Pasta, pizza, pasta…
All things Italian means all things delicious. On our final search for the top Italian restaurants around Australia, we turn to South Australia’s capital – Adelaide.
If you could win first prize purely on location, River Cafe would still be numero uno. A floating pavilion literally on the river, River Cafe is a combination of beautiful views and beautiful food. The restaurant is designed to ooze comfort and boast atmosphere, with windows rolling away on warmer days and a fireplace to warm the cooler winter evenings. The food is kept simple, flavoursome, is sourced locally and above all, is fresh.
If you’re after an iconic Adelaide dining experience, this is it. With three generations of restaurateurs behind it, La Trattoria is one of the oldest and most famous restaurants in Adelaide. Owned by the original team, Andrea and Natale, the restaurant has an impressive history. Andrea was crowned the world’s best pizza maker in New York and the restaurant has seen copious famous diners such as Mick Jagger and Jon Bon Jovi.
There’s something special about Chianti. The restaurant in currently in its 33rd year of serving up outstanding cuisine in what could be considered one of the best dining locations and atmospheres in Australia. The food menus change several times a year, and are focused on seasonal and local produce, taking strong influence directly from regional Italy. If you’re still not convinced, Chianti was awarded the Ospitalità Italiana accreditation from the Italian Government and Italian Chamber of Commerce in Australia – bam.
Andres Cucina & Polenta Bar
It’s casual yet sophisticated, with an atmosphere to rival some of Italy’s own cucine. Andres Cucina & Polenta Bar is pure Italy found in Australia. The kitchen prides themselves on fresh, simple and seasonal dishes – all inspired from regional Italian meals. The food is exquisite; the coffee is the perfect finishing to your meal after spending some quality time with their wine list. The team recommends the Menu Fisso option, which allows the kitchen to come up with a menu and cook for you – and we tend to agree.
There are few things that beat an authentic Italian meal. Insieme Ristorante is potentially the closest you’ll come to an authentic Italian meal in Australia, with a menu based on extensive culinary experience and understanding of Italian regional cuisine. If you’re lucky enough to visit any time soon, we recommend the Cotoletta di Maiale, Murray Valley pork cutlet served with parmesan and pinenut crumb, apple sauce and crispy potatoes.
Borsa Pasta Cucina
Here’s an Italian history lesson for today: Borsa is the Italian stock exchange. It is also home to some of the best Italian cuisine found in South Australia. The pasta is fresh, the food has a ‘homey’ feel and the servings are generous – pure Italian servings. The restaurant is considered incredible value, with two banquet menus at $30 and $35, please go hungry. If outstanding food, a bubbling atmosphere and retro dining is your thing – you know where to go.
Antica Pizzeria e Cucina
Antica Pizzeria e Cucina offers a seamless Italian experience in the heart of Adelaide. You’ll find the recognisable wood oven pizzas, one metre long pizza, fresh, daily and handmade pasta plus a menu that is sure to have your mouth watering. The decor is Mediterranean inspired and fitted out with custom designed interiors – combined with the food and wine to create the perfect dining experience.
Pranzo is an Italian restaurant which prides itself on delivering fresh local produce. There aren’t too many Italian restaurants that delve into the breakfast service but Pranzo thought they might – and needless to say, we’re glad they did. From the breakfast menu we’d say try the Scrambled Eggs with toasted brioche, smoked Salmon, crème fraiche and chives. At lunch time attempt the pickled squid and Octopus, with citrus infused quinoa and rocket. While the restaurant isn’t open for dinner, we think breakfast and lunch more than cover our Italian cravings.
The team at Osteria Oggi are well equipped and oh so smart in the kitchen. They cook food based on what they themselves love to eat, using the freshest seasonal produce and serve their creations in a way that is designed to share. The pasta is made fresh daily and the wine list could make a grown man cry. While we’re not about making people cry, we will tell you this – if you go you must try the Gnocchi. Trust us.
Similar to Pranzo, Parlemento has jumped on the breakfast bandwagon, while also offering outstanding lunch and dinner, plus a wine list which makes us jump up and down. Morning to night at Parlemento we would recommend: in the AM, try the simple but delicious Sandwich con cotto, toasted sandwich with Virginian ham, tomato and provolone. For lunch you can’t go past the Penne alla norma of eggplant, ricotta salata, basil, garlic, olive oil and tomato salsa. And for dinner – nothing beats the Saltimbocca, pan fried veal medallions with prosciutto, bocconcini, garlic, olive oil, sage and white wine covered potatoes.