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Fabio's top authentic 5 Italian dishes (and why you love them)

Fabio's top authentic 5 Italian dishes (and why you love them)

Apr 9, 2021 - 1:31pm

We asked our restaurant manager Fabio to tell us about his five favourite traditional Italian dishes from the La Spaghettata menu, and why you’ll look forward to eating them the next time you visit. Spaghetti Marinara: a celebration of seafood (pictured above) 1. Spaghetti Marinara This is my favourite dish of all time. Our Spaghetti Marinana is crowned with generous servings of fresh mussels, vongole, prawns and scampi. What brings it all together is La Spaghettata’s famous Napoli sauce and fresh spaghetti. These staples from our kitchen are both made from scratch, laced with the aroma of sun-ripened tomato and fresh basil.   Tagliatelle ‘La Spaghettata’: bacon makes everything better 2. Tagliatelle ‘La Spaghettata’ You really can’t go wrong with our fresh home-made Napoli sauce and pasta. Toothsome ribbons of joy, with added richness from some fresh ricotta cheese, smoked bacon, cracked black pepper, and a hint of chilli, just to make things interesting!   Fritto Misto: fresh flavours of the sea 3. Fritto Misto Our seafood is our pride. Here, we serve it as a modest mountain of your choice of fried scallops, prawns or calamari, all crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. One bite and the freshness takes you to quiet weekends fishing off the coast of Sicily. Fillet Gordon: decadent, hearty goodness 4. Fillet Gordon Sometimes you just need a perfectly seared grass-fed eye fillet steak, married with a Cognac XO demi-glace sauce, and a party of just-ripe avocado, fresh prawns, and umami-packed mushrooms.   Tiramisù: the perfect way to end a meal 5. Tiramisù Our 45-year-old tiramisù recipe is so good, we’ve never had to change it! We do it the proper way, using savoirdi biscuits heavy with Strega liquer, nested in layers of fresh, sweet mascarpone.   Hungry for more authentic Italian food? Check out our a la carte menu and set menus for more La Spaghettata goodness.
What’s Next for La Spaghettata

What’s Next for La Spaghettata

Apr 9, 2021 - 1:24pm

Our restaurant manager Fabio looks ahead at the future for the Cattafis and La Spaghettata. How La Spaghettata adapted “Like everyone else in the restaurant business who’ve survived the past year, it was tough, and we had to change to adapt. “Our current menu still has our best and most popular dishes, but the pandemic is still a reality, and a possibility. We had to streamline our menu — we took about 20 things off it. The most popular dishes, we kept, because we knew they would sell. But there are some things, like the seafood, that you need to serve fresh, and we didn’t want to have to compromise on quality. “Our success is based on our menu, so it was important to focus our efforts on making sure we still delivered the same, consistent freshness and quality in our dishes, despite change. “Sadly, we had to reduce our staff numbers. Even when our kitchen staff and servers couldn’t be with us at the restaurant, we made sure we called each of them to check in and see how they were. We wanted to reassure them and give them something to look forward to at the end of lockdown. We told them that when things were safer again, we’ll have them back on deck, as part of the family.”   The things that will stay the same “Family and connection will always be our strengths. And like we always say, our customers are part of the La Spaghettata family. We used our social media to keep our customers updated, and posted funny and inspiring things we connected with, to boost their spirits too. “As for our family, the Cattafis, we are stronger than ever. I admit that we all enjoyed the three-month break in 2020! But it showed how resilient, strong and tenacious we are as a family. We didn’t back down, and we kept each other afloat, and we prepared for our return.”   The years ahead “I think for the next few years, we’ll keep nurturing what we have here. We might make a few adjustments here and there, you know, renovations and interior improvements, to maintain the authentic feel. “We will still remain as a family-run restaurant but we’re now more conscious of how important time for ourselves and family is outside of the restaurant. We’re going to try and live more balanced lives while continuing to share the joy of running the restaurant. “With more time for ourselves, we will have even more energy to put back into La Spaghettata. This will ensure we can continue serving up our authentic Italian hospitality, and our traditional Italian dishes, like spaghetti marinara and tiramisu, for years to come.”   Come visit La Spaghettata on Lygon Street It’s so good to see Lygon Street busy again, and we’d love you to come join us and see for yourselves! Have a look at our a la carte and set menus, book a table, and bring a hearty appetite for authentic Italian food.
Why Is Running An Italian Restaurant Like Performing On Stage?

