L’ITALY, North Adelaide
These days, it’s not often I get inspired to write a blog post. Life just seems to get in the way. And then comes L’italy and I feel compelled to spread the word. L’italy is brought to us by Walter Ventura and the team responsible for Ruby Red Flamingo and Tony Tomatoes and it’s in the same location as their pop-ups Spaghetti Crab (yum!) and Spaghetti Meatballs.
What’s that I hear you cry? ‘What, another Italian restaurant!?’ Yes, agreed, Adelaide certainly has its fair share but you really should pay L’italy a visit. Simply put, the food is excellent.
Chef Joe Carey, who’s spent some time cheffing at the world-renowned Brae, is certainly obsessed with his craft. He hunts down local, seasonal produce and has a no-waste philosophy, using every part of the animal and vegetable. He and the kitchen team are so hands-on they break down whole animals, make their own sourdough, pasta and cheese, pickle vegetables, make their own charcuterie and are even dry-ageing poultry and meats.
We perused the menu and wanted just about everything on it so rather than making decisions we asked if Joe could just feed us. I’d been told beforehand by a friend that I HAD to have the pig ears, which I was looking forward to as I’ve been a pig ear fan since I was a kid (It’s a Chinese thing) – so that was the only thing I requested specifically – and they were delicious – crispy fried, salty, sweet and served with radicchio.
Other highlights for me were the fresh flat green beans and the super-sweet, soft and slippery red capsicum that had been baked in a salt dough, the gnocchi with celeriac cream and air dried pork (and I’m not usually a gnocchi fan), and.. of course, the duck! Oh, the duck – dry aged with beetroot, pomegranate and onions. Absolute perfection. And, even though I’m not a dessert fan, I really loved the panna cotta – one of the few desserts I’ve truly enjoyed.
We were lucky enough to finish our evening with a tour of the kitchen and prep areas by Joe so got to see the hanging smallgoods and the cabinet of dry-ageing ducks and beef as well as have a good chat about his food philosophy.
We left L’italy extremely full and extremely impressed.