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    Next Hotel Melbourne

    Sunday get togethers La Madonna style

    La Madonna chefs Danny Natoli and Adrian Li have cooked up a special menu to help bring together family and friends over good food once again…

    There is an old Italian saying: “A tavola non si invecchia.” – “At the table, you don’t get old”. It is the essence of a meal shared with family and friends – grounding, restorative, filled with love and joy and a few passionate arguments too. It is life.

    Coming to La Madonna – La Famiglia

    Recent lockdowns have provided time for La Madonna Restaurant & Bar chefs Danny Natoli and Adrian Li to muse on many things – testing and perfecting new dishes, experimenting with ageing ingredients and slowing down to sample specialist produce from local growers.

    The Melbourne culinary duo were reminiscing  — and plotting how they can use their approach to food to bring people back together again around a table.

    “What we really missed during lockdown was seeing our extended families and friends. Even though we annoy each other, being able to have that simple act of a long, shared group meal, eating, drinking and telling stories.  That’s what we’re looked forward to the most.” Chef Adrian Li

    So, with the idea of the traditional Italian feast on Sunday in mind, La Famiglia will be launched in November. It’s perfectly timed with Melbourne reopening and as we start to emerge out from the home once again, looking for ways to reconnect over good food and wine in glorious surrounds.

    A new tradition for Melbourne Sundays

    The Sunday Italian family feast is a long-held tradition, built in a time when the weekday working hours were long and laboured, and Sunday was the only time when whole families could easily come together.  A simple feast is carefully prepared with an emphasises on sharing pastas, meats or fish, seasonal vegetables and much-loved desserts like cannoli and tiramisu.

    “The thing I remember most is the smell of the cooking that would start the day before, all from scratch, and work up to bit of a frenzy by Sunday! All the food and all the aromas! Porchetta reminds me of it every time I prepare it” Chef Danny Natoli

    Inspired by the classic custom and ‘rules’ of the Sunday gathering to prepare classic dishes, generously served in the centre to share with wine poured freely at the table, Chefs Danny and Adrian plan to bring their own version of the long family lunch to La Madonna.

    “We want La Famiglia to become a new tradition for how Melburnians get together on Sundays”.

    What’s on La Famiglia Menu?

    While taste testing continues and La Madonna’s chefs are already renowned for their spontaneous menus that change as often as Melbourne’s weather, expect La Famiglia on Sundays to feature their twists on simple classics, with a relaxed and plentiful vibe:

    • Salami, mortadella bresaola
    • Marinated olives
    • Stracciatella & pickles
    • House-made foccacia
    • Porchetta, roasted fennel grapes & verjus
    • Green beans, yuzu kosho & flaked almonds
    • Lakes entrance sardines & preserved lemon
    • Dressed cos leaves & parmesan
    • Family style tiramisu
    • Optional carafes of red or white wine

    It will be a fixed price menu, and dishes are prepared with sharing from the centre of the table in mind.

    La Madonna Restaurant and Bar is ideally located at the Paris end of the city within the newly minted Next Hotel Melbourne at 80 Collins Street. We are within easy walking distance from Parliament Station, or Collins Street Trams, and valet parking also is available onsite.  Or perhaps make a City Weekend Away out of it and book rooms for the night for an extended catch up. You’ll soon be waking up in the heart of the city, sated from a big group get together, and contentedly contemplating what’s Next.

    We can think of few nicer ways to celebrate the “pulling back of the lockdown covers” than that.

    La Famiglia Sundays


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