There’s nothing sexier than men preparing food. Especially Mediterranean men preparing really good rustic whole food.
The ladies know it. They saunter in just before midday, hips swinging slowly, arms extended, looking for him. ‘Where’s Alessandro?’
Young and gorgeous, he crosses the restaurant to meet them, a huge smile lighting his face before being enveloped in the big hug, the two cheek kiss.
It’s their Sunday ritual. The matriarchs, having finished morning mass, they have arrived for lunch – pizza and a chat in their mother tongue with one of their favourite ‘sons’. Age is no barrier to attraction, or to the enjoyment of fabulous food and wine.
The ladies know their food. At Salt Meats Cheese, it’s pizza as it should be in its rustic greatness: perfectly light chewy leavened crust (the secret of any great pizza), topped with a not-too-sweet tomato base (Alessandro’s family recipe) and primo toppings such as fior di latte, San Daniele prosciutto, Parmesan Reggiano, fresh chorizo, seafood and (did I mention) truffles… Topped with a little chilli oil… Did I say ‘perfect’? Oh my!
Modelled from the original Alexandria store that opened in 2011, Queensland’s first Salt Meats Cheese franchisees, Alessandro and Korine Vicinanza, know the art of excellent pizza and pasta.
Italian by birth, Alessandro gained his food knowledge in the family kitchen helping his mother and grandmother prepare meals for extended family. It’s their recipe for pizza sauce that he uses in the store, realising his childhood dream of bringing the taste of Italy to another land.
Choosing food from the pizza oven, or deli off the one menu is a simple task. Start with an antipasto grazing plate, mozzarella sticks or arancini from the ‘To Share’ section of the menu before launching into pizza and pasta. We’ve tried many varieties of pizza, even Fried pizza, and find it hard to pick a favourite!
While you can order both pizza and pasta via a food delivery service, there are plenty of incentives to stay and eat in. Besides pizza being at its best straight from the pretty wood-fired Valoriani oven, the venue is licensed with a great selection of drinks: several varieties of Italian beer, Italian wine by the glass or bottle, a few classic cocktails, spirits and digestives including Aperol Spritz.
One way to join in Salt Meat Cheese’s Mediterranean camaraderie is to take a cooking class. Held every Sunday afternoon and by special arrangement, Salt Meats Cheese classes are populated by young tourists and locals eager to learn new skills. For little more than a restaurant meal ($69 – $89), you can build your culinary knowledge, gain new recipes and learn the essential techniques to make basic pizza or pasta, eating your creations accompanied by a glass of Birra Italia or wine at the end of the class. Outrageous humour from pizzaola Salvadore comes free! Class bookings are essential, and corporate cooking classes are held on request.
As well as offering a fine array of Italian food, the store hosts specialty dinners and events, bringing everyone together for a night of delicious Italian food served with panache under the one roof at The 4217!
Italian grandmothers rarely have it wrong! They appreciate traditional food made with love, and have an eye for quality. There’s lots of heart in Salt Meats Cheese, wondrous food to eat, wine to drink, and a great family atmosphere to enjoy. Don’t miss out!
Watch out for the Salt Meats Cheese weeknight specials:
Monday Night All You Can Eat Pizza – Available from 6pm, $25pp with any drink purchase, bookings recommended
Tuesday Night Gnocchi Madness – Half a kilo of traditional Italian Gnocchi with Four Cheese or Napoletana sauce, Available from 6pm, $35, bookings recommended
Every Wednesday Night – the infamous New Flaming Risotto Cheese Wheel, with 3 new flavours of your choice: smoked cheese, truffle pecorino or gorgonzola. $25pp, bookings are highly recommended to avoid disappointment.
Thursday Night once a month All You Can Eat Pizza VEGAN – Available from 6pm, $25pp with any drink purchase, bookings recommended.
Salt Meats Cheese is located at The 4217, 10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise
Open: Mon – Thurs 5pm – 9pm; Fri – Sun 11am – 10pm (Sun 9pm) Ph: 07 5661 1517
Disclaimer: Good Food Gold Coast was a guest of Salt Meats Cheese. Review updated September 2019.