400 Gradi at the Pacific Explorer
Continuing our culinary journey on the Pacific Explorer, we ventured into the world of paid dining with our first stop at 400 Gradi by Johnny Di Francesco.
If you’re craving a taste of Italy, 400 Gradi is your passport to Naples, Italy, right at sea. From the moment you step in, you’re greeted by the tantalizing aroma of traditional Italian cuisine. It’s not just about the food; it’s an experience that transports you to the heart of Italy.
Melbourne-based chef Johnny Di Francesco, the director of the Gradi Group, has a lifelong passion for Italian cuisine. His dedication led him to be inducted into the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN), the world authority on traditional Neapolitan pizza. It’s no surprise that 400 Gradi offers the most authentic Italian dining experience on the ship.
Authenticity is key at 400 Gradi. The menu boasts classic Italian dishes crafted from traditional ingredients. You’ll find favourites like the Margherita Verace, crowned the world’s best pizza. Seafood lovers will relish the selection of oysters, calamari, and king prawns. And don’t worry if you have dietary restrictions; 400 Gradi has you covered with gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegan, and vegetarian options.
The menu doesn’t stop at pizza; it extends to pasta and a range of other dishes. From pan-seared local snapper to chargrilled scotch fillet, there’s something for everyone.
Now, for some exciting news – 400 Gradi was crowned Best Pizzeria in Oceania for the second time by the 50 Top Pizza awards in Naples, Italy. This award-winning pizzeria has a track record of excellence, having been named the best pizza in the world previously.
During our visit, we opted for late-night dining, as the other restaurants had already closed. It’s a time when the crew members unwind, making it a unique experience as you dine in with them. Also during late nights their menu is reduced to the essential items on the menu, so don’t expect the fancy dinner stuff.
During this visit, we couldn’t help but notice a slight hiccup. While we ordered the Carnivora and Diavola pizzas, the toppings didn’t align entirely with what was on the menu. It appeared that they may have run out of some ingredients, especially the basil and rocket.
Now, let’s delve into what these pizzas are all about. The Carnivora (AU$18.00), promised a delightful combination of San Marzano Tomato, Fior Di Latte Cheese, Mild Salami, Ricotta Fresca, Prosciutto Cotto (Ham), and Basil. It’s a carnivore’s dream, packed with savory and meaty goodness.
On the other hand, the Diavola (AU$14.00), boasted San Marzano Tomato, Fior Di Latte Cheese, Hot Salami, and Rocket. It’s the perfect choice for those who like a bit of heat in their pizza.
Despite the minor hiccups and the absence of some ingredients, both pizzas delivered an authentic Italian experience. The thin, chewy dough with a crisp edge, combined with the vibrant tomato sauce, made for a memorable meal. It’s a testament to 400 Gradi’s commitment to authentic Italian flavours.
So, if you’re cruising on the Pacific Explorer, don’t miss out on the delectable experience at 400 Gradi. Let us know your favourite item on the menu – we’d love to hear your thoughts!