Your Lunchbreak, Sorted ... at Valentino's 101

Stories Eat and Drink Business

Experience Adelaide wants to make your lunchbreak lunch choices easier so, every fortnight, a CBD or North Adelaide eatery will be featured so you can ditch sad sandwiches, get a tasty dish and support local traders across the city. In our first edition, Valentino’s 101 Co-owner Peter De Marco shares why his newest business is a lunchtime hotspot.

Authentic Italian food that resembles a traditional Italian deli and antipasto bar – or a tavola calda – is at the heart of hospitality guru Peter De Marco’s newest business

Mr De Marco, also the co-founder of Pizza e Mozzarella Bar, Borsa Pasta Cucina, Chicken & Pig, Chicco Palms and Extra Chicken Salt, has expanded his city offerings to include Valentino’s 101 on Grenfell Street.

It opened in April and it has since become a popular spot for city workers and visitors craving homestyle Italian food.

Each day, a selection of cold and hot foods are made from scratch and presented on a glass shelf for the lunchtime crowd to select from.

From antipasti to pizza al taglio (pizza baked in large rectangular trays and sold in slices), focaccia, charcoal arrosticini (lamb skewers), and Italian pastries – Valentino's 101 is a slice of authentic Italian food without having to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

“The concept for Valentino’s came up about three years ago because we wanted to introduce a more casual experience in the city where people can get restaurant quality food at an express pace and cheaper price point, while not skimping on quality,” Mr De Marco says.

“People can come in and try different things and they are not subjected to say one pizza or one entrée or one main – they can come in and try two, three or maybe four different things … and experience a whole range of food.

“It is a bit different to what South Australia is used to.”

Mr De Marco says his team will cook about 50 items a day that people can choose from.

Customers go up to the front display to choose from different options that are then “plated up”, but also offer a table service complete with South Australian made natural wine.

He says pizza and arancini are among popular lunch time selections.

“We love taking that homestyle cooking and putting it into a commercial setting, so the cotoletti (breaded cutlets) are slowly pan fried – we have a chef that sits over that and slowly cooks it like the way mum does at home,” Mr De Marco says.

“Then you can finish off with a cornetto (pastry) and coffee … no one is doing cornetti in SA. Cornetti look like croissants, but they are actually a totally different recipe.”

Mr De Marco's business partner is Claudio Ferraro, who is the original pastry chef and co-founder of Cibo.