Gradi Group brings 400 Gradi, Zero Gradi and Gradi Mercato to the vibrant regional city of Mildura.
Melbourne based Chef Johnny Di Francesco has become a renowned hospitality giant over the past decade with his collection of lively, authentic Italian venues – 400 Gradi. You’ve no doubt heard the name.
Armed with a lifelong passion for Neapolitan cuisine, the talented chef and restaurateur has dedicated himself to being the best in the world. Travelling to Naples to study his craft with the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN), Di Francesco’s devotion to his learnings from the AVPN swiftly earned him local acclaim and the nickname ‘Mr Pizza Man’.
Di Francesco’s first restaurant – aptly named after the optimum temperature for cooking traditional Neapolitan pizza (400 Gradi/degrees) – swiftly acquired a cult following after its launch in Brunswick in 2008, before Johnny’s win at the 2014 ‘International Pizza Championships’ earned him global recognition and shone a spotlight on 400 Gradi Brunswick. Since then, 400 Gradi has opened a swathe of additional Gradi restaurants in Australia, alongside expanding internationally into Dallas, Texas.
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Now Di Francesco will venture further out into Victoriam with his seventh Australian location – 400 Gradi Mildura featuring a Zero Gradi Gelateria and Dessert Bar and Gradi’s Italian delicatessen concept Gradi Mercato – on the prominent Deakin Avenue. The venue will officially open on Wednesday, May 11 2022.
Opening in regional Victoria for the first time, following his last move into Mornington last year, the new 300 capacity restaurant brings 400 Gradi’s famous Italian cuisine, including its once-crowned world’s best Margherita pizza and much-loved favourites to the region.
“Mildura is a special city situated at the heart of Victorian agriculture, with high-quality food and wine offerings throughout the region. We are honoured to open our first venue in Mildura and cannot wait to work alongside the locals,” says Di Francesco.
Partnering with co-owner and local resident Michael Sarrou, who previously ran Mildura’s Fasta Pasta for 17 years, Di Francesco, the new 400 Gradi Mildura features a Zero Gradi Gelateria and Dessert Bar and Gradi’s Italian delicatessen concept Gradi Mercato, all sharing a single space.
“It’s an honour to be accepted into Johnny and Maria’s Gradi family and a privilege to showcase 400 Gradi in Mildura,” says Sarrou.
The interiors embrace 400 Gradi’s signature Italian luxe aesthetic with subtle greenery, terrazzo countertops and tables, and plush upholstery. The new space, outfitted by Dean Dyson Architects, includes two dining areas, a bar serving cocktails, and two private function rooms catering for 50 and 70 guests respectively.
As for the food, locals can expect to see the full 400 Gradi menu including 400 Gradi’s famous pizzas – the margherita verace (which was once crowned the world’s best), and a previous Guinness World Record holder for most varieties of cheese on a pizza (154, to be exact).
Plus, there are fresh pastas including Linguine alla pescatora, Gnocchi con ragu di guancia and Risotto ai funghi, alongside Meatballs, Arancini crumbed rice balls with bolognese sauce and Lasagna, among other delicious items.
And as for the drinks, the menu features local wine producers, including 2016 Robbinvale preservative free Shiraz, 2017 Mandi Sangiovese Paust vineyard Mildura and a 2021 BTW Pinot Noir.
The Zero Gradi Gelateria will be serving up hand-churned gelato and house-made cannoli, while Gradi Mercato, a deli and grocer, will be stocking salumi and cured meats, finish-at-home meals (including pizzas and pastas), woodfired sourdough, premium cheeses and staples like milk, free-range eggs and seasonal produce.
With its impressive, award-winning pizza and extensive menu, Gradi Group has set the bar for traditional Italian cuisine and now Mildura is about to see why.
Gradi Group Mildura is located at 31-33 Deakin Ave Mildura, Victoria. Head to the website for more information.