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Tucked away at the bottom end of
Leichhardt's bustling Norton Street lies a wine
bar and restaurant, Aperitivo (opener). As the
name suggests, diners can partake of a wide selection
of tapas style dishes that are great for sharing or can
ser ve as a prelude to your main course.
Owner Giuseppe Zagari has drawn from his
extensive travels and his own family background to
deliver a restaurant that ser ves up dishes that merge
traditional Italian and Spanish cuisine with modern
avours and inspirations. Accompanying all this great
food is a superb selection of local and imported wines
to suit the dishes and classic Italian cocktails to whet
Head chef Joe Cavallo has worked with Zagari to
create a menu that will please not only the pizza and
pasta lovers out there but those who like to sample
the fresh avours of a modern Mediterranean cuisine.
e menu is crammed with tempting small plates that
ser ve up delicious new avour combinations as well as
Our culinary adventure begins with the arrival of
some complimentary bread and oil... ough this is
no ordinary bread -- rather it's some of Cavallo's fresh
baked bread accompanied by Murray River Pink sea
salt and South Australian extra virgin olive oil and it
sets the tone for what's to come.
We order a couple of Aperitivo's openers, the
chicken liver parfait and the cappesante -- pan seared
sea scallops wrapped in pancetta and ser ved with
celeriac puree and port wine jus. Both dishes are
delicious, and my companion, who is a big fan of
these pâté-style parfaits, loves the chicken liver parfait
which has been drizzled with tru e oil for that extra
decadence and is accompanied by caramelized onions
and a serve of dark sticky orange marmalade, perfect
for cutting through the buttery taste of the parfait.
e scallops, nestled in their pancetta waist coats
prove to be equally delectable, the sweet succulent
scallop meat li ed by the salty pancetta.
We choose a pizza for main, as these wood red
pizzas are a specialty of chef Cavallo, and we're not
disappointed. Opting for the salsicce -- homemade
tru e sausage with mozzarella, taleggio, porcini
mushroom, parmesan and radicchio -- it's the
radicchio that surprises, preventing the sweetness
of the cheese and the richness of the sausage from
overwhelming the pizza.
Desserts are equally scrumptious. e molten
chocolate cake oozes a river of chocolate once you
pierce its exterior and the vanilla bean ice cream is
sweet and creamy. My companion orders the Italian
doughnuts which arrive accompanied by a nutella
fondue that sees her happily dipping away until she is
eventually defeated by the number of small perfectly
round doughnuts on her plate...
163 Norton Street, Leichhardt, NSW 2040.
Bookings: 02 9564 0003
Open Tuesday -- Sunday 5pm til late.
Tantalising dishes packed with avour to suit the constant grazer...
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