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Capriccio Osteria & Bar, Leichhardt


There's nothing better than great Italian food. It's even better when it's done well with fresh seasonal produce, little fuss and in the most delicious way. Lucky for us, that's exactly what you get at Capriccio Osteria & Bar in Sydney's Leichhardt, and its right down the road!

It is our favourite "go to" for beautiful food, knowing we will feel at home from the moment we step in the door. If you have been to Italy, you will definitely appreciate the menu, driven by seasonal produce. If you haven't been before, all the more reason to visit! You'll definitely enjoy every mouthful.

We always begin with shared food that takes me right back to Bologna. Plates of perfect salty prosciutto and the ever amazing creamy stracciatella topped with seasonal flavours, and a serve of Capriccio's house made focaccia. Those crispy focaccia pieces dipped into the fresh curds from the stracciatella with a drizzle of basil oil... Take me back now!

We add octopus and scallops to the mix because, well, we'd be crazy not to.

Everything is packed full of flavour and sending our tastebuds into overdrive.

That octopus... Oh. My. Smokey. God! It was so good!

The art of sharing food and wine with friends, talking and laughing together. It's what life is all about, and when done here with an Aperol Spritz in hand, it's even more wonderful.

We could make a habit of this.

After sharing antipasti, we move into mains and decide to continue with our shared philosophy. If I'm being honest, we're not doing it because we love each other, as much as there's just no way in the world we could possibly let a dish onto the table without getting a taste of it. It's all just too delish.

To begin our main "affair", we shared two different pasta dishes. An angel hair pasta with pippies, n'duja and fresh tomato, and a maltagliati which was a rustic saffron pasta with duck sausages and mixed mushrooms.

Angel hair with pippies, n'duja and fresh tomato

Everything was perfectly balanced and quite simply, just damn tasty.

For the final part of our mains we shared the lamb ribs. I can't even begin to tell you how fantastic these were. Ticking all the right boxes, these are likely to become everyone's favourite. Marinated in deliciously pungent garlicky herbs and literally falling off the bone as we picked them up. I'm sure other tables could hear us groaning in delight as we smacked our lips together after every single bite.

These were so good!

The lamb ribs literally falling off the bone.

Seriously good stuff and damn fine with a glass of Italian red wine.

Aside from the food, you really do need to take time to appreciate their drinks menu. Their traditional Italian cocktails get me every time. They're made so well and take me right back to Italy in one sip. The wine list is simple and very well put together giving you a taste of the greatest wines from a range of regions. Perfectly matched to the food on offer. This is Italian heaven.

Moving into the land of dessert we settled on a panacotta with blackberries, cannoli with a zingy pop of passionfruit cream and an almond meringue with rhubarb and mascarpone cream.

The pannacotta

Cannoli with passionfruit cream

The sweet and tangy rhubarb dessert

Each and every dessert was the perfect end to our meal, alongside a dessert wine and a zesty limoncello.

We had a great night as always and love everything about Capriccio Osteria & Bar.

The Leichhardt area, and Norton Street in particular, was always known as Sydney's Little Italy, but is far more quiet than it has been in the past. This has actually been a blessing for the area as Capriccio is reviving the quieter end of Norton Street and has created an additional bit of foodie sparkle back into Leichhardt as a restaurant destination. It is such a brilliant addition to the area.

Although it's been open for some time, it still has the feel of a hidden gem. Michele and Matteo have created a gorgeous space to enjoy their delicious food and wine. It's the type of place that should be on your regular restaurant go-to list, yet is also beautiful and perfect for celebrations.

If good honest food is what you look for in a restaurant, created by authentic Italians who pride themselves on the food experiences they share, then do yourselves a favour and make a booking to go soon. You won't be disappointed.

On this particular visit we were celebrating the life of our beautiful mum, Mary-Anne who had been gone seven years on that day. We always get together and share a bottle of her favourite Veuve Cliquot before enjoying a meal together and this year we decided Capriccio would be the perfect place. She always loved getting together with loved ones over good food, sharing conversation and laughter. She absolutely loved the foodie world and loved nothing more than to discuss food and wine with staff, just as we did with Michele, who knew we were there to enjoy a beautiful dinner in memory of our mum. My sister, husband, girlfriend and I would like to thank everyone at Capriccio for their friendly service and the amazing food they serve every day, but in particular for the brilliant night we had on this evening.

I rarely mention a personal thanks, while writing a review, but this time, being a special occasion, it is a must.

We had an absolute ball! Thank you.

My lovely sister and I jamming it up for a pic together

Note

Don't expect a pizza, pasta run-of-the-mill westernised Italian restaurant. There's not a pizza or bolognese in sight. Food at Capriccio is fresh and produce driven. This is for food lovers who love to devour a range of Italian flavours, talk about food and wish they were licking their plates clean!

FIND IT

VENUE

Capriccio Osteria & Bar

159 Norton Street

Leichhardt NSW

VERDICT

Absolutely delicious, friendly and heart warming with a buzzing atmosphere.

COST

Mid-range and adaptable based on whether you share all meals or keep them to yourselves.

Antipasti/entrées range from $8 for olives through to $36 for mussels

Pasta dishes start from $25

Dessert hover around the $12 mark

Wines $8-15 per glass and can also be bought by the carafe or bottle

Cocktails $14-19 (these are fab!)

BOOKINGS

It'd be wise to book ahead!

Phone: 0295727607

Online: Reservations

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People who love to eat

are always the best people.

- Julia Child