Thursday, 17 April 2008

il baretto

496 Bourke St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Phone (02) 9361 6163

If you're familiar with Surry Hills, you'll know that Il Baretto has become a local institution known for its authenticity and also the fact that you can very rarely walk in and get a table on the spot.

Luckily there's the Carrington pub across the road, which is where you'll most likely be directed to sit and have a vino before your table is ready for you. Haven't finished the glass? No worries, the Carrington will let you bring your schooner or wine glass over and finish it at your table. Bless.

Like most cafe-style Italian joints, the menu aims to keep it simple, focusing on a few dishes they do well (and they do).

The entrees rotate according to seasonal ingredients and what produce is best. One regular, the beef carpaccio is finely sliced, presented simply fanned out and drizzled with olive oil. This dish is proof that good oil can really make a dish, or as they say "Oils ain't oils".

Ask a regular customer and you'll find that most have a favourite dish and that's what they order every time. Popular choices include the spaghetti vongole; lots of tiny clams and lots and lots of garlic in an olive oil-dressed pasta with rocket. Simple and satisfying.

By popular vote, however, is the duck ragu, a rich meaty sauce with plenty of chunks of the bird in question, served with wide, flat noodles.

The creamy vanilla panacotta and the not-too-rich tiramasu are both worth leaving room for and are a great way to round out your meal.

Get here early to avoid disappointment (any night of the week, not just the weekend)

8/10 for consistantly good food.


Anonymous said...

The duck ragu is the bees knees ... though sometimes I think it's a bit too strongly flavoured. And yeah the vongole pasta is a close second.

I like your blog ... Keep it up.

ps You have good taste in music

iheartfood said...

Yes, the vongole is definitely one of the best I've had..garlic? what garlic?!