159 Norton St
It's hard to know which highlight to start with when you talk about Capriccio Osteria. The venue itself has a cool calming feel to it with crisp interiors offset with timber and wrought iron. You feel comfortable straight away. It's a surprisingly big place too with several areas - downstairs front, private downstairs room and spacious upstairs room. The front of house runs so smoothly and the kitchen moves out some amazing dishes under the leadership of Chef Nicole Bampton who honed her skills at Tetsuya's and Lucios. The big decision is where to start. We did the sensible thing and asked! Fortunately co-owner Michele Rispoli and the rest of the staff were there to help.
The big decision is where to start. We did the sensible thing and asked! Fortunately co-owner Michele Rispoli and the rest of the staff were there to help us. We did the sensible thing and asked them! The very obvious answer was - how about a drink? so we did. We decided to try two of their favourites - the aperol spritz (made with prosecco and a dash of aperol) as well as the positano (made from limoncello, vodka and prosecco). It was hard to say which was best as we refused to share!
On to the food and we commenced with a delicious chicken liver pate topped with mandarin jelly and served with some lovely hazelnut crisps. The pate was smooth and packed with flavour and we eagerly slathered it on the super crunchy crisps.
It will seem strange raving about bread - but the focaccia here is to die for. Of course it's house made with a nice hit of rosemary. It arrived at the table fresh out of the oven as it's also made to order. There's something about hot bread that just works so well, and this focaccia was simply lovely.
Have you had stracciatella before? If you haven't then you should - it's a great dish. This combined honeyed whitlof, walnuts and gorgonzola. It was rich, full flavoured and impossible to stop eating.
Ever leave the wine selection up to the people at the restaurant? If they know their wine, like they do here, then it's safe. In fact it may even be the best option. We simply described what we liked and left the rest to them! It was easy and they both tasted so good.
Yet another great dish was the roast pumpkin and ricotta ravioli with sage brown butter and almonds. It looked great, smelled great and tasted - well - great. This dish is a must order one here.
Truffle and duck aren't a combination that you usually encounter, but after trying this outstanding dish we can't understand why this doesn't happen more often. The subtle earthiness of the truffle went so beautifully with the richness of the duck meat. The Brussel Sprouts on the plate went beautifully. This dish was from the truffle menu that Capriccio Osteria had been running. They periodically run special menu's that are well worth eating through!
The finale to our meal was the cannoli. In chatting with Chef Nicole Bampton we discovered that her cannoli is one of her favourites on the menu. These crispy fried pastry cylinders were filled with a lovely mix of dark chocolate and hazelnut cream. We devoured them and agreed they were a perfect end to a delicious meal.
Capriccio Osteria certasinly ticks all the boxes. It's a lovely place with great service and delicious innovative food full of flavour.
Sir and The dame dined as guests of Capriccio Osteria. Big thanks to Michele and Nicole for a wonderful evening as well as to all the staff there who looked after us so well. Special thanks also to Adriana Petkov of Buzz Marketing Solutions for this invitation.