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Despite Tasmania’s long love affair with Italian food, you could be forgiven for thinking that Italy started at Calabria and finished in Naples if you judged by the restaurants in town. For only in two or three Hobart Italian eateries does the menu move much beyond those southern basics – pizza and pasta. And there’s a pizza and pasta joint on just about every corner of the city, some good, some ho hum and many others not worth walking the block for. Solo Pasta is one of the good ones, driven by the energy, talent and hospitality of the young chef and owners, Alfonso Giusti and Simon Robustelli, armed with their simple philosophy that people are there to eat good food and have fun.
Little wonder the place buzzes. When there’s a break in the kitchen or at the pizza ovens, either Giusti or Robustelli can be found on the floor, greeting regulars by name, having a quick chat, clearing tables, offering a complimentary wine here, a finishing Sambuca there and then back to the stoves. Still in their early twenties, it’s as if they’ve been doing it all their lives. It helps, of course, that their pizzas, hand-made pasta and sauces, daily blackboard specials, wine list and prices are among the best in the city.