At The Bar with Claudio Casoni from Officina Gastronomica Italiana

Wines from Emilia-Romagna dominate the drink list at Prahran’s Officina Gastronomica Italiana. It’s also where you’ll find a hearty selection of Pet Nat wines because owner Claudio Casoni has a soft spot for the unordinary fizzy flavours they bring.

Casoni moved to Melbourne from Italy 12 years ago, and has since opened his restaurant on Malvern Rd Prahran, in the city he now calls home. He also brings those childhood memories back to life with pasta dishes that nod to his Nonna’s famous home cooking.

The Write Drop spoke to Claudio Casoni for our At the Bar series. He reveals a favourite Sydney bar, where he heads for the best European beer selection in Melbourne and what we should be drinking from the Macedon Ranges.

MY CITY

I was born and raised in Bologna, however, 12 years ago I was adopted by Melbourne, which has been my home ever since.

FAVOURITE FOOD MEMORY

The memories of my Nonna’s tagliatelle alla bolognese are vivid. I can still see her skillfully sheeting thin layers of egg-made pasta with a rolling pin, while the scent of the bolognese ragú slowly cooked on the stove and filling the house on Sundays. These moments are embossed in my mind and spirit, lasting forever.

FAVOURITE BAR

Borsch Vodka & Tears. I love their selection of Eastern European beers.

DRINK THAT DESCRIBES YOU

Il Farneto Frisant God Save The Wine Pet Nat. An uncommon Italian pet-nat: fizzy, funky, punchy, unordinary. It’s not for everyone.

BEST HANGOVER CURE

Sunday’s roast -slow-cooked pork loin with roast potatoes. Its richness and umami flavour can lift anybody up and always works for me.

BEST INTERSTATE BAR

Busby’s Bar Sydney. It offers two things that I love; natural wines and vinyls.

FAVOURITE WINE

Ca’ de Noci Le Rose. It’s a stunning natural wine crafted according to the ancestral winemaking tradition of Emilia Romagna. Biodynamic, unfiltered, unrefined. It embodies a story within its taste

FAVOURITE WINERY

Mount Towrong Vineyard in the Macedon Ranges. I Like the location, the setting and the humbleness. Loved their Vivace Sparkling, a Chardonnay and Nebbiolo blend.

NEXT DESTINATION

The Dolomites, Italy. I haven’t been there in a while and simply miss it.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO OPEN A RESTAURANT IN MELBOURNE

The artisanality of food and wine of Emilia Romagna and the concept of ‘cucina popolare’. “Cucina popolare” is an Italian term that translates to “popular cuisine”. It refers to traditional, regional, and often humble dishes that are deeply rooted in the culinary heritage of a specific area or community within Italy. In essence, the cucina popolare celebrates the authenticity and soul of Italian cooking, emphasising the sociality around food and wine.

FAVOURITE MEAL ON THE MENU

Ravioli with ‘red cow’ parmigiano fondue, 12-year balsamico, lemon thyme 38. The Reggiano Red Cow name comes from a special breed of cow that was nearly extinct in the last century due to producers using more commercially viable cows such as Swiss and Brown. Red Cows, however, produce a deeper, sharper flavour of milk and this is used to make the parmesan which is aged for 36 months. The dish is then topped with drops of sticky 12 year-aged balsamic vinegar, aged in oak barrels and imported from my family friend’s vineyard in Emilia Romagna. The dish only uses minimal ingredients but they are full of flavour and exquisite.

FAVOURITE DRINK ON THE DRINK LIST

Croci Campedello. A skin contact pet nat.

WHAT DO WE DRINK WITH A TIRAMISU

Baccadoro Passito Terre Siciliane IGT. My favourite dessert wine from Sicily.

https://ogi.com.au

 

Get Social

Newsletter

Don't miss

At The Bar with Alchemy Brewing Co’s Pim Muter

Alchemy Brewing Co’s Owner and Brewer Pim Muter runs...

At The Bar with Fiona Sweet – CEO of The Stella Prize

From Linda McCartney’s first major Australian retrospective to American...

A NON alcoholic vice with Aaron Trotman

Premium non-alcoholic brand NON has certainly made some serious...

At The Bar with Fashion Designer Estelle Michaelides

Melbourne fashion designer Estelle Michaelides is best known for...

At The Bar with Morena Sommelier Pablo Toledo

Head Sommelier Pablo Toledo showcases the best of Latin...