The newly opened cafe Little Eataly located on Main North Road (Northpark Shopping centre) is one of my new favourite Italian restaurants. The large menu provides a range of authentic Italian delicacies, with dishes that have all been made with love. Two of us dining that day both come from Italian backgrounds with a Nonna, and we were overly impressed with the quality of food that we tried.
We started with a couple of their entrée dishes including the Polpetti. Nonnina’s traditional Italian meatballs served with sugo and herb bread. This was the first dish we tried and we could have left then and there happy as Larry. The mixture of pork and beef helped to keep the meatballs juicy, soft and moist with minimal dryness. The creamy sugo that topped over the mince tasted just like Nonna makes.
The second entrée we devoured was the Arancini. Lightly fried saffron balls served with sugo, bolognese, bacon and peas. The first thing I look for in an arancini is how crisp the outside is; for sure this arancini hit the crunch spot. Secondly I look for the quality of the sugo, and sure enough much like the meatballs it was very authentic. You could really taste the flavours of saffron, with the extra subtle flavour of bacon and peas.
We then tried two of their awesome pasta’s starting with the Spaghetti Granchio. Spaghetti with Australian crab meat in olive oil, fresh chilli, garlic, and Spanish onions in a rose sauce. I was blown away with not only the quality of this pasta, but the authentic sauce and fresh ingredients. I have always loved my crab spaghetti very basic with a white wine sauce, but after trying this I have turned for sure. The rose sauce was creamy but not too heavy, and paired well with the fresh and succulent crab meat. This dish was incredible from start to finish and I highly recommend trying this menu item.
The second pasta dish we tried was the Ravioli Burro e Salvia. Ravioli filled with ricotta and spinach and served with sage and butter sauce. I really enjoyed the light and subtle flavours that came from both the sauce and pasta. You could tell that the ravioli was hand made, as they were slightly uneven, which meant they had been cut by hand. The sage and butter sauce worked perfectly as it did not override the ricotta filled pasta flavour.
We also sampled two pizzas from the gorgeous menu including Vegetarian Pizza with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, mushrooms, roasted capsicum, eggplants, zucchini, onions and fresh basil leaves. What made this pizza so authentic was the fresh vegetables and sauce. The colourful toppings caught my eye right away and made for some great photos.
The second pizza we sampled was the Diablo Pizza with San Marzano tomatoes, fior de latte, mozzarella, ham, hot salami, olives, mushrooms and chilli oil. I loved the combination of the creamy fior de latte and the hot salami. They work well together as the light cheese helped to cool down the spicy salami. The thin, crisp pizza base, Napoli style, helped to give the pizza that extra point of difference.
We ended with two dishes from the mains menu starting with the Gamberi all Aglio with Australian pan fried prawns in garlic, chilli and cream served with rice and vegetables. I never really choose to order prawns and rice at an Italian restaurant, but this dish was worth the change. The prawns were very fresh and coated with a light garlic sauce, which was to die for. The combination of the colourful crunchy vegetables, smooth rice and creamy garlic sauce created an incredible dish.
The last dish we tried was the Pollo Principessa with pan fried chicken breast topped with cheese asparagus and cream sauce served with sautéed seasoned vegetables. Chicken dishes have been my go to lately when dining at Italian restaurants and this one has shot right to the top of my list. Sometimes chicken breast can be dry but the gorgeous juices helped to keep the chicken succulent. The cheesy sauce paired with my favourite vegetable asparagus, were great accompiaments.
Thank you to Tony Rocca and the team at Little Eataly for having us along to try their menu. I was highly impressed and I will be back with Nonna for sure.
Words by Tomika Salerno
WHERE: Shop 50, 264 Main North Rd, Prospect