Why Is Running An Italian Restaurant Like Performing On Stage?

Apr 9, 2021 - 1:20pm

Did you know that our restaurant manager, Fabio, is also a professional dancer? Let’s take a look behind the scenes of his life’s two passions and find out what they have in common.   Fabio’s dance background “I’ve always loved dance! And I’ve always loved to perform for an audience. I remember dancing around the house with and singing into a mop for my family in the evenings. And like the food we serve at La Spaghettata, I guess that’s where it all started.   “I decided to study dance at the Victorian College of the Arts in the early 90s. Back then, my Mum and Dad were still running the restaurant and taking care of us kids at the same time. “I didn’t know this then, but all my stage training was going to come in handy for restaurant management.”   Restaurant floor versus dance floor “Mauro and I started running La Spaghettata together in 2004, to give our parents a break. By then, I’d been dancing and touring for decades. They seem like two very different careers, but they’re really all about performance.”   The audience in the dining room “In the restaurant, our customers are our audience. They come wanting the same thing: quality, consistency. To feel welcome and to have their senses entertained. “Ultimately, we want our diners to leave feeling the same way you would after an excellent show: satisfied, feeling good, but also wanting more.”   Restaurant manager as ringmaster “Honestly, sometimes it can all get a bit chaotic, but it’s my job to keep everything in line and on schedule. Like a stage manager, or a circus ringmaster. “And as the leader of my staff and the face of La Spaghettata, I have to make sure I look calm well-presented, and set an example for everyone. “Even if my energy is flagging, I make sure I take a quick break backstage, have a glass of water, and return to the floor with a smile and uplifting energy!”   Rehearsals and preparation “We plan carefully to make sure we’re ready for our performance, or restaurant service, each night. “The kitchen is stocked, our staff have memorised the specials, and the tableware is sparkling. Everyone’s uniforms are clean and pressed. We even make sure the music and the lighting are right. “That’s just the daily show. No one sees the months and years of training and experience we and our staff have had in hospitality to bring them the dining experience they enjoy. “But that is our goal, isn’t it? They should have so much fun that they don’t even have to think about the effort behind the performance. That effort is our job, not theirs.”   It’s about the customer “You may not know every story, but you’ve probably played a part in someone’s life story. Their first date night. Their family celebration. Their first Italian meal. Their first time in Melbourne. “Both the restaurant business and performance take a lot of energy. There’s nothing like going home, feeling exhausted, and with your feet hurting, but knowing that for a night, or even for an hour or so, you made someone happy. “We know about some of these stories, because they become our regulars, and come back every year to celebrate their happy memories with us again and again. “And it’s stories like these that remind us why we do what we do – for family and connection.”   Come visit La Spaghettata It’s so good to see Lygon Street busy again, and we’d love you to come join us, and be part of our La Spaghettata family! Have a look at our a la carte and set menus, book a table, and bring a hearty appetite for authentic Italian food.
The La Spaghettata Story: From Rags To Riches

