Aperitivo, Leichardt ($$$)

Address: 163 Norton Street Leichardt

Tel: (02) 9564 0003

Website:  http://www.aperitivo.com.au/

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I hadn’t been to Leichardt for a few years but a friend recommended this restaurant and I thought it would be good to try it out.

Atmosphere

The decor is cute and cosy and the dim lighting makes for an interesting space. The restaurant doubles as a wine bar with small high tables and stools at the front and dining tables on the sides and towards the back.

I really loved the Italian flag made out of coloured bottles near the bar as it was something I’d never seen before.

We arrived at about 7.30pm on a Friday night (without a reservation). We had to wait about 45 minutes for a table but we had a few drinks in the meantime which made the wait less painful.

The restaurant gets pretty busy and I always think this is a plus as it means the atmosphere is more lively, and the food is probably going to be good as so many people want to try it out, are returning for more, or like me, have come on a recommendation.

Service

Service was pretty good and we had some nice waiters.

Food

Aperitivo is Italian for “appetiser” and the food certainly was appetising.

The menu has a variety of dishes (especially pizzas), and we decided to get 4 entrees to share between the four of us.

We ordered:

  • Prawns kataifi with spicy tomato coulis ($16.00)

This dish was delicious. I love prawns, they are one of my favourite foods and the kataifi was delicious and crunchy. However, I wish the portion size was bigger as 4 prawns for $16.00 just doesn’t cut it.

  • Pan seared scallops, crispy pork belly and asparagus sauce ($16.00)

Well-cooked scallops with a creamy sauce and delicious soft pork which was moist on the bottom and had a delicious crunchy crackling. Great dish. Nice presentation too.

  • Slow cooked baby octopus in a fresh tomato sauce with crostini ($15.00)

Not a big fan of octopus and I normally don’t order it or eat it but I tried a tiny non-tentacle/sucker piece and thought it was ok. It is similar to calamari but a little more flavoursome. I just can’t get over those suckers though.

  • Kingfish tartare with pistachio and beetroot puree ($18.00)

A lovely dish with cured kingfish and crunchy bread. A deliciously sweet puree was great with the sour fish.

We then moved on to mains.

I ordered the crumbed lamb backstrap with cauliflower and pistachio puree served on baby spinach ($28.00).

At first I thought the portion was quite small, but after I started eating I began to get full, although it was probably from the entrees. This is a small dish so I wouldn’t recommend you order it if you are not getting entrees.

The lamb was soft and tender. It was more on the well done side although I asked for it to be medium-well. The crumb on top was slightly salty and went well with the puree. I love baby spinach so that went down well. I really enjoyed this dish and liked the presentation as well.

Two friends ordered the 250g beef fillet with baby spinach vincotto salad and crispy prosciutto ($29.00). While the salad and prosciutto were fine, they both commented that the meat was dry and needed a sauce or some sort of gravy.

One ordered hers medium rare and the other ordered his medium well. The medium well one was, like mine, more on the well side. The medium rare however, was medium well and she barely ate half of the beef.

Our other dining companion ordered the homemade spaghetti alla chitarra served with veal osso bucco ragu and aged pecorino cheese ($23.00). Pretty much a fancy way of saying pasta with veal.

There was an OK serving of pasta on the plate, and all of it was eaten. I’m not a fan of veal but my fellow diner commented that he enjoyed it.

For dessert MC and I shared a three way brulee stack ($15.00) which included tiramisu, saffron with persian fairy floss, and pistachio with nougat crumbs.

I really loved this dish and we demolished it. The persian fairy floss is lovely and so light and went so well with the saffron flavoured brulee.

The texture of the brulee itself was like a sort of creamy, cheesy and floury slice, but it was somehow nice and moreish. Presentation was fantastic and it looked like something which came from of a top restaurant.

Our friend ordered an amadei chocolate ganache served with orange ice cream, praline crumbs and kahlua sauce ($15.00). He said it was too rich however, and was unable to finish it.

Our other dining companion ordered the nutella tart with caramelised banana and white chocolate flakes served with vanilla ice cream ($15.00). The presentation on this dish was lovely and of course everyone knows that nutella and banana is a match made in heaven.

A few of us ordered tea and coffee.

Cost:

The bill came to $285 for 4 people. Quite an expensive meal at about $70 each, but we did have entrees, mains, dessert and quite a few drinks!

Rating:

Overall I would rate my dining experience (out of 10):

    • Service- 6
    • Food- 6
    • Ambience- 7
    • Value – 5.75

I gave points for presentation but took some away due to the over cooked meat.

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