If O’Connell Street wasn’t already on your list of top places to dine in Adelaide, we have no doubt you’ll change your mind after reading about one of the most recent—and soon to be favourite—additions: Da Vinci Ristorante. After initially starting out with an Italian menu, the owners expanded and diversified the style of cuisine to accommodate the more casual diners of Adelaide. We’re talking about the ones who love nothing more than sitting out in the beer garden while demolishing a plate of sticky ribs with a beer in hand. Whether you’ve got a birthday, family gathering, or simply want a comfortable place to watch the game—Da Vinci Ristorante welcomes you! And with that said, we know there’s absolutely no chance you’ll be disappointed with the quality, portion size and variety of the food on their premium menu.
The restaurant boasts comfortable modern décor with beautiful quilted leather furniture, and a relaxing dim ambience that’s ignited by the sensuous smells wafting through from the kitchen. The venue has loaded dessert cabinets, a pizza oven, and it’s very own specialist burger chef (we know). When you see the list of burgers on the menu, you’ll understand why it’s totally necessary to have someone on deck who can pull off the intricate art-form of burger stacking.
When it came time to pick up the fork, we ordered a selection of eight popular dishes to see what the fuss was all about. Of course, we had to incorporate a few of the traditional Italian dishes that the restaurant was founded upon. We started with the Puttanesca; a classic pasta blend of anchovies, capers, garlic, olives, and a hint of chilli cooked in napolitana sauce. In short—this dish was an absolute hit. It wore rich tomato flavours and the perfect amount of saltiness introduced by the varied components of the dish. As the Italians are best known for, you could taste the premium quality of the ingredients which intertwined to create a high-impact pasta dish. Next on the list was the Risotto Con Funghi with button and porcini mushrooms cooked in arborio rice, a creamy sauce, and topped with parmesan cheese. This was undoubtedly one of the stand-out dishes; full of indulgent buttery flavours that simply melted away with every bite.
Sticking with the Italian theme, we then had a try of the wood-oven cooked Capricciosa with San Marzano tomato, fior di latte, artichokes, olives, prosciutto cotto and mushrooms. The meals was absolutely jam-packed with some of the best flavours to come from abroad; especially the combination of prosciutto and fior di latte which brings the creamy saltiness that every pizza needs. Next up, we were very pleasantly surprised to experience some of the most deliciously tender char-grilled Lamb Cutlets we’d ever had—and as you can imagine from keen foodies, the expectations were high. The sides included roasted potato and vegetables with blistered cherry tomatoes and red wine jus. Not only was the presentation beautiful, but the variation of flavours from the different cooking methods, combined with the sweet cherry tomatoes made for an all-round heavenly meal—that was somewhat guilt-free.
To really ramp up the feast, the next meal we dived into was one that is likely to be very popular amongst beer-loving locals: the Half Rack of American Cut Pork Ribs, cooked in the house special JD sauce, and served with corn and spiral fries. It was…a lot. And while ‘half rack’ doesn’t sound that overwhelming, it was very generous in size! The JD sauce was smokey, indulgent, and just the perfect way to top a quality rack of ribs. Pair that with some curly fries and you’ve got a meal that’s bound to put a smile on anyone’s face…along with a few smears of sticky sauce. Equally as rich were the Chicken Wings which are available in a range of different sauces. We chose the smokey BBQ, and the intensive finger-licking at the end of each one said it all.
Coming to the end of our night full of indulgent Italian with a twist, we went for the oven-baked Atlantic Salmon cooked with lemon and white wine, and served with mash potato, asparagus and hollandaise sauce. Every component of this dish was absolutely mouth-watering, and you can do absolutely no wrong with a side of hollandaise. The textures worked beautifully; particularly the crispy salmon skin and the creamy mash potato.
To really go out with a bang, we really took advantage of the news of Da Vinci Ristorante’s in-house burger specialist and opted for the largest one on the menu. We’re talking the Grand Canyon Burger that comes with two char-grilled angus patties glazed with Jack Daniels BBQ sauce, stacked high with crispy bacon, egg, sliced tomato, pulled pork, melted Swiss and American cheddar cheese, and finally—topped with battered onion rings. Sound ridiculous right? It definitely was; confirming that it was yet again a case of our eyes being way bigger than our bellies. Either way, we did our best to handle this monster of a meal and in two words, it was absolutely killer. A must try for any burger fiend!
If you’d like to start working your way down the extensive menu at Da Vinci Ristorante, visit O’Connell Street in North Adelaide (where the old Curious Squire used to be). Bring your friends for the ultimate feast!
Words by Kimberley Goodman
WHERE: 10 O’Connell St, North Adelaide