If you’re looking for a slice of Italy right here in Sydney, look no further than the bustling Moretti Ristorante Pizzeria which transported us back to all of the feasting we did on our Italian holiday with its winning combo of quality dishes, excellent wines and friendly Italian service.
It’s a bit of a no-brainer to say that an Italian restaurant in Leichhardt has decent Italian food, but the passion that the Moretti’s staff have for their food is palpable and it sets them apart, especially with the more unique dishes that you don’t see around town much. We started off with one such dish – the Bruschetta Con Caponata which tastes exactly like what we imagine the region it hails from (Sicily) would taste like – a lively mix of marinated eggplant, celery, salty olives and capsicum, glistening with olive oil and served on toasted bread. Even though usually I don’t like half of the veggies which make up the caponata, I found myself munching away happily on the bruschetta, mostly thanks to the marinated eggplant which binds it all together in terms of flavour and texture.
Bruschetta Con Caponata, $9.50
The eggplant continued to be the hero of the appetisers, as it also shone through in the Parmigiana di Melanzane which featured slices of fried eggplant layered with cheese and napoletana sauce, to create a hearty, comforting starter.
Parmigiana di Melanzane, $16
To mix it up a bit, we also tried their Antipasto Misti for 2, which showcased a range of Italian delicacies including delicate slivers of quality prosciutto, salami, tasty arancini, beautifully creamy buffalo mozzarella and some of the nicest olives I’ve ever had (unpitted too!)
Antipasto Misti per 2, $30
To be honest, by this stage we could’ve gotten away with not having any mains because the appetisers were so filling, but the carb loading continued with a treat off their specials menu – the Linguine Agli Scampi, which was a simple, yet flavoursome pasta that complemented the rich flavours and textures of the sauteed scampi with the freshness from cherry tomatoes.
Linguine Agli Scampi, $31.50
We had spied the wood-fired oven on our way into Moretti’s, so we had to order one of their thin crust pizzas of course. We chose the Piemontese, which features an indulgent mix of sliced smoked pork belly, truffle paste and porcini mushrooms, evoking our memories of tucking into truffle and mushroom everything while we were skiing in the Apennines mountain ranges last year.
Our experience was enhanced by the smooth Italian red wine we had with our dinner – the 2012 Borgo Salcetino Rossole Sangiovese Merlot was recommended by our waiter and the fruity notes went perfectly with our dishes, which covered the field from vegetarian starters through to seafood pasta and cured meats.
2012 Borgo Salcetino Rossole Sangiovese Merlot, $48 (bottle)
We were definitely too full for anything else by the time dessert came around, but changed our minds when we had our first bite of their classic Tiramisu, which was absolutely spot on with its creamy, fluffy layers of mascarpone and the coffee soaked sponge underneath, which had just the right amount of caffeine infused into it. We also had the delicate Millefeuille which features razor thin sheets of pastry, artfully layered with custard and cream for a rather decadent dessert (only saved by the fresh strawberries scattered throughout).
Tiramisu and Millefeuille
We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner at Moretti’s which lived up to its billing, serving up authentic Italian fare with generous portions. There’s plenty to choose from on their extensive menu which is executed well and the high ceilings, modern decor and buzzy atmospher make this a great spot for families and group gatherings.
Excuse Me Waiter dined as guests of Moretti Ristorante Pizzeria