Tucked away from the polished restaurants of Chapel Street, Eat'aliano by Pino is the homely new Italian restaurant you need a pizza of. Bad puns aside, Eat'aliano is the brainchild of restaurateur and head chef duo Alessio Alia and Pino Russo (of La Svolta), and champions vibrant, rich flavours that pay homage to traditional Naples cooking. Expect thin, chewy-crusted pizzas and super fresh pasta dishes.
Menu musts include the dreamy, creamy fresh buffalo full milk mozzarella paired with traditional buttery focaccia (both $13). If you want to up your Italian game, try the La Montanara, a deep-fried pizza dough topped with Napoli sauce, D.O.P. Grana Padano cheese and fresh basil. It will have your cheese-loving stomach curdling with happiness.
As always, pizzas are made to share, so unless you're particularly greedy (no judgement), you won't need to have your own Sophie's Choice moment trying to decide between the top-notch margherita ($16) and the house-made gnocchi in Napoli sauce ($20). An oozy chocolate Nutella pizza ($18) — topped with banana slices because balance — is non-negotiable for any Eat'aliano visit. Drinks are restrained with a handful of rotating cocktail specials, local wines and Melbourne's favourite beers on tap.
Featuring a bright, effortlessly stylish interior, the space boasts a refined warmth ideal for a cosy catch-up or Friday date night. Suspending, hanging plant boxes and exposed industrial roofing gives the interior a laidback ambience, complemented by concrete floors and an open kitchen. Visitors can eye the prized wood-fire pizza oven, which features distinctive tiles with sleek white squares and cooks perfect pizza in under a minute.
Staff are friendly, knowledgeable and eager to make suggestions when you're feeling torn between choosing your favourite figurative Italian food children.