In Clifton Beach
Eating out at an Italian restaurant is more than just the delicious flavours and aromas wafting from the kitchen, it is also about the experience of Italian living. A true Trattoria Italiana allows you to dip your toes into Italia, escape the daily grind and fully immerse yourself in the European style of life. That is exactly what Mario and Silvia have been giving locals and tourists at their Clifton Beach restaurant, A Taste of Italy, for more than nineteen years.
The restaurant was originally Roberto’s, a takeaway restaurant started by a colleague who relocated to Cairns from Melbourne. After eight years learning their craft from Mama Rosa at a Melbourne restaurant as head chef and focaccia manager, Mario and Silvia took some time off to travel Australia.
“We visited Cairns and Roberto on our trip,” Silvia reminisced. “When we returned to Melbourne in the middle of winter, we longed for the warmer climate and beauty of Cairns. A decision was made without much deliberation. We sold our house, gave our mentor Mama Rosa our notice, and headed north to a new life.”
Once here, a collection of coincidences gave Mario and Silvia the opportunity to purchase Roberto’s, making their own dream of owning an Italian restaurant a reality. Mama Rosa had taught them everything from running a restaurant to authentic Italian cooking and with their passion for Italia, they knew they could make Roberto’s their own.
So, they changed the name to A Taste of Italy, converted the takeaway pizzeria into a licensed, homely, and welcoming family restaurant so they could share their love of all things Italian.
In Italy, every region makes a version of bolognese that has ingredients from the local region, giving the dish a signature taste. A Taste of Italy offers a menu based on authentic recipes perfected during their time with Mama Rosa, tweaked slightly to be unique to their restaurant. Locally sourced ingredients enhance the flavour with the North Queensland sunshine.
“Fresh is always best so we only buy local, which ensures the best quality ingredients for our dishes,” says Silvia. “Our secret to delicious, hearty food is to use good ingredients. We are blessed with many local suppliers, providing vegetables, meats and seafood right on our doorstep.”
Their award-winning pizzas are a favourite choice among many, and the restaurant’s beginnings as Roberto’s are honoured with his secret dough recipe still being used at A Taste of Italy.
Delving into the full European dining experience at A Taste of Italy is the ultimate way to enjoy their authentic cuisine with your friends and family, with many regulars now a part of the extended ‘Mario and Silvia family’. Another option is to have them deliver your favourite dish from their menu (or try something new) to your home in surrounding suburbs, so you can indulge in your favourite authentic Italian dish without leaving the house!
LOT 3 Captain Cook Hwy, Clifton Beach QLD 4879
(07) 4059 2727