Excuse the repeat review, but last time I went to Aperitivo, I didn’t get to road test aperitivo!
If you’re looking confused, aperitivo is the two hours (between 5pm and 7pm) of free snacks the restaurant puts on while you sit back and quaff excellent Watermelon Martinis ($17) or well-made Expresso Martinis ($16).
Francesco Spataro (the man behind the excellent chewy Neapolitan style pizzas) sent us out his own creation – deep-fried pizza pockets with ricotta and salami - to prevent us from getting too tipsy.
Confession time – I actually visited this restaurant twice in two days! The pizza is that enticing; and if I was a pizza, I’d definitely be the Salsicce ($22) – homemade truffle sausages, radicchio, porcinis and three types of cheese including taleggio (a firm favourite).
For a point of difference team it with a good Chicken Liver Pate ($16) hyped by truffle oil and accentuated by onion and orange jam.
Or take a foray into the specials menu for a satisfyingly simple bowl of Duck Pappardelle ($26).
Up your vegetable quotient with a Pecorino Polenta ($16.50) dripping in mushrooms and asparagus slivers, while you knock back one more martini. Might I suggest cleverly spicy Chilli Peach ($15) version? Bellissimo!
One of my visits was with a mate to celebrate her hitting one of those milestone birthdays. So excuse the shiny new bling over the Yamba Tiger Prawns ($19.50) served on a kiwi fruit granita with a lemon and tequila dressing. We almost came to blows at our table splitting the three of them amongst nine hungry diners. (Luckily I hear they're so popular they'll be making the regular menu some time soon.)
Frosty treats also come with the Kingfish ($22) in the form of a drinkable vodka and blood orange sorbet. I might have been a little liberal with my application of it, as it drowned out the fish a little.
We also managed to mow through a plate of Salcicce ($19) - duck and pork sausages with fresh mango and an orange reduction, but the martinis seem to have impaired my already challenged photography skills.
The birthday girl was then treated to her own bowl of yummy Italian doughnuts and an accompanying bowl of chocolate sauce so good it was drinkable! Fueled by copious martinis, she may or may not have licked the plate to check whether the writing tasted as good as it looked.
You only turn forty once.
163 Norton Street, Leichhardt
Ph: (02) 9564 0003