The sprawling venue features three dining spaces accommodating 325 people, including an upstairs bar and dining room that capitalises on the bayside location with a balcony that's set to heave come summer. Downstairs is a casual bar for slick cocktails and salty, snacky cicchetti, as well as the main dining space where guests can dive into the full menu.
On the pizza front, there are close to 20 to choose from, ranging from the prize-winning Margherita pizza that's put owner and pizzaiolo Johnny Di Franceso on the world stage, through to more elaborate pies like the tartufata topped with mushrooms, truffle cream, aged balsamic and 20-month prosciutto di Parma.
But there's plenty more coming out of the oven. Di Francesco has nabbed ex-Camus chef Pierre Khodja to head up the kitchen, and he's making the most of a Josper oven for grilled Flinders Island scotch fillet, and a half-lobster cooked over coals and served with spaghetti, tomato, basil and bisque.
Gelato from the cabinets at Zero Gradi beckons after dinner but there's also a full dessert menu populated with an Italian twist on pavlova made with hazelnut meringue, and a lamington tart featuring raspberry jam, pistachio sponge, and Bounty-flavoured gelato.
Grocer and delicatessen Gradi Mercato sells salumi, cheese, house-baked sourdough, fresh produce and ready-to-heat meals and is the first permanent location for the lockdown creation by the group. The 800-square-metre Mornington extravaganza also marks the first time all three Gradi concepts – pizza, gelato and grocery – have come together.
25 Main Street Mornington, 03 9116 8350, 400gradi.com.au