Alfresco Italian Restaurant presents Surfers Paradise with a glimpse of Naples through its frescos of the Amalfi Coast, its authentic Southern Italian cuisine and its bustling friendly service. It’s the casual dining restaurant celebrities keep coming back to, a place where locals like us are made to feel like family.
Little could Raffaele Velardo have dreamed, when he first stepped onto Australian shores at the age of three, that one day he would preside over the most popular Italian restaurant in Surfers Paradise, opposite the family restaurant where he worked during his school years.
With parents Tony and Silvana, Raff left Naples following the 1980 earthquake to join family already living on the Gold Coast. The family’s first pizza restaurant opened in 1985 in Southport, Alfrescos in 1992, moving over the road in late 2009. When the light rail resumed the original restaurant several years ago, the family business continued in the new venue with the restaurant in two parts – casual dining at the front near the pizza oven and more formal dining in the rear section.
Pizza is still a main menu item. Most noteworthy is the Crommo’s Special, one of our favourite pizzas on the Coast, a generously topped pizza featuring pepperoni, prawns, mushrooms, olives, garlic with a touch of chilli, however there are many more options on offer. Our favourites include the Spaghetti Marinara scattered with fresh prawns, calamari and mussels, Fettucine Alessia (with Roasted pumpkin, chicken, pine nuts and spinach), Veal Zingara (Scallopini with prawns and mushrooms in white wine and cream sauce), the melt in your mouth Eye Fillet (with or without prawns on top) Fresh Snapper or the Wild Barramundi.
Blackboard Specials also catch our eye: Mussels in a wine laced Napoli sauce, Moreton Bay bugs, a Rich Seafood Ragu served with crusty bread, Whiting fillets with garlic aioli and salad. Gluten free pizza bases and penne pasta are also available upon request. The renowned house Crème Brulée, Tiramisu or Homemade Gelati are all delicious if you have the room!
There’s a happy buzz of activity through the restaurant, with family groups celebrating birthdays, friends meeting for an affordable meal in the alfresco area outside and couples choosing a more intimate corner. For diners there’s a hearty greeting, a pat on the back for regulars and a cheery hello for ‘out of towners’. It’s efficient friendly service, presided over by Raff and Les, jogger-clad, forever on the run to ensure that orders are taken, water bottles refilled and food arrives promptly. All in all, there’s a vibe of busy activity: staff eager to serve customers and diners having a great time.
Today, Alfresco is one of the Gold Coast’s most popular restaurants – a bustling Italian restaurant, proud of its cultural and family heritage, focussed on serving delicious hearty dishes to tourists and locals alike in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
3018 Surfers Paradise Blvd (Cnr Hamilton Ave), Surfers Paradise