January 30, 2024
Wine & Dine

Introducing Rozelle’s: A slice of Italy at the historic Carrick Hill

Rozelle's is the Italian-inspired diner inside Carrick Hill’s new $7 million pavilion. Created by the hospo family behind Chianti and Bar Torino, the relaxed daytime venue offers share plates, thin and crispy Roman pizza and of course, the chef's authentic family recipe of British scones with clotted cream.

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Patrons are already making themselves at home when SALIFE visits Rozelle’s just after its 10am opening time. One couple has gravitated to one of the prime balcony tables, enjoying views of the coast and city skyline while tucking into pastries and lattes alfresco.

Meanwhile, young families, couples and friends are filling up the indoor tables. Word of Rozelle’s opening has spread quickly.

Completed late last year, the $7 million building – funded by federal and state governments and the Carrick Hill Development Foundation – is home to the casual diner and a 180-seat function space called The Pavilion, which is already taking wedding bookings into 2026.

Both venues are now operated by the Favaro group, which is run by siblings Nick Favaro and Jessica Favaro-Richards.

Nick and Jessica practically grew up in Chianti’s bustling 150-seat pizza and pasta restaurant which their parents Maria and Frank Favaro established at Light Square nearly 40 years ago, and later relocated to Hutt Street.

The siblings have taken ownership of the business in the past few years and now operate Chianti and Bar Torino, their parents now acting as “consultants”.

Taking on both a bustling cafe and in-demand function space – at one of Adelaide’s most cherished heritage landmarks – has been a big step up, but one that seems a perfect fit.

Rozelle’s at Carrick Hill. Photograph: Visual Domain.

“It is exceeding my expectations of what we thought we could achieve and the space embodies us,” says Nick.

“It’s been an adventure and it’s just a pleasure for us to be up here. We feel that we’re guests on the grounds and we’re happy to have the opportunity to work in such a lovely space.”

Although Italian food might seem like an interesting choice given Carrick Hill’s strong British history, it’s warm hospitality and service that the Favaros are determined to bring to Rozelle’s.

The original concept for the cafe was fairly modest but it grew once Nick and Jessica won the tender to take up the lease. One example is the wood-fired oven which was not part of the original plans.

While Rozelle’s doesn’t hide its Italian influence, the group’s British-born executive chef Josh Cooke, who trained under Rick Stein and worked alongside the late Jock Zonfrillo as head chef of Orana, has a patriotic soft spot for the property.

Rozelle’s at Carrick Hill. Photograph: Visual Domain.

“Josh was thrilled to be able to bring his family recipe of scones served with clotted cream and jam,” says Jessica.

In addition to the scones, there’s a rotating selection of pastries sourced from Gabi Flohr from SheOak Baker.

Currently open only for lunch, Wednesday to Sunday, Rozelle’s menu features a list of share plates such as focaccia, burrata, salumi, and anchovy toast.

Roman-style pizzas made with a long-ferment poolish dough, accompanied by dipping sauce, with toppings including morta bella, Margherita and salsiccia.

Jessica says her team is well-prepared to run the new 180-seat function space given their experience running private events at Chianti.

“Catering for corporate groups is a big part of what we do at Chianti, so it’s great to be able to bring some of that up here on a larger scale,” says Jessica.

“Carrick Hill has always been known for weddings because of its beautiful grounds and panoramic views, but we will also cater for corporate events.”

Jessica Favaro-Richards, Nick Favaro and Maria and Frank Favaro at Carrick Hill. Photograph: Visual Domain.

“People are booking weddings, even in the middle of winter because it’s a space where you can enjoy the views and the surroundings while being protected from the elements.”

These days, parents Maria and Frank are busy being grandparents but regularly help with nuggets of wisdom.

Maria, who still works on the floor at Chianti, says the key to success in Adelaide’s hospitality scene is relationships and service.

“Service is paramount. Good food’s a bonus,” says Maria.

“We’ve got a lot more competition in Adelaide than when we first started, so you’re not necessarily given a second chance. But if you look after customers, they’ll come back.”

Rozelle’s is open Wednesday to Sunday and most public holidays from 10am to 4.30pm.

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