The La Spaghettata Story: From Rags To Riches

Apr 9, 2021 - 1:13pm

When you dine at our traditional Italian Lygon Street restaurant, La Spaghettata, you become part of our family, and our story. The Cattafi's at home at the dinner table   Welcome to the family Our authentic Italian restaurant first opened in 1981, but our story starts in 1965, when our parents, our La Spaghettata founders Tony and Giovanni Cattafi, arrived in Australia, from Sicily, Italy. Our parents grew up poor on farms, and they remember watching all the rich folk having their late dinners out on the town. This made them even more determined to work their way out of poverty, even if it meant leaving home. So, with only their suitcases, and no English, they worked hard from the moment they arrived, and built their new life from scratch, in West Footscray. Along the way, the family table grew to include four children, and (spoiler alert!) two of us, Fabio and Mauro, now run the restaurant on Lygon St, Carlton. Our childhood memories are filled with the aromas of family meals, and the stories shared over Mama’s hearty Italian food. And as we slurped up every drop of Napoli sauce, our parents began planning to bring these cherished Italian flavours and experiences from our home, to the rest of Melbourne. The Cattafis at home, celebrating Mauro’s birthday   Dreams of Messina Our parents missed home in Messina, Sicily. And they told us so, frequently! Not just the food and fresh Italian ingredients. Mum and Dad also missed our families and connecting with them through cooking and eating. And with us kids in mind, they wanted to leave a legacy, and pass their heritage on to future generations. The best way, they reckoned, was the personal way. With a restaurant, they could create a new place for our community — and other communities too — to gather, have a sense of family, and share knowledge and culture. All with the warm embrace of the authentic Italian hospitality we were so lucky to grow up with. The Cattafi family and friends at the restaurant   La Spaghettata opens its doors With all burners on, their plan finally came to life, as we welcomed our first customers in 1981, a little after Australia’s 1970s restaurant boom. Aussies were getting used to the idea of café and restaurant culture, so our parents knew it was time to get into the business. La Spaghettata was, and still is, on Lygon Street, Carlton, and we’re proud to be a part of its history. It’s still known as Melbourne’s central Italian district, and we love being a part of it and the annual Lygon Street Festa (now known as the Melbourne Italian Festa).   The restaurant today While we’re among the oldest restaurants in Melbourne, we’re one of the last few family-run Italian eateries left on Lygon Street, and we’re proud to say we were the first to start making pasta from scratch, on site. You won’t find pre-made pasta in our kitchen. And just like yesterday, and the days before that, we still combine our cozy, family atmosphere with traditional dishes Mama made, like bruschetta, pescatora and spaghetti marinara (our seafood is second to none). It’s Italian cuisine at its true best!   Our loyal customers We’ve seen so many changes, but we still have diners who keep coming back to us for our fresh Italian food, and the hugs, kisses and familiarity as they pull up a chair in our authentic rustic farmhouse building. We’ve seen the likes of Andrew Bocelli, Valentino Rossi and Kenny Rogers, but our customers are the real stars. We’re always here for you, the families and the lovers, our friends old and new, the busy and those of leisure, ready for a glass of wine (or two) and good Italian food. Come share a meal with us and be part of a unique Italian dining experience that you can call your own. We’ll see you soon!   Dine at La Spaghettata Book a table at La Spaghettata La Spaghettata’s A La Carte menu Fabio’s top 5 Italian dishes (and why you love them). Follow La Spaghettata on Facebook for more news and photos.  
Tina Turner, Madonna & Lygon Street

