Hearty Italian fare @ Il Baretto
It has been a while since my visit to Il Baretto. My brother, F, came here about a month ago and judging from what he said, it sounds like it is still as busy as before! He went with some friends, and had to wait a good 45 mins before he got a table. Now, I am not a fan of waiting, never have and never will, so I suggested that we come here for lunch. ‘The Mother’ has never been, and thought I would take him and F here. F has been a tremendous help, with the move and stuff, so I wanted to say a little thank you and no better way than to take him out to lunch!
We got there early, around about midday, and thankfully, we didn’t have to wait and were seated immediately. It’s not a big restaurant, I wouldn’t say it’s tiny, but it’s definitely cozy. I remember it being really noisy when full. We were presented with our menu, however, part of the menu were written on a piece of paper hung on the wall – similar to a white board. I couldn’t help but realize how neat and aligned the writing was. I was highly impressed.
F, wanted to try the Panini, I couldn’t get pass the Duck Ragu and ‘The Mother’ ordered the lasagna.
As you know, I LOVE Duck, and I love papardelle so really, it was no brainer. Although, considering I haven’t had breakfast, it might have been a little too heavy for brunch! I was impressed with the generosity of the servings. A generous amount of papardelle and soft duck ragu was placed before me, with wilted spinach. The duck was tender and succulent, the overall dish was creamy and as predicted a little heavy for brunch. It was deliciously good but I could only get through a quarter (at best) as I wanted to try some of F’s Panini and ‘The Mother’s’ lasagna.
F ordered the pork and fennel sausage, stracchino and radicchio pesto (served toasted) panini. The pork and fennel sausage was fantastic, tender and I could taste the fennel, which I also love. The stracchino and radicchio pesto a great compliment. My only gripe would be that it was a tad dry. No salad, no sauce, nothing, I think it would have been better if it came with something, preferably tomato sauce from the lasagna.
‘The Mother’ ordered the beef lasagna and OH MY GAWD. It was unbelievably good! It was perfect! I wish my lasagna was that good. ‘The Mother’ kept glaring at me as I kept stealing a spoonful every couple of minutes. It was THAT good.
Personally, I thought the lasagna was a deliciously better than the duck ragu papardelle. F thought both were good, but he preferred the duck ragu papardelle. I guess it all depends on what you are craving for at the time.
If you want good, hearty and generous serving Italian food, than this is the place for you. I didn’t get to try their dessert as I was incredibly stuffed, but F told me later on that they serve one of the best pana cottas he has ever eaten. BIT LATE! I would have made room for the ‘best’ pana cotta! Oh wells, next time.
Unfortunately they don’t take reservations, however, if you do have to wait, there is a pub across the restaurant, have a drink whilst you wait, and Il Baretto is happy to give you a call once the table is available. Alternatively, come for lunch on Saturday, and the queue will be infinitely shorter. It does get crowded on weekends and extremely noisy!
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
496 Bourke Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9361 6163