NOTE: Alfresco closed on 16 September 2012, continuing their business at Alfresco Italian Restaurant across the street.
We were deeply saddened that Tony Velardo passed away on 14 September 2014. His passion for life, his warm welcome to all their clients and his sense of fun will be remembered by so many people with great joy. Tony, you were a model of what the heart of a restaurant should be – someone who really cared. No wonder Alfresco clients became personal friends! Everyone who left your restaurant felt better than when they entered your doors. Our heartfelt condolences to Silvana, children Enza and Raff and their families.
Alfresco in Surfers Paradise is as close to an authentic Italian trattoria as you’ll get on the Gold Coast. It’s got the earthy, lived-in feel of a village restaurant, with several walls decked out in hand-painted murals of Naples, Positano and Sorrento, and the rest covered in photographs.
This is a family business, and you’re welcomed as though you’re entering the Velardo’s home. Photos show off their children and grandchildren, and regular patrons mingle on the wall with signed photos and letters from celebrities who have dined here: Jerry Lewis, Pauline Hanson, Jeff Fenech and Warwick Capper, who’ve shared a meal and a glass of wine (or more) with owners Tony and Silvana.
Tony is the maitre d’, presiding over the front of house, meeting and greeting, directing to tables and ensuring that service is friendly and efficient. It’s a busy, bustling hive of activity, in two long spaces of restaurant slung around both sides of the pizza oven and spilling out onto the street.
There’s a range of food, from home-style Italian dishes to blackboard specials, and prices range accordingly. Large pizzas range from $20 – $25, pasta and risotto from $17 – $26, and there’s also sensational thin veal fillets, chicken dishes, steak and seafood, including prawns and Moreton Bay bugs.
Our favourite pizza is the Crommos special, with tomato sauce, mozzarella, prawns, mushrooms, pepperoni, olives, garlic and chilli. At $25.50 it’s a good sized delicious meal for two people, to which you could add a salad is you wish. Spaghetti marinara ($26.50) is a plate of spaghetti heaped with fresh prawns, calamari, octopus and mussels in a fresh napoli sauce – all fresh local seafood! It’s great homestyle food made from top quality ingredients in a great location, just a short walk from Cavill Avenue, and our ‘home away from home’ on busy nights.
With a magnanimous, beaming smile, it’s Tony that you will remember long after your night is finished, as he hovers around the restaurant, chats about the day or even pours you a drink. He is your host, and you’re made to feel welcome in his place.