A Family History
Flash back to 1965. Vincenzo Lionetti set off from his home town of Naples in Italy, bound for Australia, the land of endless opportunity. His first destination was Melbourne, where he and his brother established one of the very first pizzerias in the country.
In those days, Aussies were yet to discover the culinary delights of Mediterranean cooking, and Vincenzo and Giulio were there to tap into a market that was in its infancy, yet ready to take off.
Thirteen years on, in 1978, the pair and their families moved to Sydney, where they took over Papà Giovanni in Bondi, and they have never looked back.
Campbell Parade has long been home to magnificent eateries, but Papà Giovanni was one of the first to establish this reputation.
Now, in 2005, a second generation of Lionettis are at the helm of what has become a true paragon of Bondi dining. Natalie, Anna and Sam are determined that their parents’ hard work and success will be carried on.
A New Façade For An Old Favourite
With the growing success of Papà Giovanni, the Lionettis decided that it was time for a revamp.
This July, the restaurant has undergone some significant renovations, with changes being made both to the restaurant itself and to its already vast menu.
The family has purchased and installed some new equipment, including a brand new pizzeria. They have laid a new floor, installed a new bar,
revamped the front of the restaurant and finally, had some lighting and ceiling work done. On top of this, they have introduced some delightful new gourmet pizzas to the menu.
Toppings like prosciutto, goats cheese and rocket have found their way onto a menu that already contains a proliferation of fresh, delectable produce. Additionally, pizzas will no longer be relegated to the main course only.
A distinctively different take on the traditional pizza is being introduced – the pizza pie, with new combinations that will leave your tastebuds reeling with delight.
There will be a bigger focus on seafood, something that is a direct result of popular demand. In fact, the menu has never stopped growing in all these years, as the Lionettis take customer satisfaction very seriously. This means that if the diner wants it, the diner gets it.
Aside from the new menu items, there will, of course, be plenty of your old favourites to choose from. Dishes like Seafood Giovanni, Scallopine di Papà Giovanni, and the tried and true Spaghetti Bolognese will still be topping everyone’s favourites list.
A Typical Diner
So who is the typical Papà Giovanni diner? The answer, I guess, is that the question is too general. Papà Giovanni has played host to a multitude of different punters over the years. From corporate lunchers entertaining their clients (or each other) to groups of tourists taking a break from the great Bondi crawl, Papà Giovanni has seen them all.
Staff are more than apt at dealing with both large and small groups, and it’s the kind of place that is well suited both to the dash-through lunch, and the long languid dinner.
Families are more than welcome here, in particular on Sundays.
Budding junior chefs are handed wads of dough to play with, while their parents can enjoy a long, lazy Sunday meal together.
It’s an ideal spot for a business lunch. Let’s face it - enjoying quality food while breathing in fresh air is a much better way of doing business than sitting in a stuffy boardroom nibbling on half stale sandwiches accompanied by instant coffee and a few old bickies. Papà Giovanni staff are consummate professionals when it comes to hosting functions and parties.
They are equipped to handle bookings of up to 80 people at a time. You might consider the fact that Italian food is inherently associated with family and merriment, making this restaurant an ideal venue for all manner of different celebrations.
Partners In Crime
As with any great venture, there are a number of other players who have contributed, to varied extents, to the overall success of the restaurant.
Conga Foods, Papà Giovanni’s main supplier for the last 30 years, has consistently ensured that the talented chefs have had only the best produce to work with.Suprema Foods, a supplier for the last 10 years now, has done their part in ensuring the same.
If you’ve ever indulged in one of the many beautiful seafood dishes at Papà Giovanni, you have R&R Seafoods to thank for the magnificent seafood that they have been delivering for the past 10 years.
For all things gourmet, including the Italian delicacies that form a part of many of the traditional meals, Papà Giovanni has relied upon the produce supplied by Deni International. And what is good food without a good bottle of wine to set it off? Hardy’s Wines exclusively provides a really comprehensive Australian wine list.
The selection is excellent, and the prices are particularly competitive. Hose wine is offered at $9.50 for a litre, and the rest of the bottled wine starts at $17 per bottle.
If you want to go with a more authentic accompaniment, you can choose from one of the Italian wines on the list, supplied by Mediterraneo.
For after your meal, there’s a divinely aromatic cup of coffee awaiting you, which has been supplied for decades by Ducale Coffee.
Looking To The Future
The Lionetti family has already begun with its third generation of potential restaurateurs.
Growing up in the restaurant, just like their Mother did, they may well inherit her passion for the restaurant that is as much a part of the family as any one member is.
So what does that mean for those of us who love to dine there?
It means many, many more years of satisfaction still to come.
Papà Giovanni Shop 2, 172 Campbell Parade, Bondi Phone: 9130 4772