July 24, 2024


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Molto Italian ACT’s best restaurant of 2020 | The Canberra Times

Molto Italian ACT’s best restaurant of 2020 | The Canberra Times

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Carlo Tosolini has been in the restaurant game for longer than he cares to admit. From Tosolini’s on the iconic corner in Manuka, to Bailey’s Corner, to a pop-up at the Italo Club for a while, he’s a man that has always brought passion to the table. And now his restaurant, Molto Italian, has won ACT Restaurant of the Year at the Australian Restaurant and Catering Awards, capping off what he says has been a challenging yet rewarding year. “It’s been a pretty good year for us,” he says. “We’ve managed to stay afloat and the effort from the team this year, over the last few years, this acknowledgement is well deserved.” Tosolini has been at the helm of Molto Italian for five years. This year he took all his experience and took the team down a different path, turning the restaurant into a mix of retail outlet, providore and takeaway venue. “It was all about giving our supporters and those around us what they desired,” he says. “Given that we’re in a residential area and folks were told to stay home, we listened to their needs and provided a lot of good produce, fresh pasta, and the like. “We set up a little mini market and we bought our storeroom upstairs, put shelving up and provided people with their everyday essentials, everything from flour, and sauces, and wine out of our cellar.” He said the secret to Molto’s success over the past few years has been a stable core team, he worked hard to keep everyone together during 2020 and it’s paid off. “I’m still a little flabbergasted by the win, we can’t believe it, it’s a nice way to end the year.” Molto also won the ACT’s Best Italian Restaurant ahead of Italian and Sons, Mezzalira on London and Trecento. Ricardo’s Cafe, at Jamison, was another big winner, taking out both the Best Breakfast Restaurant and the Best Coffee Shop. During 2020, the popular cafe underwent a complete makeover, there’s a fresh coastal feel, a new website, and new head chef Jodie Johnson revamped the menu. Management said it was impossible to express what the recognition meant to the cafe after such a year. “Being an established business in Canberra for more than 15 years really helped as we have such an amazing customer base that have supported us through good times and bad and this was no different,” a spokesman said. “We are so lucky to be part of a close-knit community with customers who have gone out of their way to support us, we can’t thank them enough and these awards wouldn’t have been possible without them all.” Hotel Realm, Barton, won the ACT Caterer of Year Award and also received an honourable mention in the ACT Wedding Caterer category. Doma Hotels director of hotels Patrick Lonergan said the recognition was a testament to the hard work and dedication of their hotels and restaurants. “In particular, we are proud of the title of caterer of the year,” he said. “There is no greater privilege than being chosen to help people and businesses celebrate an important milestone or special occasion, raise money for charity, or hold an event. Our staff care about every aspect of the food they serve at functions of all types and I believe this award is a reflection of their commitment.” The Restaurant and Catering Awards are the only industry awards with an independent judging system with more than 280 judges reporting to state judge chairs and a national chief judge. Breakfast restaurant: Winner, Ricardo’s Café, Macquarie; Space Kitchen, Philip, Tilley’s Devine Café Gallery, Lyneham. Café dining: Winner, The Tea Lounge, Hyatt Hotel Canberra, Yarralumla; Café Gather, Braddon. Coffee shop: Winner, Ricardo’s Café, Macquarie; Space Kitchen, Philip. Contemporary Australian restaurant – Formal: Winner, The Boat House, Barton; Otis Dining Hall, Kingston. European restaurant: Winner, Blackfire Restaurant, Braddon; Buvette Bistro and Wine Bar, Barton. Indian/subcontinent restaurant: Winner, Daana, Curtin; Blu Ginger Indian Restaurant, Canberra; Chalisa Indian Restaurant, Greenway. Italian restaurant: Winner, Molto Italian, Kingston; Italian and Sons, Braddon; Mezzalira On London, Canberra; Trecento Restaurant, Manuka. Japanese restaurant: Honourable mention, Raku Dining, Canberra. Restaurant in a club: Winner, Chatham House Restaurant, National Press Club Of Australia, Barton; Federal Golf Club Restaurant, Red Hill. Restaurant in a hotel: Winner, Capitol Bar And Grill, QT Canberra, Canberra; Monster Kitchen and Bar, Ovolo Nishi, Canberra; Ostani, Hotel Realm, Barton. Restaurant in a winery: Winner – Olleyville Restaurant – Shaw Vineyard Estate, Murrambateman; Café Lerida, Lerida Estate, Lake George; Pavilion Dining, Pialligo Estate, Pialligo. Tourism restaurant: Honourable mention, Blackfire Restaurant, Braddon. Function convention centre caterer: Winner, Hotel Realm, Barton; National Press Club Of Australia, Barton. Wedding caterer: Honourable mention, Hotel Realm, Barton. Consumer vote award: Winner, Daana, Curtin; Lamshed’s, Yarralumla; Spice Affair, Casey: Zaab, Braddon. ACT chef of the year: Winner, Sanjay Kumar, Daana; Damien Brabender, Otis Dining Hall; John Santos, Federal Golf Club. Product supplier of the year: AC&R Catering Equipment; Foodie Coaches. Caterer of the year: Hotel Realm, Barton. Casual dining of the year: The Tea Lounge, Hyatt Hotel Canberra, Yarralumla. Restaurant of the year: Molto Italian, Kingston.