A touch of class at Gucce

DOMENIC and Basilia Iasenza have taken over the operation of Gucce in Applecross and will open to the public tonight. Domenic says he secured the lease for the restaurant, which had been on the market since August last year, for a “nice price” and is looking forward to running his own kitchen after a long stint as head chef at Alabsio Le Pegna’s Funtastico.

“We have changed it a little bit. We’re keeping it simple,” Dominic says.

“ I think before it was too much of the fine dining, we’ve made it more of a casual atmosphere.

“I’ve opened a lot of restaurants for a lot of people and now it’s time to do my own thing.”

Basilia also worked at Funtastico and will head up Gucce’s front of house.

Domenic did consider changing the name but says that Gucce had a good reputation (there is also a great billboard they’ve secured with the Gucce name splashed on it).

Gucce opens tonight and is open Wed-Mon for dinner and Thurs and Fri for lunch.

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The Gala Restaurant opens tomorrow. A delay in liquor licensing forced new owners, Hans Lang and Marianne Kempf, to hold off a few days. Formerly known as Campo De Fiori, it will serve international modern cuisine and is open for lunch from Wednesday through Friday, and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday.

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Malcolm Zancanaro has been promoted to the position of director of food and beverage at the Hyatt Regency Perth. He has been with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts for more than 10 years, most recently as the food and beverage manager for the Grand Hyatt Melbourne.

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The new owner of the Vivaldi site will decide its fate in a month’s time. Agent selling the site, Raine and Horne’s Peter Vetten, said the new owner had not confirmed their intentions but had hinted at pulling out the kitchen.

“Initially the purchaser thought they would take the restaurant out and convert it to office space,” Peter says.

The building, about 300sq m, sits on 794sq m of land and includes six car bays, was sold for $1.26 million, not including fixtures and settings. The site was purchased by the company SKT (No. 3) Pty Ltd and began operating as Vivaldi in April last year. Peter says the restaurant closed over Christmas, like many others in the area, but didn’t resume trading in January.

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David Jones’s new restaurant, Restaurant Air, has opened on level four of the Perth David Jones building. It incorporates the a la carte menu as well as a cafe menu with ex-Origins chef de partie Karen Assumption heading up the kitchen with a former colleague, Ben Atkinson.

“I designed the a la carte menu with my 2IC, Ben Atkinson, who is also from Origins,” Karen says.

“We applied separately for the jobs but it was very good that we both got them.

“We worked very well together at Origins and we wanted to work together as a team.”

Karen says the closure of the cafe on level three means that Restaurant Air is operating two menus to keep the customers happy, but changes are in store.

“They are building a new cafe on level three. When they do that we will be able to take off the flatbreads and sandwiches and concentrate on the a la carte, but until then we will run both because that is what the customers want,” she says.

Restaurant Air’s menu is designed with simplicity in mind, with the most expensive dish at the moment just $22.

“ There are a lot of light lunches using very good produce. There are no fancy garnishes and meals are not too heavy. The service is also very quick,” Karen says.

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