Some nights, this job rocks; this was one of them.
The primeval pleasure of punching in the knife to extract juicy bone marrow from roast veal Osso ($16) had me wanting to smear myself in mud and chant: “Kill the pig. Cut her throat.” Yes, I’m strange; but the rustic, produce-driven food here really does take you back to earthy roots.
From the first bite of Darren Simpson’s Deep Fried Dates ($12 / 4 pieces) to the last spoonful of his...
...Panna Cotta with Grappa Moscato di Nonino ($14), I was in heaven. (The dates benefit nicely from a squeeze of lemon; and don't mistake the harder texture in the centre for a pip - it's actually an almond.)
The excellent Carpaccio Cipriani ($17) is an ode to the original; the colours in it actually resembled the Venetian paintings of Vittore Carpaccio.
Pesce ($33), a pair of sand whiting with parsley, lemon zest, dried chilli, sultanas and pine nuts, actually look like fish (how passé);
...and Scampi Alla Griglia ($39) will have you dripping with parsley, garlic and almond butter, begging for more.
Don’t skip his Northern Beaches mate June’s Salad Leaves ($9.50) with fennel, organic tomatoes, mustard and vinegar.
Eclectic decor and the staff, lead by Manager/Sommelier David Walters, complete the package by avoiding pretension and keeping the atmosphere fun.
David’s excitement over my wine choice, a stunning 2007 Felton Road Vin Gris ($65) from Central Otago, added to my joy. So did the upstairs pink, black and white 'powder room' with the cute shabby chic light and optional smoking 'peeping Tom'.
La Scala on Jersey
Corner Jersey Road & Melrose Lane, Woollahra
Ph: (02) 9357 0815