Tina Turner, Madonna & Lygon Street

Jun 18, 2020 - 1:05pm

Q: So, what do Tina Turner, Madonna and Lygon Street in Melbourne have in common?  A: A fabulous restauranteur and entertainer by the name of Fabio Cattafi and… me!   I have known Fabio (he is saved as Miss T) in my phone) for over 15 years and met through his cousin and my dear friend Natascia, who recommended him as a back-up dancer for my performance of Tina Turner’s Simply the Best at Jimmy Seoud’s 40th Birthday event at no less than The Plaza Ballroom, Melbourne. Our friendship was instant and we continued to not only be friends, but work together on Fabio’s businesses including his kids fashion line, Zephyr Generation and Lygon Street’s legendary La Spaghettata restaurant. Me on stage with Fabio (left)   It’s interesting to see how my entrepreneurial friends and clients have been spending their time during lock down. And as I have personally found, having a side hustle has never been more important. In addition to running the family owned restaurant which has been shut due to lock down, Fabio has been focusing on his Tina Turner show- A Night With Tina. His obsession with Tina Turner began at the tender age of 14 when he put on a show for his boisterous Italian family and sang “Proud Mary” into a mop and bucket. Fabio as Tina Turner   Fast forward to 2020 and he has turned his passion into a reality with a tribute show like no other where he performs to Tina’s greatest hits including Proud Mary, Private Dancer and Nutbush. Transformed into Tina, thanks to handmade copies of original Tina Turner costumes, Fabio’s flawless look is enough to convince anyone that Tina was right there on stage. Lock down has given Fabio the time that he is often pressed for, allowing him to focus on his branding, website and social media strategy. And it looks fab too, check out these links: www.anightwithtina.comwww.facebook.com/anightwithtinawww.instagram.com/anightwithtina Fabio’s tips for businesses during lock down are: 1. Be resilient See the silver lining in every situation. Be flexible and be innovative- think outside the box on other ways to make money.  2. Stay in touch with your network and customers Stay connected through Instagram and Facebook so you stay on the forefront so customers always know to come back to you when they’re ready. 3. Stay positiveYou can rise above what’s going on and perhaps use this time to reflect and simplify life. Fabio’s Italian restaurant will re-open on June 24th under the COVID-19 government restrictions where bookings and operations need to be strictly managed because of social distancing. Loyal diners have been coming to the restaurant for decades, and for the first time in 40 years, they can’t be greeted with the familiar hugs and kisses they’re familiar with, as they pull up a chair in the authentic rustic farmhouse building. The warm, family hospitality remains as do the amazing photos of special guests over the years including Valentino Rossi, Kenny Rogers and Andrea Bocelli. To book your classic Italian dining experience at La Spaghetatta that is Simply the best: https://www.laspaghettata.com.au/
Lygon Street Festival 2019

Lygon Street Festival 2019

Nov 24, 2019 - 11:18pm

All the highlights from this years Lygon St Festival. Celebrating everything Italian.  
Rosé the day away

Rosé the day away

Nov 22, 2019 - 11:38pm

It's time to Rosé the day away because Summer is here! Enjoy everything Italian this summer at La Spaghettata From delicious food, Italian wines and fun enterainent. Book your Christmas with La Spaghettata. it will be a day not to missed with everything Italian.
Dinner and Demo at La Spaghettata

Dinner and Demo at La Spaghettata

Feb 13, 2019 - 3:31pm

  Join Rosie at La Spaghettata in Carlton as I demonstrate in a sit down dinner and demo setting, how to decorate this super all watercolour cake! The learning objectives of this demonstration include: How to level, tort and fill a cake How to crumb-coat your cake How to build a super tall cake How to create sharp edges on your cake How to cover your cake using buttercream How to create a striking colour watercolour effect on your cake How to create a white chocolate ganache drip Basic dollop piping techniques using a 1M piping tip   TIME: 6.30pm - 8:30pm (this gives us time to sit down and order food and drinks. Actual demo will begin at approximately 7pm) DATE: Friday the 22nd of February LOCATION OF THE DEMO: La Spaghettata - 238 Lygon Street Carlton   A full, non- refundable deposit must be made in order to book your seat for this live, sit down dinner and demo. There will be a maximum of 60 places available.   PLEASE NOTE: Your ticket includes a Pasta dish of your choosing (excluding seafood options) and a glass of wine or soft drink.
Christmas is just around the corner!

Christmas is just around the corner!

Nov 8, 2017 - 11:18am

Chirstmas is just around the corner!
July Newsletter

July Newsletter

Jul 19, 2017 - 2:42pm

Welcome to our July newsletter.
Meeting Sophia Loren in Melbourne

Meeting Sophia Loren in Melbourne

Mar 21, 2016 - 1:21pm

Dreams really do come true! Meeting Sophia Loren in Melbourne - April 18, 2015

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