‘Going gangbusters’: Ulladulla restaurant’s winning seafood formula
Tony’s Italian Ristorante Bar & Seafood has only been operating for two and a half years, but it’s already twice won the People’s Choice Award for Restaurant of the Year in the Milton Ulladulla Business Awards.
“People love the seafood,” says Carlo Capogreco, owner of the Ulladulla restaurant.
“We use Italian styles of cooking from Calabrio in southern Italy where my family is from, and always use the freshest seafood.”
Tuna features prominently on the menu, with dishes including tuna carpacio, tuna sashimi and tuna steak.
“We use yellowfin tuna because it’s the crème de la crème of tuna. It’s beautiful, it’s fresh. The meat colour is amazing, and people love it.”
Carlo says the restaurant, which overlooks the harbour, has gone gangbusters since opening in October 2016.
“There’s not many restaurants on the south coast of NSW, and we’re doing things differently.
“I try to always have fish that is basically caught all year around in Ulladulla, for example John Dory. When I can’t source fish locally, I buy it direct from the seafood market in Sydney.”
Carlo opened Tony’s Italian after spending 33 years working in his dad’s Italian restaurant, located next door.
“Dad’s restaurant does Italian and pizza, while we do fish and chips right through to high-end seafood. For example, we serve lobsters, beautiful chilli mud crabs and abalone schnitzel.”
The signature dish at Tony’s Italian is frutta di mare, whereby a mix of seafood is cooked in a big saucy hotpot and then served with fresh crusty bread.
“We tell all of our customers to try it, because everyone that has it loves it – the plates always come back empty and people often ask for extra bread to sop up the sauce.”
Try frutta di mare for yourself by visiting Tony’s Italian at 18 Wason Street, Ulladulla NSW or cook it following Carlo’s recipe below.
Frutta di mare
- olive oil
- a mix of seafood including, for example, mahi mahi or swordfish
- touch of chilli
- splash of white wine
- some Napolitano sauce
- salt and pepper
- dash of cream
- Italian parsley
- crusty bread
In a hot frypan, add olive oil, garlic, basil and shallots. Sear them off.
To the frypan, add in a mix of seafood, a touch of chilli, a splash of white wine and some Napolitano sauce (traditional Italian red sauce). Season with salt and pepper and add a dash of cream.
Cover frypan and cook for 10 minutes.
Serve with Italian parsley and with crusty bread.