La Casa Ristorante
271 Lyons Rd
Russell Lea, Sydney

We had the pleasure of visiting a little slice of Sicily in the suburb of Russel Lea at 271 Lyons Road.  The restaurant is well lit and the large wooden front door adds to the appeal of the facade.

Once inside, it’s evident that owner Albert Giammanco has done a great job renovating his restaurant to ensure the decor provides a warm and welcoming invitation, as does the Italian music that fills the room.  We were greeted by Amato, who was to be our waiter for the evening. Amato has worked with Albert for a year and his cheeky demeanour made it easy to instantly like him.

La Casa has been in Russell Lea for five years with Albert taking ownership approximately a year and a half ago.  In February this year Albert renovated the restaurant to give it his personal touch.

The restaurant has two levels.  The main dining room is at street level and seats approximately 100 people.  There is also a beautiful alfresco dining area that seats approximately 40 people.  Finally, there are two rooms upstairs - The Victoria room which seats 30 and the Bagheria Room which is still under renovation.  The private rooms are perfect for small parties and functions.

We started with an imported Italian red wine - Casale Vecchio Montepulciano D'Abruzzo.  To say this wine was smooth is an understatement.  We both loved the taste and richness of the wine.

We left our food selection up to the expert owner and we were certainly not disappointed.

Firstly, we were served some zucchini flowers filled with a lovely mix of prawns and mascarpone cream.

They were simply divine with a crisp batter and light filling.

This was followed closely by a fresh, white tuna carpaccio – thinly sliced tuna with red and black caviar,  topped with grated truffle.  The tuna was a great start to the meal. We were then served some traditional Sicilian meatballs in a rich tomato sauce accompanied by La Casa's freshly baked bread.  The meatballs were light, flavoursome and juicy and the bread came in handy as we dipped it into the delicious sauce.

Our last entrée was Cupido Prawns.  These were king prawns wrapped in crisp prosciutto sitting on a light pumpkin puree with a dash of Gorgonzola.

A thinly sliced fried purple potato rested to one side of each prawn and the grated truffle added to a taste combination that was delectable, with all the flavours marrying together perfectly.  It left our taste buds satisfied and wanting more.

Our pasta dish for the evening was a tagliolini, cooked to perfection with prawns, zucchini, a dash of cream and a hint of saffron. This is a delicious dish that we highly recommend. The first of our mains was a herb crusted lamb rack served with roasted potatoes and mixed mushrooms. The herb crust enveloped a beautifully cooked juicy lamb rack, with the meat falling off the bone and the rich taste of the mushrooms complementing this dish perfectly.

Our last dish was a nice platter of grilled king prawns drizzled with a delicious Sicilian sauce, salmoriglio.

They were served with patatine fritte and a basic and not overpowering mixed salad.

It was a simple, but very tasty dish, with clean, fresh flavours.

For dessert we were served some mini cannoli filled with fresh ricotta, lightly dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon.

They were topped with a  sprinkling of crushed pistachios and a piece of glazed cherry.  These didn't need any cutlery!  The cannoli was crisp and the ricotta was fresh and light.

A perfect way to end an extremely delicious and satisfying meal.

Owner Alberto Giammanco and chef Salvatore Chisari gave us the ultimate experience in Sicilian cuisine. La Casa offers good home style cooking with variety, flavour and freshness and excellent service that makes a visit to this restaurant a most enjoyable experience.

Two Contessa's, who are doing reviews for Sir and Mlady Dine Out, dined as guests of La Casa. Big thanks also to Amato for looking after us and to Frank for arranging our visit.

Click to add a blog post for La Casa Ristorante on Zomato