Owner/chef Felix Rutz does a wonderful job in the kitchen, serving premium produce to diners in this warm, little Italian restaurant. Sip on a Bombay Sapphire with fresh mint syrup, lime and soda ($12/glass, $25/pitcher) as you decide on your meal; then move on to try one of their Italian wines (which are conveniently listed with tasting notes) like the 2006 Franz Haas Pinot Blanco ($65). Tasty olives, olive oil and bread are supplied to ensure you don't starve whilst making your decisions.
For an entrée, I’m torn between recommending their popular menu stalwart, the Calamari with Pistachios, Cavolo Nero and Fregola with Lemon Dressing ($18)...
... and spruiking the tasty Pumpkin and Parmesan Reggiano Souffle ($17) which comes with a lovely well-dressed salad – both were divine. Both entrees surpassed my expectations, and I would eat both again without hesitation.
For a main (and I mean a large main) I enjoyed the huge oval bowl of Handpicked Mudcrab with Chervil on Lemon Risotto ($35) - this was their most expensive dish by the way, and I was impressed to see lemon work as a flavouring of a risotto. For me personally, it could have done with more cheese, but I suppose for others it might have been quite a healthy risotto.
On the night I dined, the special of Slow Roasted Rump of Coorong Beef ($31) served with braised leeks, roasted kipfler potatoes and tomato compote was exceptional; aided by the quality of the grass-fed, hormone free beef. I liked how it looked on the plate, and I loved how it tasted. I was also impressed with seeing grass-fed beef on the menu - I am sick of thinking about poor cows with indigestion (forced to eat an unnatural diet).
We also had a Mixed Leaf Salad with Rocket, Shaved Fennel and Parmesan ($9), and again, the sheer quality of the leaves was outstanding (as you can see from my photo below) - fresh picked indeed!
If you still have room, their Plum and Vanilla Swirl in a Brioche Sandwich ($12) served with a plum and berry compote is a real winner, particularly the plums.
And if you don't have room, surely you can fit in a tiny little Affogato ($18) with Frangelico and housemade vanilla and cinnamon ice-cream and a shot of expresso?
Service is caring and delightful. The team on the floor and in the kitchen are all mates, and have been working together for a while (and it shows). It's warm comforting food, in an intimate environment, and hard not to enjoy!
2b Mona Road, Darling Point
Ph: (02) 9328 0305