Woodfired focaccia baked to order, modernised classics and surprising wine varietals set this Norton Street Italian apart
Capriccio Osteria might be a casual, no-fuss pick for dinner and a drink, but that hasn’t stopped head chef Nicole Bampton’s fine dining pedigree shining through in the polished, creative takes on Italian cuisine being spun out at this family-friendly Norton Street local.
Bampton (Tetsuya’s, Sepia, Lucio’s) is adding fresh elements to well-trodden formats in dishes like leek and taleggio arancini served with saffron aioli and ouzo cured trout carpaccio with grapefruit and roe mayonnaise. Capriccio has also got a woodfire oven, but they’re not using it to make pizza – rather, flames are being used to roast, char and smoke everything from rosemary focaccia that’s baked on request to Greek-style lamb shoulder, spatchcock and vegetables like witlof and asparagus.
If you’re missing carbs, there’s still pasta on offer, which is handmade daily on the premises. It includes lighter, fresher plates with seafood, such as squid ink spaghetti with blue swimmer crab, chilli and basil and blood orange fazzoletti with scallops and bottarga. Over on the wine list, they’re highlighting Italian varietals not commonly found down under – so if you’ve never heard of falanghina or marzemino, here’s your chance to give them a swirl.
End the meal with a classic Italian sweet treat from the bountiful dessert menu – there’s hazelnut cannoli, basil panna cotta with roasted pineapple, and even a boozy affogato spiked with amaretto.
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