But it would've taken more than a badly twisted ankle to keep me from checking out Supermaxi on Sunday night! Besides, I was suffering cabin fever from being housebound. J chivalrously phoned me from the restaurant when I was en route in a taxi and asked if I needed a shoulder to lean on, but I managed to limp in under my own steam. :)
305 St Georges Road, North Fitzroy (map)
So, the name. It turns out Supermaxi is many things: the name of a chain of Spanish supermarkets, a type of NZ racing yacht and a series of late 1980s compilation albums featuring Kool & The Gang, Yello and Wang Chung. Owners Rita Macali and Giovanni Patane told Espresso that the name is intentionally un-Italian, a portmanteau word made up of English superlatives Italians like to use. Fair enough. But me, I can't help thinking of products like these when I hear the name. At least it's memorable!
The atmosphere is bustling and the interior is all unadorned walls and moody lighting. Upon arrival at Supermaxi, guests are given a serve of lupini to munch on while they peruse the menu. You eat the beans by making a small tear in the skin with your teeth and then popping the seed directly into your mouth. A bit like Italian edamame.
We shared some excellent primi piatti: stuffed olives with fontina ($8) and the Salumi Maxi platter ($15) with prosciutto, pancetta and salame flecked with truffle oil and pepper.
J as forearm and elbow model, posing with his margherita ($15). I ordered the funghi ($19) which in addition to two type of mushroom (field mushrooms and porcini) had two types of cheese (bocconcini and mozzarella). Both very good pizza specimens (Rita used to be a co-owner in and chef at Ladro), with a slight chewiness to the dough that I love. We also polished off an excellent, well priced Chianti Classico DOCG.
Our amiable waitress came back to us three or four times to ask if we wanted to order anything from the dessert menus before us: eventually we just asked for another drink. J ordered Glenlivet (which, rather curiously, came in a wine glass) and I, being my Nonno's granddaughter, ordered a nip of Nonino grappa. All in all a very enjoyable meal!