The name of this restaurant means ‘I remember’; it was also the title of a Federico Fellini film about remembering your beginnings.
Co-owner/Chef Andrea Riva (ex-Zeffirelli) points to the sepia mural of Cesena’s Piazza del Popolo that covers one wall of the petite but pretty dining room; his family home is almost visible.
He brings the food of his boyhood to the table, in a charming and heartfelt way.
His Fritto Misto Tricolore ($18) is the best I’ve tried, with tender rings of calamari and prawns in ethereal batter balanced by strips of zucchini.
The Flan di Grana Padano ($16) is comparable to a gooey-centred twice-baked Parmesan soufflé; with rich intensity offset by a grape reduction.
Best of all is his addictive hand-made Italian flatbread or Piadina ($5) served in a brown paper bag...
...with a pot of Slow-Baked Cuttlefish with Peas ($16).
Friend and co-owner Vincenzo Biondini (ex-Rosso Pomodoro) twists the Strozzapreti ($24) by hand each day; I enjoy it with smoked salmon, asparagus and a dab of cream.
Even more exciting is the beautifully chewy and not overfilled Ravioli di Ricotta e Parmigiano ($25) against pancetta, olives and cherry tomatoes. Each element is a unique, clean, clear flavour in this wonderful dish.
Overall, it’s the kind of regional Italian you find tucked away in the mountains with a Nonna still cooking! I've left dessert as a surprise for my next visit; luckily I don't think it will be far away as I already feel nostalgic for the food!
96 Bronte Road, Bondi Junction
Ph: (02) 9369 4071