With a new home to decorate and a new neighbourhood to explore, I haven’t cooked at all in the last three weeks. All my energy has been sucked into packing and unpacking, and my creative juices have run a bit dry.
What hasn’t changed though, is my insatiable appetite and quest for good food.
One late night recently, a very exhausted me was in serious need of some comfort food. Seeing as it was well past the peak of dinner service, Zen and I decide to try our luck at the ever so popular, Il Baretto, which I can now refer to as being in my neighbourhood!
Il Baretto offers no-fuss simple quality Italian food that nourishes the soul.
From a distance, we can see that the front of house is buzzing. As we approach the restaurant, the air is filled with a musical chatter of conversation. Generous dishes of pastas and desserts weave in between diners as we desperately seek an open table.
It’s not long before we are led inside.
Il Baretto has a no bookings and cash only policy. There are no tablecloths and the menus are handwritten. It’s warm and cosy.
The specials menu features the most enticing home-style creations – homemade beef lasagna, spaghetti alle vongole…
My decision is easy. The pappardelle with duck ragu ($26) is one of their best sellers, and also one of my most favourite pasta dishes. Wide voluptuous ribbons of pasta intertwined with tender flakes of duck and finished off with some wilted spinach. The sauce is light yet creamy… sensationally satisfying.
We also naturally share a mixed leaf salad ($9.50) to balance out the richness of tonight’s meal. It’s a classic combination of lettuce leaves, onion, tomatoes and olives.
Meanwhile, Zen has the slow cooked lamb shanks ($28) in tomato piccante with red beans and roast potatoes. The lamb is incredibly succulent and even delicious to the non-lamb eater that I usually am. The tomato piccante adds a lovely zing to the dish.
Too tired for dessert, we sip our coffees and make the short stroll to our new home.
496 Bourke St, Surry Hills
Phone: (02) 9361 6163