Monday, July 19, 2004

IL Baretto

Good news must be celebrated with good food.
Right after my last post, we headed to Il baretto in surry hills. It's a tiny corner italian cafe on bourke street. it's been on my restaurant wishlist ever since I learnt that the amazing pasta guru, antonio facchinetti will be heading back to italy via thailand in september.

© foodies date: 15th July 2004
© where: il baretto, surry hills

when we reached il baretto at 8.30pm, the tiny cafe was buzzling busily. lucky we didnt have to wait for a table. we sat at the high benchtop fancing the street just by the entrance. the waiter told us if we didnt want to sit at the more casual benchtop but prefer a table, we would have to wait for at least half an hour. we opted for the benchtop for the two of us were starving.

i couldnt understand half the menu. apart from the more commonly used italian food term like spaghetti, penne, bolognese, i had absolutely no idea what most items are. we waited until we were being attended to and consulted the waiter what each item mean.

♥ bruschetta
this is a typical italian entree. it's a little different from the normal bruschetta which comes with diced tomato. ShinChan preferred the more common version of bruschetta. the bread is rather chewy.

♥ pappardelle with duck ragu
this is ShinChan's main. the very famous pappardelle with duck ragu. seriously we have no idea what a duck ragu is nor do we have any idea what pappardelle is. only when the dish came, did we understand that pappardelle is a type of wide flat ribbon pasta. the word 'pappare' means 'to stuff oneself'. it's probably by luck that ShinChan has selected the type of past that he loves - wide flat pasta eg. fettucine.

♥ home made gnocchi in arrabiata sauce
i like my pasta small, tiny and round. it's even better if it's one that comes with filling (think tortellini!). i was given 4 choices of pasta sauce:
- bolognese: tomato meat sauce
- arrabiata: tomato, garlic & chilli
- carbonara: creamy bacon
- piccanti: i think it's tomato, basil & anchovies
after surveying around the restaurant and with the cold weather, i decided to go for the chili & garlic red sauce. the red colour seems more inviting. and more importantly, it's lower in fat too. sorry. i just cant help it but think about healthy eating all the time. it's in my nature *grin*

♥ home made gnocchi in arrabiata sauce with parmesan cheese!
sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Oops. i guess my low-in-fat assertion has just gone down the drain. what's a good pasta dish without a sprinkle of parmesan! i like the pasta sauce. it has a rich and intense tomato flavour yet light at the same time. the gnocchi is one of the best in my life! it melts in your mouth like magic. i couldnt stop eating my gnocchi nor could ShinChan stop eating his duck ragu.

♥ gelato and tiramisu
a good meal ends with a good dessert.

it's one of the best gelato i ever have in sydney. absolutely yummy. we were told we could either have all the gelato flavours or we can chose a favourite one. we opted for the all-in-one gelato. gelato flavours sampled: vanilla, chocolate, coffee, pistachio, mixed berries and mango. i am especially in love with their chocolate and vanilla. ShinChan adores the mango, commenting that the mango doesnt have the artificial mango ice cream taste found in normal mango ice cream.

the tiramisu is light. very light in fact. it's not overly sweet either.a layer of savoiardi bicuits (soaked in coffee and marsala) is sandwiched between a composition of freshcream and mascarpone. it's light and not sweet yet it tastes very rich. it is an adult tiramisu.

meal at il baretto is truly heavenly. i will be back for more pasta before september!

il baretto
496 bourke street
surry hills nsw
tues-sat 8am-10pm
sun 9am-3pm

ragu: a staple of northern italy's bologna. it is a meat sauce that is typically served with pasta.
pappardelle: wide noodles (about 5/8 inch) with rippled side
gelato: italian for icecream. texture is much denser and not as creamy as american or french ice cream.
bruschetta: traditional italian garlic bread made by rubbing toasted bread with garlic cloves then drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. usually comes with diced tomato & basil on top.