The Italian
191 High St
Willoughby, Sydney

You walk in the door here at The Italian and it instantly smells so good - exactly like an authentic Italian restaurant should!

Your senses tell you loud and clear that you're in the right place!

The whole place has a comfortable and cosy feel to it as well so you relax and feel at home straight away.

They have a good range of pizza's here but it's not just a pizza place.

They do the lot in terms of Italian food choices. They even have a kids menu too.

It's not a big place, but it does seat around 80 people so it's certainly big enough.

We already knew that The Italian had a reputation for great food.

The thought of it also being combined with a half kilo fresh truffle was even more exciting!

Chef Richard Bonetti had created a range of extra truffle teased dishes to their usual menu. Hello - we're already in the car and on our way! 

Olives are the perfect start to an Italian meal and so it wasn't a problem at all for us to start there! We had a delicious bowl of mixed house marinated olives that teased our appetite as we tried to decide what else to order for the night. 

Arancini on a menu means we have to order it! This was mozzarella and mushroom arancini and it was as good as we had hoped - delicious.

We followed this starter up with some great meatballs. They were made from a mix of finely minced veal and pork that held together nicely. They arrived swimming in a lovely thick and rich tomato sauce.

The chestnut pappardelle with fresh truffle was one of the "truffle specials" on the menu.Chestnuts and truffle go so well together.

This dish had plenty of crunch and an earthiness that created lovely taste and texture. It was a combination that was simply delicious and the "show" of the truffle being freshly shaved onto the dish was great too. 

Another great dish from the "truffle specials" was the delicious mushroom, fontina and fresh truffle pizza.

Again it was an earthy combination that worked very well. 

It had a great crust which Mlady adored. She's a crust connoisseur and this passed with flying colours. 

We also chose an extremely unique and tasty salad to have as a side dish with our main courses. 

This was a great combination of cavalo nero, Tuscan cabbage, beans pine nuts and pecorino.

Mlady loved it's vibrant colours and freshness while Sir loved the mixed textures. 

We'd been discussing in the car on the way there that we both felt like some good pasta that night - among the other dishes of course.

We decided to have two and added a beautiful veal and pork ragu served with tagliatelle.

It was rich, meaty and packed with flavour - and it was a huge serving too.

Dessert saw us struggling with which delicious option to order. Our dilemma was solved when were were given a plate with three to share. The tiramisu was light and creamy and the panna cotta was silky smooth. The cheesecake was a slight winner with it's peanut butter flavour and a good drizzle of salted caramel sauce on top!

The Italian is a taste of Italy nestled in a quiet part of Sydney's North Shore. The food is great and they're not afraid to push the boundaries either creating innovative dishes and old favourites too. It's well worth visiting.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of The Italian and its owner Daniel Sofo. Thanks to Noemi for looking after us so well. Big thanks to Chef Richard Bonetti too.
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