Late last year the former founders of the Crust Gourmet Pizza chain took over the business, retaining its name and wine bar concept and bringing in chef John Lanzafame, a recognised pizza maestro, in the kitchen though not for pizzas.
|Wine shelf at Mille Vini, Crown Street, Surry Hills|
The two-storied space is full of character, being a heritage-listed building from the 19th century that was once used as a stonemason's workshop.
|Wooden beans in the ceiling|
|Sambucca fritte olives|
|Bambino bruschetta with nduja and cucumber salsa|
Presented as a deconstructed DIY bruschetta alongside thick rounds of bread, the nduja was a velvety mix of porcine fattiness and roasted chilli goodness, cut by thin ribbons of pickled cucumber.
|Burratta with proscuitto and roma tomato|
The burrata didn't ooze its creamy innards out upon cutting but had a clean, creamy flavour that was perfectly matched with the sweet yet savoury tomato, while the prosciutto held its own on a plate of excellent produce.
|Liver pate with pear compote|
The pate was lusciously smooth and rich with a depth of flavour that happily distracted me from the liver factor, although I'm growing to like the offal blitzed with loads of butter in pates and parfaits.
|Home made gnocchi with Italian sausage ragu and parmesan|
The house-made cocoon-shaped potato pasta was airy and light in contrast to the full-flavoured ragu, with sausage bits fragrant with fennel. Served with lots of parmesan cheese, it was an utterly satisfying dish with heart and soul.
I do recall the parmigiano reggiano being my favourite; the gorgonzola dolce that was beyond divine with a drizzle of truffle honey; tallegio and provolone piccante; complete with dried muscatels, walnuts, raisins, quince paste, fresh red grapes and a range of crisp breads.
While there might not be 1,000 wines on the wine list, after my second dinner at Mille Vini I think there's close to a thousand reasons to get in for a visit.
Disclosure: Food, booze and shoes has previously dined at Mille Vini as a guest.