Q&A with Julian Izzillo, deVine Food and Wine

deVine Food and Wine is renowned for having one of the most comprehensive Amaro collections in the Southern Hemisphere, not to mention an award winning wine list, supporting a very accomplished menu that focusses on produce and flavour driven dishes that aim to please. All this is delivered with old school hospitality, leaving the diner planning their next visit to this hidden gem, only a stones throw away from the QVB.

For diners who have not yet discovered deVine Food and Wine, can you tell us about your overall philosophy and what they can expect?
deVine was one of the first wine bars in Sydney. We focus on rustic Italian cuisine with a modern edge. We have a multi-award-winning beverage programme with over 500 different wines with a heavy investment of Italian wines all based on organic and biodynamic and natural wine. Our bar is devoted to all things bitter with an Amaro collection of over 200 and an Amaro-themed cocktail list.

You have the biggest collection of Amaro in Australia, and quite possibly in the Southern Hemisphere. Can you tell us about your passion for this Italian herbal liqueur?
For as long as we’ve had restaurants we always had a broad range of Amaro. It wasn’t until we purchased deVine Food and Wine that we decided to heavily invest into Amaro and turn our venue into a specialist of this product, being the first of its kind in Australia. We travel far and wide for these bottles as there is only a very small portion being imported into the country. 80% of our Amaro Library is exclusive to our venue and we hold the only bottles of these products.

Your kitchen game is also particularly strong. Can you tell us about your chef, and the concept that underpins your menu?
Tim Fisher is Italian trained and has always cooked for the better part of 28 years. He has worked both locally and internationally in hatted and starred restaurants and has trained numerous chefs that have gone on to work in some of the best dining rooms in the country. His food is honest, perfectly executed and has a sense of place from which the dish came. We are extremely lucky to have Tim join our team.

COVID-19 has had considerable impact, especially in the CBD. How have you pivoted your business to adapt?
We have, we anticipated this hit would happen so we were kind of prepared for this and started putting plans in place. We adjusted our menu and our beverage programme to reflect this. It’s been tough, but we are starting to come out the other end.

There is a generosity of spirit at deVine, what defines hospitality for your team?

We’re a small team and we treat everyone like family. We try to look after our staff and our success is a reflection of this. We love to come to work every day and challenge ourselves. We are constantly changing what we do – this keeps our staff interested and our customers coming back.

Can you give us a little-known fact about deVine?

deVine is a family-run business between two brothers Anthony & Julian Izzillo. Between them there’s 50 years’ experience in the hospitality industry.

deVine Food and Wine
32 Market Street, Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9262 6906

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