WINTER is here, and with it the urge for some comfort food.
And is there any better comfort than Italian food? Garlic, pasta, pizza, beautiful red wine – Italian food is big on the carbs and massive on the flavour.
Italian migrants flooded into Perth throughout the 1950s and 1960s, and more recently there has been another wave as economic conditions in Europe deteriorated.
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The legacy of these new Australians can be seen (and tasted) in the plethora of wonderful Italian restaurants our city hosts.
These are our takes on the very best Perth has to offer in Italian cuisine.
Opened in 1987 by owner and chef Lou D’Annunzio, and tucked away in the heart of suburban Tuart Hill, Piazza Del Sol/Lucafe is so good they named it twice. It serves some of the most incredible Italian food the city has to offer. The restaurant’s legion of devotees come from far and wide – and you’ll soon see why.
Trading for more than 60 years, Romany continues to be one of Perth’s premier Italian food experiences. With a menu full of traditional favourites, we recommend the Saltimbocca alla Romany for a superb meal.
The name translates to ‘crazy place’ – but Posto Matto mean it in the best possible way. A relatively new addition to Main Street’s growing restaurant scene, Posto Matto features a small but first-class range of mains to complement their broad array of pizzas and pastas. For a treat, try the local octopus – with confit kipfler potatoes, radicchio and capsicum puree.
A South Perth fixture since 1999 when it was opened by chef Spartaco Rotella, Ciao Italia began life as a small Italian takeaway. In 2009 it took over the shop next door, and now seats 90 patrons. Want a recommendation? Try the buongustaia – fresh mushrooms, onions, Italian sausage and peas tossed in a tomato cream-based sauce.
Tucked just behind Inglewood post office, iLPasto is a wonderfully intimate dining experience. And with a beautifully varied $15 pasta night menu, it won’t break the bank either.
Since taking over ownership of Casa del Amici in May last year, Chris and Rosa Catalano have put their own distinct stamp on the restaurant. Chef Chris’s menu is extensive and of the utmost quality, while Rosa’s warm and professional hospitality hits all the right notes.
Not many restaurants are steeped in as much history as Capri. Run by four generations of the Pizzale family, Capri began life in the 1950s cooking steak and eggs for working men before evolving into the den of Italian delights it is today. The prices are very reasonable, and the atmosphere is warm.
7. Cafe Sannio, 386 Wanneroo Road, Westminster – 9349 0144
Home-style Italian with giant portions and a family atmosphere. We can’t go past the Cesarina pizza, topped with prosciutto, rock and shaved parmesan, which we believe is named after the matriarch. They also do a simple and classic spaghetti puttanesca which you rarely see on Italian menus in Perth.
Just a hop and a skip away from the cappuccino strip, Nunzio’s is the brainchild of Nunzio Gumina – regarded as the father of alfresco dining in Fremantle – and has inspired plenty of acolytes who come from all over to taste its delightful food. For our money, it’s hard to go past the chicken involtino – wrapped in pancetta, with almonds and snow pea sauce.
Galileo was opened in 2004 and has earned itself a formidable reputation in foodie circles. Head chef Vincenzo Soresi’s food is first rate and the surrounds are simply beautiful – it’s actually like being transported back to the old country for an evening.
Choosing a winner in this field was harder than backing the winner in the Melbourne Cup. But when all was said and done, we couldn’t go past the sheer deliciousness and vibe of Maurizio’s. “We try to educate people in the real culture of Italian food,” owner Maurizio Di Ciano once said, and he has succeeded in doing what only the best restaurants can – deliver a dining experience, rather than just a meal. The clientele is a who’s who of influential locals, and as soon as you walk in the door you’ll know you’re in the presence of people who will go the extra mile to give you an unforgettable evening. Maurizio – take a bow.