Burleigh restaurant but the dishes on offer are quite similar.

On the Antipasti menu, everything was a taste sensation but we particularly loved the Wagyu Bresaola with Wagyu beef, shaved parmigiano, reggiano, rocket and lemon juice – so so tasty.

Pasta-wise, everything is made in-house and while you should probably sample every single dish, we were quite partial to the Ricotta e Spinaci with spinach and ricotta, agnolotti, butter, sage and parmesan cheese and Paccheri Positano with clams, mussels, baby calamari, prawns, barramundi, cherry tomatoes and Napoli sauce. Both absolutely stunning.

In terms of pizza, you obviously can’t go wrong especially where Pepé Italia is concerned. If we had to choose one, it would be the Tropea with San Marzano tomato, fresh buffalo mozzarella, prawns, basil, garlic and chilli. Very fresh and very delicious.

Let’s not forget the desserts and if you’ve ever had an Italian dessert you’ll know they cannot be skipped. There’s homemade Tiramisu, Cannoli Siciliana and Semi Frozen Dark Chocolate to name a few and they’re the perfect accompaniment to a pizza and pasta feast (obviously).

Of course there isn’t a single thing on the menu we would eat over and over again so choose your own adventure and prepare to be wowed.

If you’d like a little tipple to go with your experience, all your favourite cocktails are on offer as well as beer and wine of both the Australian and Italian persuasions.

Pepé Italia Deli

Perhaps the best news of all though is Sunday Apertivo – a tradition in Italy where everyone gathers on a Sunday afternoon for drinks and the venue provides the food. Which is exactly what’s going to happen at Pepé Italia Deli every Sunday. It’s the Italian version of a Sunday session and everyone’s invited.

Perfection has moved into Palm Beach Gold Coasters, get down there for some good old fashioned hospitality.

LOCATION: Pavilions Palm Beach, 10 Fifth Avenue, Palm Beach
HOURS: 11am until late Wednesday to Saturday and 11am until 8pm Sunday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

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