“LOOKING BACK I’M SURPRISED AT HOW QUICKLY THE YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE MY BROTHERS AND I OPENED THE RESTAURANT IN DECEMBER 1993 AND WHILE FRANK AND TONY HAVE BOTH MOVED ON TO HAVE DIFFERENT CAREERS IN HOSPITALITY, I AM STILL HERE DOING WHAT I LOVE.”
“When the restaurant opened we cooked dishes that were based on our heritage, dishes that were typical of coastal Sicily where our parents came from and what we had eaten as we grew up. At that time Northern Italian cuisine was more the norm for Melbourne’s Italian restaurants so we were taking a different approach. We were also one of only two restaurants cooking pizzas in a wood fired oven.
I’m pleased to say that while we have opened up our menu to incorporate dishes from other regions of Italy, the use of fresh, seasonal ingredients cooked simply to bring out their full flavours continues to underpin our approach in the kitchen. As for the wood fired oven, there is simply no other option as far as we’re concerned.
We’ve grown of course. Early on we increased our seating capacity which meant more staff, we acquired a liquor licence, branched out into cooking classes and catering, produced a cookbook and now, our latest venture, hosting food-based tours to Italy.
While Fazio has been witness to much change in Hampton, we have stayed in the same place serving great food to Bayside locals and, as our reputation has spread, to our fair share of not so locals as well. We welcome them all. Family is the most important thing to Italians and I’m proud to say that we have always been a family business, with Frank and Tony, with my wife Kerryn and now with my son, Marcello, beside me in the kitchen. Because of that I find it very satisfying that a young couple can come through our door on a Friday night, their kids in tow, and say to me “I used to come here with my parents”.
Working with fresh ingredients, cooking delicious food, enjoying a glass of wine and seeing friendly faces come through the door, it’s what I love. I’m passionate about it and I’ll continue to do it for as long as I can!”