Better Together: Tipico

A self-described 'hard-core Sicilian', Tipico Restaurant co-owner Marco Scalisi is on a mission to educate Melbournians on Italian culture and the differences between North and South cuisine. We spoke to him this month as part of our Better Together feature and what being Australian means to him...

Would you mind giving a short introduction of yourself for the folks across Australia?
Ciao, my name is Marco Scalisi and I am a co-owner at Tipico Restaurant in Windsor. I moved to Australia over 8 years ago and now I'm living the dream here, giving the opportunity to locals to enjoy some homemade pasta, delicious Victorian/Italian wines and some fun and tasty cocktails (my passion!).

What does it mean to be Australian to you?
It definitely means the world to me! I made the decision to leave my small town in Sicily (Taormina) to follow my dreams here in Australia. The thing I appreciate the most about this country (especially Melbourne) is its multiculturality! There's not a single day I don't try something new from somewhere in the world! 
Tell us about your restaurants and food? How is it made, how do you source the materials? What makes you guys a bit different?
Tipico is a Pasta Bar which obviously focuses all the energy into our beautiful fresh pasta recipes. The extended wine and cocktail list are curated to the details as well. Except for some signature dishes (e.g. Pappardelle Ox Cheek Ragu' and Cotoletta, our version of the classic cotoletta Milan style) our food and drinks menu changes seasonally in order to keep all our regulars (which are many!!!) excited to come back and try new dishes! We always try to source locally and seasonal or from Italy when necessary.

What is your goal in what you do or what is the message you hope to get out?
My goal is to open another venue soon in order to educate more Melbournians about the Italian culture which is so different from North to South! Being a hardcore Sicilian I tend to spend more time talking about dishes and wine or cocktails with Sicilian or southern Italian inspiration/provenience. On the other end Andrea (my business partner who comes from Verona) does the opposite and has a better knowledge about anything that comes from Italian northern regions. I guess we complement each other.
Who are some local heroes or brands that inspire you?
As I said I love cocktails and I spent a lot of time at Black Pearl in Brunswick street Fitzroy. Nathan Beasley, who used to be one of the manager there is who got me into this world and helped us with our first cocktail list. 

What are some of your favourite bars and restaurants in Melbourne?
Black pearl will always be my Number 1!!!!! I love some of our locals too (Prahran/Windsor area) like Galah and Neptune bar. 

If you had to pick the signature Melbourne late night had a few cocktails meal, what would it be?
Tokyo Tina on Chapel Street Windsor! Great Japanese street food with a great cocktail list too! I always start with their Cucumber and Yuzu Sour!

What’s your go to CAPI Cocktail? 
My version of the classic Moscow Mule. Amaro Montenegro instead of Vodka and my homemade lime and mint syrup. Top up with CAPI Spicy Ginger Beer obviously.

Head here to book yourself a table at Tipico and educate yourself on the differences between North & South Italian cuisine...